Friday evening we took Trey to see Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Dragons down at the U.S. Bank Arena. This was my first time in years attending a performance of “The Greatest Show On Earth,” but I’m sure it won’t be the last. Overall Trey really seemed to enjoy the circus, though I think he will like it even more when he has an attention span longer than the typical two-year-old.
We arrived nearly an hour before the show was set to start and spent time walking around the merchandise filled concourses and eventually found our way on the circus floor for the all-access preshow. Here families can participate in interactive experiences such as learning juggling and balancing skills, get performer autographs, see one of Ringling Bros. majestic Asian elephant’s paint a one-of-a-kind masterpiece and meet the Ringling Bros. Clowns.
Live Orchestra Setup
My favorite acts from the two hours or so of entertainment were definitely the Alexander Lacey, the Big Cats Trainer and Presenter, as well as the Torres Family, who performs with 8 motorcycles in a 16-foot steel sphere, where speeds can reach up to 65 mph! I was also impressed to see that the entire performance is choreographed along with a live orchestra and not with music from a tape.
Big Cat Presentation
Motorcycle Globe Of Steel
I’m not sure why the show is called “Dragons” as there is very little to do with dragons. A large robotic dragon does peak its head out of the curtain just before intermission and it is sent flying around the circus floor at the end of the night, but that is the only real dragon aspects of the show. If I had to add any other complaints about the show it was that the ringmaster was often hard to hear, but that could just be due to our ancient arena’s poor acoustics. Even without fully understanding his introductions of the acts, it was easy to quickly decipher what was going to happen in each.
Typically the day before the circus opens up for performances, there is an animal walk from where the circus trains are parked to the arena. This year the train arrived in the middle of the night after being delayed on its route between tour stops. My wife remembers going to see the same event as a child and really wanted to take our son. Once we found out it was canceled for this year we thought of other ideas to get closer to the animals. Fortunately we had a nice bit of luck last night as we were driving home from the west side of town and spotted a few of the elephants being loaded on the train.
Back Her In
This was very cool to see but I hope we can get the full animal parade next time the circus comes to town.