Mr. Joel and Grandma in Big Apple Circus. (Photo: Maike Shulz via The Broadway Blog.)
Guess who’s coming to town? World-renowned for its one-ring, intimate and artistic style, where no seat is more than 50 feet from the performers, Big Apple Circus is revitalizing the circus for modern-day audiences with unique and astounding human feats, innovative design and technology.
The 40th anniversary season program will feature the famous seven-person pyramid on the high wire with Nik Wallenda and The Fabulous Wallendas and the daring quadruple somersault attempted on the trapeze by The Flying Tunizianis—the first time in circus history that both legendary feats will be performed under the same big top.
The record-setting acts will be joined by Big Apple Circus fan favorite Grandma the Clown and her comedic sidekick Joel Jeske, as well as Dandino & Luciana, a dynamic duo who combine speed, acrobatics and daredevil grace on rollerskates; award-winning contortionist Elayne Kramer; master juggler Gamal Garcia; Jan Damm on the Rola Bola; acclaimed Risley acrobats The Anastasini Brothers; Ringmaster Ty McFarlan; and circus trainer & presenter Jenny Vidbel, who will perform in the ring with sixteen horses and ponies, as well as rescue dogs.
Outside of the ring, Big Apple Circus continues to honor the essential and iconic characteristics that have set them apart for the past four decades with multiple community outreach programs and a vital no-wild-animals policy. Circus of the Senses offers special enhanced experiences for audiences with autism, visual and auditory challenges. The special performances include ASL interpretation, assistive listening devices with live audio commentary, pre- & post-show touch therapy experiences, and a Braille program book.
Sensory-friendly performances for Autistic audience members will feature lowered light and sound levels, a descriptive picture book showing the different areas and acts involved with the circus, and a “calming center” that can be accessed at any point during the show. As part of the Circus for All initiative, eleven performances throughout the ten-week run will offer $10 tickets for every seat in the house to underprivileged children and underserved schools.
The Big Apple Circus 40th Anniversary season is directed by Mark Lonergan, artistic director of three-time Drama Desk Award-nominated physical theater company Parallel Exit, with choreography and associate direction by Antoinette DiPietropolo and music direction by Rob Slowik. Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer Jeff Croiter (Peter and the Starcatcher, Something Rotten!), Scenic Designers Rob Bissinger (Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, Legally Blonde – Assoc) and Anita LaScala (Magic Mike Live) of ARDA Studio, Inc, and Drama Desk-nominated Costume Designer Amy Clark (Heathers: The Musical, Chaplin) come together to create a most vibrant environment to fit the momentous occasion of the circus’s return.
The Big Apple Circus
Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park
October 27, 2017 – January 7, 2018