FYI, Vol. III, No. 6

Big Apple Circus to Broadcast Live Performance

BY Experience, the company that broadcasts live performances of the Metropolitan Opera, will beam the Big Apple Circus live into cinemas in the U.S. and Canada on November 8.

According to Julie Borchard-Young, co-president of the Brooklyn-based company, “Exhibitors are excited to get younger people into theaters.”   As a result she is anticipating that between 400 to 500 theaters will stream the live performance direct from the big top in Lincoln Center. Eventually the circus performance will also be shown in Europe.  Ticket prices will range from $12.50 to $15, considerably less than the fare at the circus box office.

To give the broadcast greater appeal, audiences will also be treated to  behind-the-scenes look at  how the circus is produced. These backstage peeks are a popular aspect of the opera broadcasts, Ms. Borchard-Young said. For now, the deal is a one-time experiment, but if it is well received it could become a holiday tradition.


 Midnight Circus Plays Chicago Parks

The Midnight Circus about which we heard a great deal here during its early days before Jeff and Julie Jenkins began a family are back in the news.  Their two children Samantha is now six years old and Maxwell is nine.  They are  now part of the cast of the show with which the company is touring the city parks of Chicago.  The family oriented show plays late afternoon performances throughout the summer.  It is performed under a purple and blue big top that holds about 500 on bleachers and the grass.  Tickets are just $5.00 with children under two free.

The Midnight Circus was founded in 1995 by Jeff and Julie Jenkins. In 2007, the husband-and-wife team established Midnight Circus in the Parks, a nonprofit program that they note has raised nearly $700,000 for the city’s parks.  “The turnout is spectacular when we tour around the city,” Jeff Jenkins says. “Virtually every show is sold out.”  More information at


Circus Train to Winter at Port Manatee

When Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey goes into rehearsal this winter it will be for the first time in the new world headquarters of Feld Entertainment in Ellenton, Florida.  Not far away the sixty-one car train will be parked in Port Manatee from mid-November through Christmas Eve.  There is not enough room to park the entire train in Ellenton at the present time.

Feld’s lease with Port Manatee, which will renew automatically each year for a decade with an option for five additional years afterward, calls for a payment of $22,500 a year, said Port Manatee executive director Carlos Buqueras.  The train will be located about ten miles north of the Ellenton headquarters and rehearsal space.

The circus train will be parked outside the port’s secured area and about 10 miles north of Feld’s production headquarters and rehearsal complex.

The long-term deal to park the train near the port is reminiscent of the original Ringling connection to the Sarasota area.

From 1927, when John Ringling moved the circus headquarters to Sarasota, to 1990, when it relocated from quarters in Venice, the Ringling name was almost synonymous with Southwest Florida.


Four White Lion Cubs Born in Germany

Circus  Krone is celebrating the birth of four white lion cubs.  The litter born to Princess contained three mails and one female.  The father King Ronga, now has sixteen offspring born to two different mothers.  They are owned by the British animal trainer, Martin Lacey, the older brother of Alexander who is currently touring with Ringling’s Legends.

White lions have a genetic mutation that gives them very light fur, but they are not albinos. They were extinct in the wild for twelve years, but were reintroduced in South Africa in 2004, according to the Global White Lion Protection Trust. Most have been born and are living in captivity.


Bindlestiff  Cirkus Faces a Busy Season

Included in their busy schedule is the New York City Unicycle Festival during Labor Day weekend, Aug. 29-31 in Brooklyn and Manhattan.  More than 300 one-wheelers are expected to participate.  More info at   On October 6, the company will offer its popular Open Stage Variety Show, affording audiences their first look at emerging variety talent. The event is held at Dixon Placce,161A Chrystie St, NYC.  Later that month on the 18th they are sponsoring the 2014 NYC American Youth Circus Festival in conjunction with  Playful Productions at the Circus Warehouse in Long Island City.  Registration opens after Labor Day.

They will also be helping Madison Square Park celebrate is 200th anniversary on September 6.

Keith Nelson and Stephanie Monseu, the Bindlestiff founders, will appear at the ICF Canoe Shalom World Championship in McHenry, Maryland, September 17-21.


My New Book Is Now Available at all Major Book Outlets and the Publisher: (

Since its inception in 1872, the Greatest Show on Earth has continually transformed itself to meet changing tastes and cultural shifts. Over the course of its long existence, it has been at various times a biblical spectacle and historical pageant, a ceremonial introduction to the peoples and cultures of the world, and a fairy tale masque. It has also featured sights ranging from gladiatorial combat and aerial daredevils to oddities of nature and foolhardy wonders. This work chronicles the colorful artistry of the Greatest Show on Earth from its beginning to 2010, revealing how each of 12 changes in management brought about changes in style and content. More than 50 photographs bring the flamboyant performers and amazing spectacles to life in this informative appreciation of the circus and its evolution.

book cover









Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-9524-5
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-1777-0
54 photos (15 in color), notes, bibliography, index
308pp. softcover (7 x 10) 2014