Circus review: Big Apple’s ‘Legendarium’
The little big-top show is back with dogs, acrobats, clowns and fun facts of history
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
by: Jo Dziemianowicz
October 23, 2012
Big Apple Circus
Chinese bikers are riding high - and in tandem.
Keep your eye on Charlie, a pint-sized poodle with spindly Olive Oyl legs. When this spry pup slyly pilfers snacks on cue in the Big Apple Circus, he wins your heart and steals the show.
The new edition of the 35-year-old circus known for a single ring and audience-friendly intimacy is filled with polished acts and fun facts.
The show arrives without Grandma the clown, who wisely left on a high. As it happens, this production is directed by West Hyler, whose credits include “Jersey Boys,” is all about respecting one’s elders and honoring the past.
Called “Legendarium,” it’s framed as “a journey through time,” declares jolly ringmaster John Kennedy Kane. Over its two hours (including intermission), it celebrates New York City and big-top milestones.
In other words, running away to the circus just got more informative. Mind you, youngsters might not give a hoot that the center ring measures 42 feet in diameter so that a horse can reach a full gallop. Or that 19th-century swinger Jules Leotard invented the art of trapeze and the form-fitting garment named after him. But it’s amusing cocktail party chatter for grownups, no?
Big Apple Circus
Elayne Kramer has a leg up on many contortionists.
Elayne Kramer has a leg up on many contortionists.Kids of any age will get into performers who magically merge muscle and grace. Like Argentinian contortionist Elayne Kramer, who boggles the mind as she bends herself into improbable shapes while balanced on her hands. She also channels Katniss Everdeen (from “The Hunger Games”) by firing a bow and arrow with her toes. Alas, on Sunday, both shots missed the balloon target. The first arrow pierced a curtain. It was right out of “Hamlet,” but, unlike Polonius, no one was hurt.
Chinese acrobat Zhang Fan offers more wows. He defied gravity as he balanced on a slack wire, while a live version of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” played in the background. The show’s eclectic music also sampled Stephen Foster and Britney Spears.
Big Apple Circus
Charlie the poodle knows how to pick up tricks - and snacks - from Jenny Vidbel in 'Legendarium.'
Seven Chinese women dressed in Crayola-colored jockey outfits added a high-energy blast as they rode bikes like rodeo broncos. The highlight was innovative French circus artist Daniel Cyr. He took spinning inside an oversized hula hoop that bears his name beyond mere acrobatics to a gorgeous dance. Cyr is the undisputed lord of the ring in every sense.
Not every moment gleams. Husband and wife clowns Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsome — aka Monsieur and Madame — fell flat on their rumps as they raided the audience in search of romance. She was also preoccupied with her giant fake fanny. We get it, Madame; your backside has more than kept up with Kim Kardashian’s caboose.
Give me more of the charming Charlie and his handler, Jenny Vidbel, any day. The lovable pooch worked has as hard and got twice as many laughs.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/circus-review-big-apple-legendarium-article-1.1189457#ixzz2ABF9qipO