This a guest post written by writer Lisa Gerstel-Zach, a diverse and seasoned executive who has spent her career in Children’s and Family Entertainment via Publishing, Live Events and Broadcast before stepping back to take a much earned reprieve from the Corporate world in order to reinvent herself and remember why she moved to New York. She lives in the latest hip neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.
Friday afternoon and it is like negative 40 degrees out, what could be better than bundling up in 12 layers and heading out with my 5 year old daughter and her friend to the much heralded return of New York’s BIG APPLE CIRCUS as they celebrate their 40th Anniversary season. As we entered the ticketing and security areas all was fairly easy, the crowd was excited and the smell of popcorn mixed with farm animals, yes farm animals can still be in the circus apparently, was enchanting.
The Circus has taken up residency at Lincoln Center, Damrosch Park, until January 7, 2018 with tickets beginning at $37.50. It will be touring the Country in the months after.
We were settled in with our obligatory popcorn when the opening act began, impressive with approximately 40 fantastically costumed performers welcoming the audience with a full on display in acrobatics, juggling and clowning and the live orchestra was commanding, taking on a big part of the show. The clowns, particularly Grandma Clown had my daughter falling out of her chair with her antics!
The 1st act was a contortionist that proved to all of us in the audience that you can indeed shoot arrows while balancing upside down on your head (holding your balance by you teeth) even though she missed the target, she didn’t miss impressing us all and leaving us in awe at what she was able to do with her body.
Then came the horses in a spectacular black and white show, the horse whisperer was enchanting and she made the horses do as she wished in perfect synchronization. Next up was the trapeze show, which had more bloopers than successes, yet still was pretty impressive, unfortunately at that night the catcher managed to catch only once out of 4 times. But the quadruple somersault was an unbelievable success, and the second time my daughter fell from her chair.
The closing act was the High Wire, by the amazing Wallenda family, which I learned have over 200 years of circus history; they performed amazingly, elevating and exciting the crowd. They rode a bike above our heads, dangled precariously by their teeth while spinning rapidly and finished with a 7- person pyramid at least 40 feet off the ground – WOW!!!
Conclusion, a great introduction to the circus arts, I applaud the move away from wild-animal based shows but I do still miss the fire jugglers, stilt walkers and people being shot out of a cannon from my youth! We had a great meet and greet with the performers after the show, which was a wonderful touch for new show goers!
Tickets are now on – sale at http://www.BigAppleCircus.com The regular performance schedule is Wednesdays at 11am & 7pm; Thursdays at 7pm; Fridays at 11am, 3pm & 7pm; Saturdays at 11am, 3pm & 7pm; and Sundays at 11am & 3pm. As there are some schedule variances, please refer to the most up – to – date calendar on the website. Special holiday week schedule changes are as follows: from Monday, December 25 – Wednesday, December 26, performances are at 12pm & 4pm; Thursday, December 28 & Friday, December 29 at 12pm & 7pm; Saturday, December 30 at 12pm & 4pm; Sunday, December 31 at 12pm & 9:30pm. The ticket range is $35 – $150 VIP Ringside tickets.
Disclosure: Lisa was provided with complimentary tickets to facilitate this review. All opinions are her own.