March 26, 2004 |
A trip to the circus means acrobats and animals, trapeze artists, and death-defying motorcyclists. But UniverSoul Circus goes one step further. "UniverSoul is hip-hop under the big top," says Hank Ernest, a circus spokesman. "You're talking about . . . singing and dancing in the aisle. The first time you go, you can honestly say you've never seen anything like it. " The show - which will stop in Camden and Philadelphia on its 55-city tour - combines classic circus favorites with newer acts, "all surrounded by an urban flavor," Ernest says.
April 16, 2007
Q. WHEN IS A zoo like a second-class circus? A. When it has no elephants. With spring comes joyful anticipation by children of all ages of the annual visits to our region of the Ringling Brothers Circus, UniverSoul Circus and a number of other like entertainments. Though somewhat reduced in number from the days when I was a child, thank goodness they still have elephants and other wonderfully educated and well-treated animals in this great institution. Unfortunately, their yearly visits will also now remind Philadelphians and tourists alike that with the loss of pachyderms to its collection, the country's oldest and most beloved zoological gardens will no longer be the first-class institution of joy and education that it was. In short we'll soon have no elephants at our zoo. No doubt this unfortunate situation is the result of faint-hearted executives succumbing to relentless pressure from various radical cults of human/animal separatists.
October 30, 2009 |
She has a big name and a big job: Auntie Maggie Shirley Lee Mae Frances Upshaw Jenkins is taking the reins of this year's UniverSoul Circus as it brings "The World in One Ring" to Philadelphia. Auntie is leading the circus in its return to Fairmount Park through Nov. 15 with contortionists, motorcycle daredevils, Caribbean limbo dancers, African elephants and more under one tent. The circus was founded by Cedric Walker in 1994 to showcase black performers other than just singers and dancers.
October 19, 2007 |
The Spiral Q Theater puts a new spin on parades Saturday at the eighth annual Peoplehood parade and pageant. Traditional floats are replaced with at least 150 puppets large and small. Visitors can watch creativity and diversity in motion as more than 300 people from Philadelphia communities lead a parade beginning at the Paul Robeson House (50th and Walnut Streets) and ending at Clark Park (45th and Kingsessing). This giant-puppet parade and pageant, one of six produced yearly by the theater, was created "to mobilize communities and illuminate the victories, frustrations and possibilities of living in the neighborhoods of Philadelphia and similar urban settings through the construction of full-scale giant puppet parades, toy theater and neighborhood pageantry," the theater's mission.
April 14, 1999 |
Philadelphia, with its rich African American circus, has seen many historic firsts. Tomorrow through April 25 at the First Union Spectrum, circusgoers will meet Johnathan Lee Iverson, the first black ringmaster with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. And Iverson - during a break in the action last week in his hometown of New York City, as wild-haired clowns in enormous shoes waddle past him backstage - takes the spotlight in stride. "You have Russian, Brazilian and Hungarian performers," says Iverson, who also is Ringling's youngest ringmaster, at 23. "Race doesn't matter for them.
June 4, 1999 |
And to think all these years we've been playing miniature golf and not learning a thing. The Academy of Natural Sciences has taken that mindless game and put some brains into it. It's called Planet Golf, and it opens at the academy on Sunday for a run through Sept. 12. Then it will travel to other cities. While you play Planet Golf, you learn. The course is divided in two: The front nine is about how nature works and the back nine is about human interaction in the biosphere.
October 28, 2011
HALLOWEEN BUG OFF Raab Himself, of "Jackass" fame, hits Six Flags Great Adventure for a gross-out Halloween event that should be avoided by katsaridaphobics. (Not up on your Latin? That's fear of cockroaches.) Fright Fest wraps up this weekend with a Mouthful of Misery cockroach-eating contest. The first 20 guests to consume a Madagascar hissing cockroach will get free entry to the Mortuary Manor terror trail. FYI: The Madagascar hissing cockroach is one of the largest species of'roach, growing about 2 to 4 inches in length.
October 26, 2011 |
There are only a handful of well-known circuses in the United States: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Cirque du Soleil, Big Apple, and UniverSoul. Cedric Walker, 58, owns one of them, the one that features first-rate performers from all over the world. Hint: It's not Cirque du Soleil. Walker is the chief executive officer and founder of UniverSoul Circus. Once considered a "black circus," UniverSoul has outgrown that categorization. Walker wants everyone to know that UniverSoul has far more to offer than just hip-hop under the big top. "UniverSoul originated as an idea to present family entertainment relevant to the urban experience," Walker explained in an interview from his hotel room in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
November 9, 2012
ON SCREENS Patriot acting The hit-and-run subplot on "Homeland" looks a little less frivolous as Dana (Morgan Saylor) proves herself once again as a teller of uncomfortable truths. But is coming clean even an option for the daughter of a potential vice-presidential candidate, much less the daughter of a would-be terrorist who's being handled by the CIA? And, oh, yeah, Carrie (Claire Danes) and Brody (Damian Lewis) get hot and bothered. 10 p.m. Sunday, Showtime. Big-screen opera British composer Thomas Ades debuts with the Metropolitan Opera as conductor in his opera "The Tempest," and gets the "Live in HD" movie theater exposure as well.
April 8, 2000
An Elian solution Let Elian stay in the U.S.A. and bring his father over here. In exchange, ship back to Cuba all his Miami relatives. These people are costing us millions with their demands. It just slays me that these people came here to escape Castro and now are making threats to cause all kind of problems if they don't get their way. TED ANDERSON, Darby If anyone takes a child from someone proven to be a good parent, isn't that kidnapping? Who are we to say this Cuban man cannot have his kid?