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Monday, October 17, 2011

Roar of greasepaint, the smell of the crowd


After the big show, Giovanni Zoppe -- still dressed as a clown ballerina -- and his son Julien meet and greet guests outside the big tent. ( John Orr )

By John OrrDaily News Arts and Entertainment editor

from: mercurynews.com

Posted: 10/13/2011

UNDER THE BIG TOP DEPT.: My family and I went to see the Zoppé Family Circus in Redwood City last year, and we are going back this year, because it is a totally great, charming and entertaining show.
Plus, we got to meet a bunch of the Zoppé's after the show -- it's hard to miss them, they go out in the crowd and shake hands and do stunts before and after the big-top performance -- and they were all very nice.
And impressive.
The boss of this multiple-generation circus these days is Giovanni Zoppé, who is a goofy clown during the show. Except, watch his stunts. Amazing stuff, including bits on a high trapeze over the hard ground. Meet him after the show, and you realize the man is pretty much all muscle.


Giovanni Zoppe clowns on the trapeze in Redwood City on Saturday night, Oct. 16, 2010. Twenty years ago he fell while doing this act and was in a coma for four days. Grounded by a doctor for a year, he was back up in the air on the anniversary of his fall. ( John Orr )
A couple of decades ago, Zoppé fell off that high trapeze and was in a coma for four days, then grounded by the medicos for a year. On the anniversary of that fall, he was back up in the air.
His son Julien -- born two years ago during a visit to Redwood City --- was in the show last year, standing up on his father's hand. Impressive stunt for a one-year-old. We met him after the show, too. And, his mother, Amy, who does beautiful aerial stunts.


Julien Zopp balances on daddy Giovanni's hand on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010, in Redwood City, where Julien was born about a year ago. His mother Amy is in the red skirt at right. ( John Orr )
No lions and tigers and elephants, oh my, but a troupe of trained dogs do some funny bits. A charming little act. And some big horses, who run around the ring while the petite Amy Zoppé and others do stunts on their backs. Sort of like dressage in Woodside, only more and less.
And, it's all inside a modern circus tent. Fun.
Go look for the tent on Middlefield Road in Redwood City.

Have some fun.



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