Roger L. Simon

The Greatest Show on Earth?


Well, no. But what is? Fellini is dead, after all, and… Still I had a lot more fun than I expected when Sheryl, Madeleine and I went to the LA Sports Arena yesterday afternoon to see the latest avatar of the long-running Ringling Brothers extravaganza. I enjoyed it more in a way than the Cirque du Soleil, which seemed in retrospect a tad pretentious. I have not seen their underwater show in Vegas, which I am told is great. The influence of the Cirque on the Ringlings is evident, however, in some (welcome) new found trendiness.

What I liked: the animals most of all, despite the PETA protestors doing their thing outside. To my unpracticed eye, I have never seen anything quite like the condition of the elephants, horses, etc. as maintained by the Ringling Brothers now (partly, no doubt, to defend against the assaults of animal rights activists).madcir.jpg Also, a motorcycle act at the finale was spectacular – four wannabe Evil Kneivels (okay, not wannabe – real!) crisscrossing with each other inside a transparent metal dome. Phew!

What I didn’t like: alas, the clowns. This group wasn’t much. Is it a dying art? Only Fellini knows and he’s not here. (Above is Madeleine with her souvenir hat – came with the cotton candy. Photo of elephants – for those interested – taken with available light at 800 ISO).