The Big Apple Circus has been around in New York City since 1977, and I'm ashamed to say, I had never seen it before this past weekend. A great deal has changed in the past 35+ years from its humble beginnings in Battery Park, to headlining at Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center, Manhattan and to traveling all around the United States and abroad. I was so out of touch with this New York-based event, that I was actually shocked to find out that the current location for which I would be purchasing tickets was right here in Queens at Cunningham Park.
My first personal encounter with The Big Apple Circus was visiting their website, which is absolutely delightful and engaging. Makes you feel as if you are already at the circus from the site design, video clips featuring some of the performances, and the lively circus music playing. I had no idea of the show schedules and when I decided to buy tickets two weeks ago, I realized that the last performance for this season, here in Queens was June 15th. I didn't waste any time grabbing four tickets. Otherwise, I would have had to wait for the late fall when the circus returns to Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center.
The ring master opened the show and introduced each new performer that entered the ring. Beginning with an amazing sixteen year old juggler, to a slapstick, silly clown, followed by a short dog and pony (literally) show, one by one, the highly trained acts entertained with their specialty - some more death defying than others. The high wire duo had me and Gianna wide eyed and open mouthed as we watched the couple sing and dance back and forth above our heads. I still get butterflies in my belly thinking about it. I was very pleasantly surprised with the animal acts - the dogs and horses performed individually and together during two acts and looked very much like they were having fun, prancing and running around the ring. All of the performers had such ease and grace with their specialty and it's no wonder because the origins of The Big Apple Circus actually began as an idea to start a circus school to train circus performers in lower Manhattan.
Next season's show, called Metamorphisis will begin this Fall (after a summer break) in Dulles, Virginia from September 18-October 5 and then back to New York at Lincoln Center from October 17 - January 11, 2015. Tickets are on sale now at their website, along with lots of other information about this big top entertainment gem!
The Big Apple Circus