Family Show Review: Big Apple Circus
Originally published on Motherhood Later.
The Big Apple Circus has been long regarded as one of the classiest circuses around. Its latest production, The Grand Tour, marks the company’s 38th season, and gives audiences many reasons to continue such praise. The show is much more than sawdust and popcorn. It’s a dazzling display of live music, acrobatics, juggling, dancing, animal tricks and clowning, set to a backdrop of the Roaring ‘20s, at the advent of the modern transportation era, when travelers ventured across the globe via ship, train, automobile and plane.
There’s lots to be dazzled by, for children and adults alike, in this intimate setting where all seats are less than 50 feet from the ring. Directed by Mark Lonergan (artistic director of Parallel Exit, the three-time Drama Desk Award-nominated physical theater company) and conceived and created by clown performer Joel Jeske, The Grand Tour makes one feel as much under the big top as under the dazzling lights of Broadway. Before any feats are even performed, our attention is directed to the original music played by a live seven-piece band (conceived and arranged by David Bandman, Peter Bufano and Jeffrey W. Holmes), followed by the company dancing in unison to the Charleston (thanks to Associate Director and Choreographer Antoinette DiPietrrololo), under the arch of vintage travel posters announcing such destinations as Paris, London and the Orient.