Night and Day: Wednesday, August 13, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Circus Strongwomen

Ah, the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd. Our memories of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from back in prehistory are dominated by the rather dispirited-looking fat man we saw in the sideshow, sitting on a stool selling postcards that included a description of his diet, and the daredevil who rode that goddamned noisy motorcycle on the high wire. These days, though, The Greatest Show on Earth® has done a lot to upgrade and modernize its image.

Take Italian-born “Prince of Laughter” David Larible, whom you might remember from a cameo in Steven Soderbergh’s remake of Ocean’s Eleven. Unlike your garden variety U.S.-trained clown who relies on over-the-top makeup and costuming, sight gags, and slapstick to get laughs, Larible appears decked out in a hounds-tooth jacket and minimal makeup and looks to Italian commedia dell’arte for inspiration. His act includes a martial arts bit and a rap music number, and he’s been known to bring ticket-holders into the ring with him (a good reason for the self-conscious to gravitate to the nosebleed seats).

Powerful women provide much of the current Ringling Bros. show’s appeal. At 25, animal trainer Sara the Tiger Whisperer has been working with the big cats for two years and recently expanded her repertoire to work with elephants and zebras. Circus siren Sylvia Zerbini performs both high above the ring as an aerialist and on the ground, orchestrating the movements of eight Arabian horses. Mei Ling, the Empress of Equilibrium, whose martial-artist father Fredi Chy also appears with the circus, revives the ancient art of hand balancing. Her act includes supporting herself one-handed atop a goddamned noisy motorcycle.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performs at 7:30pm Wed-Fri; 11:30am, 3:30pm and 7:30pm Sat; and 1pm and 5pm Sun at the Fort Worth Convention Center, 1111 Houston St, FW. Tickets are $10-35. Call 972-647-5700.


Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2017 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions