Dearest Alf, AJ, Charles, Otto and John Ringling [Brothers], P.T. Barnum, and James A Bailey,
I went to see your show last night! There are a few things I think we all should discuss. I would really like to say what I saw at the show last night. I would like to cover the quality of the music. I would like to go over the policy on the trapeze act wearing safety wires. I would like to know more about the Clown alley of this run. And finally, I want to express how much fun I had at the show.
I was so excited to hear that your show was going to be at the local arena. I hadn’t had the opportunity to see The Greatest Show on Earth since I was a small child, so needless to say, I was bubbling over with anticipation. I was accompanied by my hetero-life-mate, partner in Clown, also known as The Roomie or Schitzen Giggles.
We were thrilled at the chance to “Go back stage” and look in the CLown Alley. It was our first time to do that at a real circus, we do call our domicile a Clown Alley, even though it is more of a Chateau of Questionable Repute. Of course, we took lots of pictures, some a little in appropriate, we are clowns after all.
Once the show began, a large part of the excitement collapsed with the opening song that the ringmaster Andre McClain performed. Building to Amaze. When was this song written? To me it seemed a little out of touch with pop culture of today. DATED is what I would call it. Not even retro. I feel if you are going to go retro, why not just perform something classic, as in authentic circus music?
What happened there. This is supposed to be the Greatest Show on Earth! That title should encompass the music as well. Have you not changed your music director since the 70’s? Is that it? Do you not have the heart to let that person go wander off int to fields of Baraboo WI? If you need a new music director, I can easily fill that position! You want to have circus music being performed. Not a bad take on what was not popular ever.
Which brings me around to the bad 80’s Big Hair Band Medley that was forced on the audience. I felt like I needed to bathe after choking on that piece of music. How dare you! I was hurt by that whole piece. First your music director has their head firmly up someone’s ass (possibly their own), then the audience is forced to sit through it all. Thankfully the show was better than the music.
But, let’s not jump ahead of ourselves too fast. Suppose we have a safety wire hooked to us right now as we spill our critical guts out to the lot of you. Which leads me to my next point: This is supposed to be the Greatest Show on Earth! Not the training arena for beginning trapeze fliers. How can one fly without being freed of tethers? The answer is ” Around in circles!” The main trapeze solo was so bad! Just awful! I can not believe that this act actually made it to the ring! I was embarrassed for each and every one of you for this part of the show.
Sure there was no net, but the solo aerialist was wired in. All the stunts looked bulky and cumbersome. There was no fluid movement, not holding our breath for beauty unmatched. We all kind of snickered because it looked like an amature atttempt at an amature set. A wired in aerialist is just a wind chime.
Being a Clown, I had such high hopes to be able to see masters at their craft when I went tto see Ringling Bros and Barnum and Baileys Greatest Show on Earth. The reputation that the name carries, represents a clown legacy. The Clowns who are with Barnum and Bailey have always been held to a particular light. A very bright shiney light that only the european Clowns and jesters could come close to. I think that it is known throughout the United States that Barnum has always had the best clowns. In this case, it rang to be true. The clowns were superb. Outstanding (as they should be)! Engaging( on par)! They did exactly what they were supposed to do; Distract and entertain while other things go on behind them.
Here is my problem with this particular Clown Alley: THERE WERE ONLY TWO! As I see it, the minimum amount of clowns should be an odd number. Having an even number limits so many things. With the size of the chorus line, one would figure that tree or five more clowns could have been employed for this already doomed show. But to limit it to just two clowns? I felt disrespected. I felt slighted. I wanted my money back because I was not getting enough of what I wanted the most of.
Gentlemen, what I am saying here is that over the years you have allowed a huge gap in quality showmanship fall through some really big cracks. Did I have a good time? Over all yes, but it took an apprehensive boy and and admirable man to complete the night, and I didn’t knew either one of them, and they had little to do with the actual show.
In closing, I would like to say that I think it is awesome that the circus still exists. I believe that it is a tradition that needs to be cherished and kept alive by modern circus folk. Let’s see if we can work a few of those bugs out!