Guest post by Bob Jamison.
“Fully Charged and Ready for the Greatest Show on Earth!”
The Ringmaster’s words were going through my dreams last night after experiencing Ringling Brothers & Barnum Bailey’s energetic show titled Fully Charged last night at the HP Pavilion. I do have to admit it has been over 25 years since I had seen a Ringling Brothers & Barnum Bailey performance and it was just as exciting to see it now as I remember it was when I was a child.
Now the circus has live music, more crowd participation, and even hip-hop flare.
Brian Crawford Scott, a native of our own San Jose, guides the circus as the 118 talented performer and a 9 member live band thrilled the audience with exceptional acrobatic feats, the lunacy of the Clown Alley and the thrill of Tabayara Maluenda’s 56 trained animals including zebras, elephants, tigers, and horses. Fully Charged is touring America now with plans to visit 80 cities over a 2 year period.
Before the official start of the performance there was an All Access Pre-Show Power Up Party open to all guests. This was a great opportunity to speak with the performers about the show.
One clown named Joy shared her history of how she told her parents at 15 that she was going to join the circus as a clown and 7 years later her parents are still proud of her. With the circus it continues to be all about the children, “Young and Old” were presented the opportunity to dress in real circus costumes, learn some dance moves, and try their balance on the high wire. One of the circus performers shared some of his favorite performances not to be missed this year such as the human cannonball which is now set on fire and launched from a cross bow as the Human Fuse and also the high energy TwinTurbines of Steel. He mentioned how exciting it is that in this 141 year old production the show keeps on becoming more exciting and innovative each year . It was a unique experience to talk directly with the performers and to learn more about what goes into the circus production and the people behind it. By the time we got to our seat we were already in the circus mood and eager to see the main event. As the lights dimmed and the sparks started flying the audience was ready for the show to start.
Throughout the show there were skilled performances by talented artists and intense animal shows. In between each act the International Folklore Dancers and clowns kept the energy up while props changed and performers moved into place. Comical re-enactments of theprior performances and the typical clown humor kept the crowd engaged and laughing. How could you not laugh when the clowns appear riding a monster bike with tires over 10’ tall or when the brothers Stas & Vas intend to re-do the human fireball with a cross bow and apple on Vas’ head? Many of the performances were happening all around the arena so it was often a challenge to decide where to focus. The night was filled with so many exciting acts I suggest you buy a program so that you can learn more about the performers and their acts.
Besides the talent of the performers you can still see the family oriented nature of the circus. The producers of this production are Nicole & Alana Feld, family members of Kenneth Feld, the Chairman and CEO of the Feld Entertainment group which runs the circus. Within the production there were also a lot of circus families from the Fernandez Brothers braving the heights of the Twin Turbines of Steel to the Brothers of Brawn fromUzbekistan and even the High Wire performers the Danguir Troupe made up of brothers and family all dedicated to making the circus such a family event. That’s family bonding.
I see why this circus continues to carry the name “The Greatest Show on Earth”. The show plays San Jose through August 21. The largest private train in the country then heads into San Francisco’s Cow Palace from September 1-5 before wrapping the Bay Area visit in Oakland from September 8-11.