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BoddaH1994

Ringling Bros. To Close After 146 Years

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An end of an era, yes, but also it makes sense in a way due to the reasons mentioned in the article. On one hand, I'm glad the animals aren't able to perform anymore, but on the other hand, I feel sad for the people who lost their jobs and also for the short attention spans of today's generation (Heck, I'll say it myself; I may have too much tech in my life- I haven't picked up Harry Potter (or any other book to read for relaxation/learning) in who knows when, but I'm online/on the computer or on my 3DS every day!). I think I went to a (traditional) circus one time when I was a kid and it scared me because I was afraid of the elephants (because they are big and loud; mostly due to the loud trumpeting, though!). However, things like Cirque and this other non-animal (human-based) circus I saw were/are amazing and I'll continue to support those. I just hope these don't go out of style, because the talent of Cirque performers and the like are incredible :D

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I know it is not totally the same, but when you can watch youtube videos of these same acts anytime on your 50 to 60" TV at home. At a circus your chair is not as comfy, and you have a much limited view than a close up camera . I can see where ticket sales have gone down.

I hope they find good homes for the animals!

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^Im sorry, but thats akin to watching a Youtube POV of a coaster.  Im not even going to approach peoples thoughts on the performing animals, as thats a subject as potentially volatile as religion and politics, but a circus event like RBB&B is an incredible spectacle that I am very happy to say I was able to experience as a child.  I can understand the declining ticket sales in todays "instant gratification/no effort/electronic era with this current generation of humans, so I dont blame the owner for making the tough choice to shut down.

 

In regards to performances such as Cirque shutting down/going out of style... the Cirque shows make WAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY too much money to be in fear of that for decades to come.  Las Vegas has 8 shows currently in play, and 6 of them (KA, Mystere, O, The Beatles 'Love', Toruk, and Zumanity) are close to full a good majority of the time throughout the year.  At $49 to well over $200 per ticket, their viability and sustainability are pretty set in stone.

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5 hours ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

I know it is not totally the same, but when you can watch youtube videos of these same acts anytime on your 50 to 60" TV at home. At a circus your chair is not as comfy, and you have a much limited view than a close up camera . I can see where ticket sales have gone down.

I hope they find good homes for the animals!

I kind of feel this way about sporting events these days.   My last few experiences have been less that stellar.  There is always a group of drunk goons close by screaming obscenities the whole game.  Not ideal even without the kids.  

Even if offered free tickets I usually pass.  

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I find it super weird that my kid is going to grow up never having gone to the circus. Then again, if it were still around, I dunno if I'd even think to go. Amusement parks, zoos, and nature/state parks are way higher on my radar than shows.

I went once as a kid and it was really cool. I hope everyone working with the circus will find new jobs. I feel awful for them, it must be hard to find a new job when you've done something so specialized. I hope the animals get good homes too.


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In regards to shows like Cirque, they may be booked and making millions now, but you cannot predict when the interest will decrease enough for them to shut down. Ringling Bros. ran for 146 years and I'm sure they never imagined that they would be shutting down. You just plain never know. That really goes for any kind of entertainment. 

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When I was a kid, there was more than just Ringling Brothers & Barnum Bailey.  There were also traveling tent circuses like "Clyde Beatty Cole Brothers Circus."  Ringling was always the "Mercedes" of circuses when I was young.  It was always a slick, highly produced arena spectacular.  It had celebrated stars that were very well known - like Gunther Gebel Williams (whom I saw perform many, many times.)  Tent Circuses were always rough, and gritty and literally set up on grassy plots of land with old rickety wooden bleachers and toothless carnies.

I marveled at Ringling Bros.  I loved the ariel acts - high-wire, trapeze, lady swinging by her hair etc.  I loved the lions and tigers and elephants and monkeys.  It all seemed so big, and mesmerizing, and exciting!

I went a few years ago, after over 25 years of not having seen it.  The show was a shell of it's former self.  All the over-the-top extravagance had obviously been sacrificed to keep the show going.  The arena was only half filled with ticket buyers, and it seemed all the acts were cut down in their time.  Even the lions and tigers (which have always performed after the intermission) were only on for 10-15 minutes.  Also, everything seemed smaller, the trapeze wasn't as high, the high-wire shorter etc.  Most notible to me was the fact that there was no live music tmk - it was pre-recorded - vs a live orchestra that used to travel with them.

I did always feel bad/concerned over the animals as a kid.  The elephants always looked sad to me.  But I always recognized that it was the only life those animals knew.  So I have grave concerns over their well-being now that their security is gone.  I also am gravely concerned for the families that travel with the show - most come from many many generations of performers that only know life in the confines of the show.  Mostly I worry that those who's lives centered around the animals will be able to continue their work with them in some way.  I don't think the animal rights do-gooders thought about that.  They never factored in the fact that this may cause a separation of those keepers who have loved and cherished the animals their entire lives - but now will not be able to afford to do so on their own.

I find it is a sad, sad day.  Not surprising, but truly sad.

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58 minutes ago, Shaggy said:

I went a few years ago, after over 25 years of not having seen it.  The show was a shell of it's former self.  All the over-the-top extravagance had obviously been sacrificed to keep the show going.  The arena was only half filled with ticket buyers, and it seemed all the acts were cut down in their time.  Even the lions and tigers (which have always performed after the intermission) were only on for 10-15 minutes.  Also, everything seemed smaller, the trapeze wasn't as high, the high-wire shorter etc.  Most notible to me was the fact that there was no live music tmk - it was pre-recorded - vs a live orchestra that used to travel with them.

I had never been to the circus as a kid. However, I did go to B&BC once two years ago with my wife and two kids, ages 6 and 9 at the time. I didn't have anything to compare it to from its previous years, but I agree with your disappointing description. The crowd was small, the crowd wasn't into it at all, and everything was extremely overpriced. You think the $4 cotton candy at sporting events are bad? I saw a mother almost choke on her tongue when the concession stand worker told her it was $14. They already had an attendance problem that they couldn't resolve....perhaps there was no solution. But the ticket/concession price spiral (not drawing enough customer, raise prices. Higher prices keep people away, need more money, raise prices again) also had to contribute to their demise. 

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You can't really even say for decades to come. If interest is lost, they won't be around for decades to come even.


You can literally say that about anything. If the interest isn't there, then KI won't be around.

I think the poster was just saying that Cirque which has been around some time now, has found a way to keep reinventing itself and has the possibility to be around for decades.


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Friday I drove by the P.T. Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Ct. Brought back a lot of memories. For anyone who goes to the Big E in West Springfield, Mass, they have an outstanding Circus museum in miniature. I never fail to miss it when I am there and strongly recommend it.

 

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So, I actually went to "Circus Xtreme" today, and overall it was cool, but it was sorta hit or miss for me. Instead of writing a trip report (which I started to do). I'm going to list the things that were cool and not-so-cool. (WARNING: SPOILERS!!!)

Cool:

The theming- The theme of the whole show was going around the world to find the most extreme acts, which was a cool concept that was executed well (it went Desert -> Mt. Everest -> Space (?) -> Undersea -> INTERMISSION -> Jungle -> Concrete Jungle)

The final act- This took place in the "concrete jungle" of downtown, where there were breakdancers, dogs doing tricks to some instrumental versions of modern songs, BMX'ers (which was cool as these guys came to our school when I was a kid, and I was always bummed as they never did a flip- well, they did multiple flips!) and some of the Cirque-like acts. These included trampoline tricks similar to Skeleton Crew and Cirque Imagine (though they did a cool thing where they double bounced the people so they went higher) and a slack rope performer (the rope was cleverly disguised as caution tape near the "concrete" area). I was bummed the slack rope guy only did like one trick, but hey, at least they included it!

Under the Sea- This "scene" featured mermaids and girls hanging onto rings, which I had only previously seen in a music video ("Malang", check it out if you like Cirque!)

The cannon- It wouldn't be a circus without someone being shot out of a cannon! I've seen it in cartoons, but never in real life, but I must say, it was definitely something different.

The Intermission- They had some cool stuff to keep people engaged, such as trying to fly a helicopter/boomerang like-thing into a trash can (one guy actually made it and then one guy moved the trash can so the other glider could land there) and a large scale variation of the bottle flip (as seen via DudePerfect).

All other misc. things: This includes the tightrope act, firebreathers/jugglers, these "skydiving" glo-in the dark clown things, and the pendulum guy (this guy ran on a spinning pendulem and jumped rope). They also had an aerial silk person (like the princess for Cirque Imagine), but that was kind of lost in the action (see the first point below...).

EDIT: I also meant to say, I was impressed that there was a live band on stage for the music (though there was also pre-recorded stuff as well, I believe).

 

Not-So-Cool:

The sensory overload- Unlike Cirque where it's relatively intimate with a cast of at most, 10-20 people, there at least 50 people out on the floor at one time. At one point where there were firebreathers, sword swallowers, dancers and the like (like during the strongman routine), it was hard to follow what we were supposed to be watching because there was just so much going on.

The Animal Acts- Yes, the poodles were cute, but they also had Tigers and Camels, which I was "meh" about 'cause I question the treatment (yes, they had whips for the tigers and camels...). Also, I thought white tigers were an Endangered species (which is weird as they played an ad during the Intermission where they say they are committed to saving the Endangered tigers, irony)

Length- Some of the acts seemed too long, but maybe that's because I'm used to Cirque being around 30 minutes.

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