July 8, 2015 |
WITH apologies to Stephen Sondheim: Send in the clowns. There ought to be clowns . . . but wait, they're already here. How many Republican candidates can one get into one of those miniature cars in the center ring of the presidential circus now playing an extended gig in various locations throughout the country? There are already some 14, or is it 15, who want to be the GOP's nominee for the job no one in his right mind would want in the first place. Among the latest, of course, are the comb-over champion of the western world, Donald Trump, and the specialist in traffic jams, Gov. Chris Christie, of New Jersey.
April 30, 2015 |
ONE OF OUR local elected officials has quite the soft spot for our furry friends. State Sen. Daylin Leach has introduced a bill that would ban the practice of using wild animals in circus acts. He was in Bryn Mawr this past weekend to host a screening of the film "Lion Ark," produced by Jan Creamer , founder of Animal Defenders International. "Every day, more and more people from all over the world realize that we should not use cruelty and confinement to force animals to do tricks for our entertainment," Leach told me. "It's time to free circus animals from their cages.
March 6, 2015 |
IN A MOVE sure to please animal-rights activists and the janitors who sweep up behind them, elephants are being phased out at the circus. This means when they travel, they'll no longer have to pack their trunks. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus , who have been parading pachyderms since P.T. Barnum introduced Jumbo in 1882, are putting their elephants out to pasture by 2018. Feld Entertainment, which owns the circus, still keeps 43 elephants, 13 of which are performing, but soon they all will be retired to the circus' 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida.
February 25, 2015 |
Forget the oversize video screens, the thundering music, the light show, and the scores of sexy dancers. What matters to illusionist Andrew Basso, one of the seven headliners in the stage extravaganza The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible , is the intimate connection he develops with the people, usually wide-eyed and open-mouthed, who see him do his thing. "I love the live audience," Basso said during a recent visit to South Street Magic Shop in Center City. "Magic transmits something to the audience.
December 31, 2014 |
Bread and circuses: They make the world go round. Sure, things weren't so hot this year when it came to bread. But the circuses were as healthy as ever in 2014, thanks to a constant supply of silly, stupid, narcissistic, and sex-obsessed celebs. But this year, the usual round of frolicking, twerking, punch-ups, meltdowns, and arrests was punctuated by some of the darkest sex scandals in recent memory. Explosive allegations brought down cultural icons as respected and admired as Bill Cosby and as popular as Stephen Collins . So we begin with the abysmal and abyssal and try to work our way up to the merely absurd.
October 17, 2014 |
THE HARRISBURG porn circus consuming the state's Capitol added a third ring yesterday. The first ring: Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane last month released a selection of explicit emails sent and received by Gov. Corbett 's top deputies when he was attorney general. The second ring: State Supreme Court Justice Ron Castille and Justice Seamus McCaffery continued their long-running feud, swapping accusations this week after Castille disclosed that McCaffery sent and received many of the explicit images.
August 22, 2014
IN RESPONSE to Robert Bryan's remarks concerning black people "crying" racism: What planet do you live on? Better yet, what country? After 300 years of slavery followed by 100 years of segregation and discrimination, do you think racism magically disappeared after the 1964 Civil Rights Act? Let's fast-forward to current events. It appeared, after the election of the first African-American president, that we had moved to a postracial era. Hardly, with the racial and derogatory terms used against him and the apparent lack of respect throughout Congress toward him. This historical event has been mired in hate-filled actions and has spawned extremist groups that did not exist under any other presidents.
May 20, 2014 |
They are all too familiar with the risks that come with performing death-defying acts to captivate audiences. Performers train for and live for the thrill of the big top and accept the dangers of the profession. For them, life is always a circus. A horrifying accident at a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey show in Rhode Island two weeks ago put a glaring spotlight on those risks and how performers cope with the dangers of the business. "You can't think about the accident when you perform," Svetlana Gololodova, a veteran aerialist with the Cole Bros.
May 7, 2014 |
It was all anyone at Philadelphia's circus school could talk about Monday: the horrifying accident that injured nine Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performers during a Sunday show in Rhode Island. "My heart just dropped," said Lynn Lunny, a 32-year-old acrobat and teacher at the school. "A circus job," noted Lin Jun Ming, 35, another teacher and performer, "is a dangerous job. " That reality became freshly and shockingly plain in Providence, when a support on a suspended metal frame broke and sent eight female aerialists plummeting 20 or more feet to the ground.
April 19, 2014 |
A chateau fit for Kimye Rumors are greatly exaggerated that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian plan to hold their scandalous, moneymaking circus sideshow (i.e., their wedding) at France's opulent Palace of Versailles, which Louis XIV made his HQ in 1682. No, it's another more recent gaudy, over-the-top spot the couple are eyeing: the equally luxurious, if seriously nouveau and arriviste , Château Louis XIV, a faux 17th-century-style pile constructed between 2008 and 2011.