Guest writer Liat Ginsberg is a mother and former journalist for the Israeli newspaper, Maariv. She taught at the Film and Media Department at Hunter College.
You know a show is child-approved when your own kids tell you in the middle that it’s amazing. When my kids did this very thing in the middle of Big Apple Circus, I knew it was worth the trip into the city to catch the show at Lincoln Center. I also knew it was a great choice by the happy adults in the audience.
If you think to yourself, “Oh, I took my kids last year to the circus, it’s probably the same”, well, it’s not. Every year the circus reinvents itself with new acts. This year, four-time Big Apple Circus ringmaster John Kennedy Kane, brought together clowns, jugglers, acrobats, and aerialists from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America to appear with ponies, puppies and much more. The show’s Grand Tour transports audiences to the 1920s, the advent of the modern travel era, when the most adventuresome began to tour the world in ships, planes, trains, and automobiles. The troupe sets off their adventure, accompanied by the live, seven-piece Big Apple Circus Band.
We were impressed by the hula hoop act led by Chiara Anastasini, a ninth-generation circus performer, who danced skillfully with more than 30 silver hoops, and equally enamored by Alexander Kobilkov, who juggled balls. He is not an ordinary juggler, adding unique charm and humor to his performance. The handstand Chinese trio, demonstrated what it means to be in control of every muscle of their very strong bodies. Many of us may complain about going up the stairs, but they came down the stairs on their hands and even on one hand!
The wheel of wonder, kept our adrenalin very high, Eric and Yayson Dominguez run in and out of very high wheels as if they are two hamsters enjoying the wheels. Since they had no protection, we were praying for them not to fall, and got our breath back after they landed safely on the ground. My six year-old daughter said, “I bet they practice a lot!” Her reaction was adorable.
The clowns, Joel Jeske and Brent McBeth, were both funny and very entertaining. They bring kids and adults to the stage and make fun of them masterfully.
During the 20-minute intermission, my kids enjoyed pony rides on the stage (for a $10 fee). Then we were entertained by Dosov Troupe, soaring on the teeterboard and jumping like there is no tomorrow. I was in awe, when the last acrobat flipped very high on his stilts. It left us with taste for more.
In addition to entertaining us and our kids, the Big Apple Circus also entertains over 200K kids in hospitals throughout the year, gives tickets to disadvantaged kids, entertains Autistic kids as well as the elderly, and more. Who would refuse to support such wonderful causes?! My kids only disappointment was that it was over too soon.
The Big Apple Circus is running through January 10th,2016 at Lincoln Center. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased here: ww.bigapplecircus.org.
Disclosure: Liat received comp’ed tickets to facilitate this review, but all opinions are her own.