Members of the Dalian Troupe perform acrobatic tricks on bikes routine at a matinee performance of Big Apple Circus’ “Legendarium” show.
(BALLOONMAN FILE FOTO)
By Kyle Kondor
April 17th, 2013
Although there were no flames, no human cannonball and no lions, tigers, or bears, the Big Apple Circus’s latest show “Legendarium” offered an abundance of “oohs and ahs” to the crowds who attended when it stopped at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ February 28 to March 17.
The theme of the show took audience members back in time to the early days of the circus tradition in the late 1800s. Though modern audiences, especially college students, can be a tough crowd to please, having been raised on fast-paced video games and slick movies like the most recent James Bond flick, but the Big Apple was genuinely entertaining. It was captivating for everyone from broke college students looking for an affordable night out to kids tagging along with grandparents who were re-living their fondest childhood memories.
Upon entering, you were engulfed by the rich aroma of popcorn and cotton candy, which, along with hot dogs, water and other refreshments were offered at the refreshment stand. Everything at the stand was $4 or less. The biggest hits were souvenir glow sticks, circus-logoed t-shirts, stuffed animals and other memorabilia priced from $10 to $25.
The Big Apple features a 42-foot wide single ring beneath a blue tent spangled with red stars. The transportable tent, which accommodates 1,600 spectators, was set up in the red parking lot of Patriots Park Smaller than the three ring fiasco of Barnum & Bailey, the Big Apple is more intimate and less frenetic. Even those in the seats furthest back have a good view of the action because no seat is more than 50 feet from the center of the ring.
Legendarium was lead by Kennedy Kane, a former concessionaire, magician, fire-eater and clown with fifteen different circuses. He took the The Big Apple Circus ringmaster job this year. Wearing a colorful suit and sporting a white beard that covers his Santa Claus-like rosy cheeks, Kane used his deep voice to deliver cheesy jokes for kids and jokes thick with innuendo for the adults. After his introduction, the show quickly featured wacky half-masked clowns, a passionate animal trainer who got horses and dogs to dance, and troupe of tango dancers.
The Big Apple Circus is one of the only remaining modern circuses with a live band. The seven member band sits high above the ring and accompanies the various acts.