With the greatest of ease, circus comes to Atlantic City
Ringmaster David Shipman performs the opening number for Ringing Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Thursday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
By VINCENT JACKSON, Staff Writer
April 24, 2014
ATLANTIC CITY — Cailee Prescott, of Absecon, is only 8, but she knows already that warm weather brings the circus.
With her mother, Cathy Prescott, 51, and her father, Mike Prescott, 51, Cailee sat waiting for the opening night show of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to begin Thursday in the arena at Boardwalk Hall.
Cailee had been to the circus previously, but this was her first time seeing the circus in the hall.
“It was her idea. She has been bugging me for weeks,” Cathy Prescott said.
After a five-year absence, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey returned to the hall in 2012, last year and this year. The show has the theme of “Super Circus Heroes” this year, which puts emphasis on the aerialists, acrobats and clowns this time as much, if not more so, than the elephants, horses and camels.
Even though the circus is known for pumping things up as if they are larger than life, this edition does have some impressive acts, including the twin titans from Bulgaria, Miroslav Toskov and Nikolay Dobrovolov.They don’t just do their hand-balancing maneuvers on the ground. They also support their own combined weight with only their arms and shoulders while suspended in the air by straps.
Jackie McIntyre, 46, of East Meadow, Long Island, N.Y., was taken to the circus by her parents when she was a child. Now that McIntyre is the mother of Shane McIntyre, 10, her parents encouraged her to pass along a love for the circus to their grandchild. The family made the three-hour drive to see circus at the hall, but the grandparents skipped actually seeing the circus themselves.
“I took Shane when he was 3 years old. He liked the people walking on the wire,” said McIntyre.
Among the Super Circus Heroes that Ringling Bros. brought to the hall this time was the Lopez family, brothers Johan and Jonathan and Johan’s wife, Erika.
The men perform a high-wire act, battling with swords while standing on a wire high in the air. They also jump rope and ride both a unicycle and a bicycle on it. Before the act ends, Erika Lopez joins in by balancing herself on a bar that stretches between the two men while they each ride bicycles on the wire.
Twila Washington, 42, remembers traveling from where she grew up in Ocean City to the former Spectrum in Philadelphia at least three times when she was a child to see the circus.
As an Easter surprise, Washington took all three of her children to the circus Thursday, Alexis Shanks, 9, Darrius Shanks, 8, and Brianna Shanks, 4. Washington did not tell them they would be attending until Thursday morning. Washington didn’t come just because she thought her children would get a kick out of it.
“I still like it too. I’m a kid at heart, like they are,” Washington said.
Ringling Bros.’ “Super Circus Heroes” show will be performed at 7 tonight, 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $13 and are available at the Boardwalk Hall box office, online at ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-736-1420.