Not My Circus, Not My Clown

Last night was a dark and stormy night, so what better time was there to go see the circus? So, we went to see Circus Flora with Joanie. The big top kept us dry and a delightful time was had by all. This post’s title actually refers to Anne’s school day on Thursday, which was not quite so delightful, but that was so yesterday and now summer school is out for the summer. Flora is celebrating its 29th season, with a new show entitled, “One Summer on Second Street”, a story of the Jazz age. We’ve been going to this circus off and on for most of its life and while a lot about it has changed, a few things remain the same.

One new thing this year, was that the orchestra was moved from its usual perch above the main stage entrance. Circus Flora is a small one ring circus, with a horseshoe of bleachers for the audience and a staging area in the open end of the horseshoe, at the backend of the ring. New to me were individual plastic seats that are bolted onto the aluminum bench bleachers. They are much more comfortable. A sign on the entrance façade labeled it Balding Livery, a hat tip to Flora co-founder David Balding, who passed away a few years ago.

One thing that is still the same is Cecil Mackinnon, as Yo-Yo, who acts as the show’s narrator. Another constant was the Saint Louis Arches a local boys and girls tumbling act. The members are always changing, but not the act’s spirit. The Flying Wallendas have always been a Circus Flora act and the father is still performing. The Alanian Riders Cossack Act is a new troupe that fills Flora’s regular horse act role. Usually, we sit in the cheap seats, but one year I splurged for front row seating. This seemed like a good idea until the house act occurred. 400 pounds of horse galloping past you, seemingly right over you, was not a comfortable experience. Adam Kuchler reprised his clown role, after having substituted for longtime Flora clown Nino, who died in a motorcycle accident. Circus life is a hard life. There were also performing cats. Yes, cats that did tricks on command. I guess that if you can do it with lions and tigers, then you can do it with house cats too. The last act and the real reason that the orchestra was moved from their usual perch, was the Flying Pages, a two-man, two women trampoline act. They were really quite amazing. Joanie shared the photo of her and the Clydesdale last night. I think it goes well with this circus post.

1 thought on “Not My Circus, Not My Clown

  1. Rumors of Nino’s (aka Giovanni Zoppé) death have been greatly exaggerated. He was seriously injured a few years ago. He now performs with Zoppé: An Italian Family Circus, which was started by his family in 1842. He last appeared in St. Louis in 2014 with his circus in Florissant. And I liked the performing cats. Do you know how difficult it is to train a cat to do anything on command? Knowing how much you love cats, I’m sure you enjoyed them too. LOL

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