Circus 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus. I highly recommend getting some tickets to see this show. I’m going on my fifth year as a Dallas Summer Musicals Season Ticket holder, and as you can imagine, I have seen a lot of musicals. Some I’ve seen more than once! When this season’s shows were made public, I was excited to see that there were several I had not seen before.
One of those shows was Circus 1903. Hmmm…not only had I not seen it before, but I had also never heard of it before. How is that possible? How is there a musical that I’d never even heard of? Oh well…like with all the other musicals, it is an afternoon out with my Mom, so even if the musical isn’t my favorite, it is still fun to hang with my Mom and catch up with her.
As it got closer to Sunday, my Mom’s friend who often joins us, let us know she would not be able to make it, and offered her ticket to my 7-year old daughter, Morgan. I looked the musical up on-line to make sure it was appropriate, and I was so pleased with what I saw. And of course, Morgan was thrilled.
She’s always looking for a reason to put on her “fancy clothes,” and a musical was the perfect opportunity for her to wear some of her Sunday best!
On the morning of the musical, Morgan and I headed down to Dallas to pick up my Mom, and the 3 of us drove to The Music Hall at Fair Park. I was happy to be out with two of my favorite people, but not knowing much about this musical, I wasn’t sure what to think.
We got there, got seated, the lights went down, and the music began. And for the next two hours, all 3 of us sat there in our seats with our jaws on the ground. Circus 1903 is one of the most amazing and entertaining shows I have ever seen.
Every now and then, I would glance over at Morgan and my Mom, and the looks of complete and total joy and amazement on their faces warmed my heart. There’s nothing better than to see your child totally delighted by watching circus performers do their thing.
And their “thing” was amazing. We’ve been to the circus many times, but there was something about this that was so magical. Maybe it’s because we have pretty good seats, and we were close to all the action. Maybe it’s because we had comfortable seats, and some yummy candy.
Or maybe it’s because the performers were so incredibly talented, that we were mesmerized by their acts. Good, old-fashioned circus acts. Nothing high-tech, or fancy, just good old-fashioned contortionists, jugglers, high-wire walkers, trapeze artists, giant, beautiful elephant puppets, and much, much more. As I poked around on the Internet to see what I could find out about this musical, I discovered some great information about circuses in general.
I was also surprised at just how many cool videos I was able to find on YouTube about Circus 1903: The Golden Age of Circus. The clip below is about the elephant puppets used in the show. In the video, you will hear from Simon Painter (Creative Producer) and Neil Dorward (Director) from the Circus 1903 team. They talk about why the circus at the turn of the century was so very magical. There is also some footage of the Mother and Baby elephant puppets in rehearsal for the actual musical. They are so cool! Click below to get a sneak peek of them. You’ll be amazed!
When I started reading more about circuses in the early 1900s, I was surprised to see how many websites there are with information on the history of circuses and various well-known performers in circuses around the world. My knowledge of the circus before writing this blog post, was pretty much limited to what I knew about the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus that I take my kids to see every couple of years. It is a traditional 3-ring circus with clowns, elephants, and acrobats! And of course…cotton candy! Definitely something that should be on your Bucket List! Or maybe I should say “Should have been on your bucket list.”
Unfortunately, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus has come to an end. After almost 150 years, they have performed their final act. The traveling circus took its final bow at Nassau Coliseum, a suburb of New York City, before a sold-out crowd. I’m sure many children all over the world were disappointed to learn about this, but the animal rights activists have been waiting for this day for a long time.
In an article titled Ringling Bros. Circus Prepares for Final Bow of ‘Greatest Show on Earth, Ringling Brothers Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson told NBC News the show was “one of these wonderful dynamic miracles in the annals of time, and that’s where it’s going. It’ll be in the memories of many people for years to come,” he said, adding, “It doesn’t feel good, of course, you know that such a storied institution is at its end, but everything comes to an end.”
On another website called the Circus Historical Society Website, I found a page with links to various articles about the circus, and one of them was called The Golden Age of Circus with a great article by John Shepler. It was full of information on circus history! I found it all very interesting, and was pretty surprised by all of the controversy that has surrounded circuses for many years.
But, back to the musical… the clip below was shown in March on the Today Show. It gives you a good idea of some of the acts you will see at Circus 1903: The Golden Age of Circus. The talent of these people amazes me – no nets, no harnesses, just them flying through the air defying gravity!
Wherever you find yourself, if you have the opportunity to see Circus 1903: The Golden Age of Circus, I highly recommend going. You will not be disappointed! Let me know what you think about it, or if you have a favorite musical! I’d love to hear from you. Until next time…