Saturday, February 18, 2006

The RB and B & B Circus

They advertise themselves as The Greatest Show on Earth: the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. According to Wiki, "It currently is the largest and most successful of the remaining American circuses, performing continuously since 1871." And yes, it has three rings.

A week ago we took Nicholas (and Amy), as we had two years ago when he was 3. We knew this year would be more spectacular for him at age 5-1/2. More engaged, of course, and in total awe. That look on his face was worth every minute. I didn't see my first circus until high school. So taking him early was important to me.

Everything about this circus is fun and hilarious if it has anything at all to do with Bello, "America's best clown," according to Time magazine. Kinda hard not to laugh at anyone with that kind of "do." I sat there for a long time trying to figure out what he has to put in it to keep it in that shape no matter what acrobatic stunts he does. That's a LOT of hair taffy! No wonder he lives on the edge, he says, 20 times a show.

You know, even the simplest of stunts are amazing. I remember my hula-hoop days when it was easy to keep ONE spinning around my hips for what seemed like forever. But 20 or 30 of them at a time spinning everywhere at once? A big blur! A big full-of-color blur! It doesn't take much to make me happy.

Actually, as far as I'm concerned, this is NOT the greatest show on earth. For me, Canada's Cirque du Soleil is, which is kinda a circus without animals. But the acrobatic parts of this circus remind me of that and why children of all ages are in awe. How people can make their bodies do those incredible feats is beyond me.

Still, it's the animals that make the circus the circus, even though I always wonder if they're having as much fun as we are! It's like I need a disclaimer somewhere that says no animals were hurt or harmed in any way during this production. Surely not!

After the show, we asked Nicholas what his favorite thing was. He immediately said his sword (the toy he chose--you need to understand that Donica is the "sugar g'ma!"). But when we clarified what we meant, he said, "The people on the trapeze." Well, guess what! Of everything I took pictures of, there was not a single photo of THEM! I must have been too mesmerized to even think about it. However, this wee tightrope act near us was at least a step in the right direction. (Okay, close but no cigar.)

Speaking of Cirque du Soleil, Donica just bought us tickets for their "Delirium" show here in Atlanta in April. I can hardly wait till Nicholas is old enough for that. Maybe sooner than we think!?! But for now, here's my circus album of a wonderful evening with RB and B&B. The last two photos are of two tired babies (Nicholas and moi) after a great night of awe.


  1. Wow those were some great pics! I only went there once and when I went (it was probably in SF or so), I thought the show was just amazing too! I'm guessing I was anywhere from 4 to 7 years old. Maybe younger than older because I don't remember my brother being there, which would make me 4 still.

  2. What a blast! What great photos! I especially love the horse photo!!!

    I went to the circus once, and we had to leave before the elephants. :|

  3. Really great photos! One of my best friends (Roxane Potvin) is the lead singer in "O" (Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas). I saw most of the Cirque du Soleil productions, but I am an absolute circus fan, not matter what. What I love most are small circuses, with their "little performance flops" and all. They just don't give up, try again until they get it right, and that's for me the best of all. It makes my heart jump.

  4. Circuses always seem like they would be lots of fun. But you know I've never been to circus other than the PA State Police shows I saw as a kid at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show. Beautiful pictures.

  5. ET: So that tells me Nicholas will definitely remember the circus!

    Ruth: I wonder if I went with you--maybe I took you? Were you like 5 or 6 or 7-ish? That may have been when I went. I don't remember much--just that I went, but I'm sure I wasn't alone!

    CS: That reminds me--one of the big trapeze stunts failed. The guy fell into the net and I fully expected him to get back up and try it again. No go. Maybe the bigger circuses are on a time schedule and don't have the luxury of the small-circus freedon to do whatever! So I'm with you, then, rooting for the "small guy."

    Tim: My wish for you is that when the circus comes to town near you, you will find some unexpectant Child (of whatever age) to go with you. And have a blast, with eyes of wonder (imaging what circus life must be all about!).

  6. Wow, what fun and BEAUTIFUL pictures! That's something that Nicholas will remember for ever, I bet. I remember going to the circus as a child (I think it may even have been the RB B&B) and also being totally awed at the spectacle of it.

  7. Great pictures. I'm sure Nicholas was totally impressed. I had the opportunity to see the Cirque du Soleil in Berlin several years ago. It was a really amazing show. Alone the music (a live Rock performance) was absolutely great and worth the visit.

  8. Christina: Memories are so wonderful! Nicholas has more at age 5 than I have of my first 25 years! Seriously.

    KPK: It IS the music of C du S that is so incredible...and sometimes haunting. We have a DVD of 4 of their shows--that's how much we love them. Absolutely stunning.

  9. Yes, MP. Wow is right. So much fun :)

  10. i love these photos!!
    the clown, i imagine he may use elmer's glue to keep his hair at that height. it's water soluble and works grrreat. [[i should know, i used to use it!]]

    and i love the hula-hoops! she looks like she's walking thru a slinky.

    so nice.

  11. oh..that was me. lesley. =)

  12. Lesley, you're a hoot! And thanks for letting me know who you were/are :)

  13. A lot of good circus pictures.
    I escpecially like the woman with the colorful rings, you made a very interesting composition with that picture

  14. Thanks, Gustav. Coming from you that means a lot :)