Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I'm Running Off to the Circus

My life is pretty much a three ring circus filled with clowns, animals and death-defying-to-emergency-room tricks. So it seems quite appropriate that The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey (RBBB) circus is rolling into Los Angeles this week. I'm going to opening night with Chip and actually looking forward to it. I recently attended a press event for RBBB and the current show, Zing Zang Zoom! at The Magic Castle in Hollywood. I went to the press event with an open mind. I fully remember attending the RBBB circus in my youth and being really bored. There was lots of down time in the show and I recall being disappointed. That's pretty much the reason I never really made much of a point of trying to go again. But, now my eldest, Chip, just turned 3 and is of "circus age", so I figured I'd revisit the topic. I headed to The Magic Castle with Lulu in tow and an open mind. First, I met with Shanda Sawyer, Director and Jim Steinmeyer, Illusion Designer. They were both so enthusiastic about the show, it really got me fired up. First of all, the show incorporates a lot of magic. The show is in a 360 degree environment, at the Staples Center, quite a challenge for a magical show. Consider that most magic shows are on a stage with an audience in front, thus allowing for illusions to be performed taking advantage of the audience's point of view. So I'm really excited to see what it's all about. Shanda and Jim mentioned that a 4-ton elephant disappears AND a man turns into a tiger in the air! Ok, I was even more intrigued. Jim and Shanda told us some interesting facts about the circus: They still travel by train, making RBBB one of the "greenest" companies in the world. The circus train is over a mile long. All of the props, costumes, set and equipment must be able to fit into train cars--adding another layer of challenge to designing Zing Zang Zoom!

Next we met with Zingmaster Alex Ramon. Although he has 10 years of experience as a magician, Alex is only 24 years old! He is giving "ringmaster" a twist with this show by being the Zingmaster. Alex is onstage for almost the entire show, and some days he does three shows! Ah, youth. Alex told us that the show is all about fun-filled magic merging with traditional circus arts to create a world of infinite possibilities. Plus, there is a storyline that carries through the show. He even involves the audience in various ways including selecting kids to come down to the circus stage to levitate their parents.

The part I'm most interested in is the All Access Pre-show which is free with your ticket. It starts an hour before the show and allows kids to join Clown College, meet the performers up close, try on costumes and even see an elephant that paints! I think this will be something Chip would really dig.

For more information about the circus and to find out when it will be visiting your neck of the woods, visit the official website Ringling.com

Zing Zang Zoom will be in Los Angeles, Anaheim and Ontario from July 8th to August 2nd. Tickets range in price from $12-$90. Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey have been kind enough to extend a discount code to my readers in Southern California. You can get a 4-pack of tickets for $44 when you enter the promo code: Mom on Ticketmaster.com The code needs to be entered into the MC Promotion box on Ticketmaster. You must purchase a minimum of 4 tickets to get the discounted price, but, after that each additional ticket is still only $11. Not valid on Circus Celebrity/Front Row/VIP seats and facility fees do apply.

2 comments:

CynthiaO said...

Wellllll, how was it or did was the first day today and was postponed? I haven't been to the circus in years like you. I think Ms Siena is still a bit too young though.

johnofsocal said...

Do they still use animals in their shows or have they gone the way of Cirque du Soleil?
jreinis@msn.com