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Friday, March 26, 2010

RINGLING GOLD COMMING TO SALISBURY, MD

Civic Center to become circus big top
By Josh Davis • For Go! Magazine • March 24, 2010
SALISBURY — The Wicomico Youth and Civic Center offers you the chance to run away with the circus next weekend.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents “Illuscination” promises a fun-filled evening packed with more laughs and spectacle than you can cram into your average clown car.
“We have over 25 performers … people from all walks of life who just come together and put on a good show,” said Dean Kelly, a clown with Ringling Brothers. “This is basically your classic American one-ring circus where you just come in and you can see some amazing circus acts and hear some great music.”
One of Illuscination’s featured attractions is a rare white lion.
“He is actually the very lion that they modeled Aslan from Disney’s ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ after,” said Kelly. “He’s a little celebrity in his own right and he’s a really beautiful animal.”
Along with lions, horses, performing housecats and elephants, the show’s human performers include a tight-rope act from Russia, high-flying acrobats from Cuba and a pair of jugglers who hang from the ceiling by their hair. “It’s a secret method how they tie their hair … it’s quite incredible,” added Kelly. And then, of course, there are the clowns.
Kelly himself became hooked on the circus when he was just 4 years old.
“My grandparents took me to my very first circus and there was something about the circus clowns,” Kelly said. “Something enchanted me and I was like ‘that’s what I’m going to do for a living’. In 2001 I flew out to California, auditioned for Ringling Bros and 3 days later I was signing a contract. It’s really cool to be able to fulfill a lifelong dream.”
Kelly, a self-taught performer, admits he wasn’t your typical circus-goer as a child. “My biggest study-tool growing up was going to the circus every year,” he said. “I would take a pad and paper and I’d study the clowns and just watch what they do and, you know, try to remember everything they did to help me grow as a performer.
“My grandparents also showed me the old black and white movies and the old silent films,” Kelly added. “I like watching Buster Keaton and Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin, basically all the old black and white film stars who kind of paved the way for comedy for what it is today.”
That’s not to say clowning is still all about tiny cars and cream pies. “Illuscination” also features a trio of clowns from Italy who play various musical instruments, along with several other acts intended to update the circus experience for modern audiences.
“The hard thing about comedy is trying to find something new,” Kelly said. “In this day and age it’s all been done before so that’s the biggest challenge — trying to find something new and fresh, or if there’s an old concept that’s been done before you try to put your own spin on it.”
Another exciting feature is the all access preshow which invites audience members onto the arena floor an hour before the main event for autographs, photos and free circus lessons.
“Without the audience we don’t have a show, so we want to make sure they are entertained the whole entire time,” said Kelly. “When (the audience) walks out we want them to remember the show and go, ‘you know what, that was amazing! I want to go back again!’ ”
WHAT. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Illuscination
WHERE. The Wicomico Youth & Civic Center, Salisbury
WHEN. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1, 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 2, 11 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 3, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 4.COST. $12-$32CALL. 410-548-4911WEB. www.wicomicociviccenter. org
from the Salisbury Daily Times

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