The Big Apple Circus Turns 30
The big blue tent is up in bloom in the middle of Lincoln Center. It means the annual Big Apple Circus has arrived. It’s back and better than ever celebrating its thirtieth anniversary. Running through January 13th it definitely is a show that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Artistic and creative directors Paul Binder and Michael Christensen have compiled an unforgettable show including the infamous Barry Lubin as “Grandma” the iconic clown filled with laughter and Irina Markova with her talented cats and dogs. “Grandma,” my personal favorite, has been a member of the Big Apple Circus since 1982. His captivating performance as a cross dresser with a pocketbook full of tricks can make the most serious person burst into laughter. Barry Lubin is Mary Poppins meets Nathan Lane in his hilarious persona as “Grandma.”
This circus is one big family…literally. Natalino Huesca “Fumagalli” known as one of the world’s best comedians is the younger brother of Daris Huesca, an accomplished acrobat. Let’s not forget Giovanni and Nikilai Huesca, the talented sons of Natalino, who have one of the most entertaining acts in the circus foot juggling. All Huesca men bring different humor and talent to ring and add different flavor to each act.
Juggling is more than a skill, it’s an art. Kris Kremo has certainly mastered it. His ability to juggle top hats, bowling pins, boxes, and balls with speed make it look like an optical illusion.
In terms of costumes, The Big Apple definitely deserves high marks, with people painted gold from head to toe or dogs in outfits made for royalty. The unforgettable hairstyle of Fumagalli with his three mohawks gelled toward the tip of the tent still sticks out in my mind.
This circus is one of a kind in the sense that it doesn’t leave anyone out. The constant flow of audience participation between acts prevents any dull moments. “Grandma” makes fun of, sits on, and even throws popcorn on the audience, all in good fun, of course. This circus is an artistic experience. The Big Apple Circus brings talent and laughs to New York City and should be on every “To See” list.#
Lydia Winkler is a student at Summit High School in New Jersey.