The Big Apple Circus November 22 Holiday Season Benefit Is a Huge Family Fun Event
By: Ellis Nassour
The Big Apple Circus, which has soared back into Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park for its 37th season with its new edition Metamorphosis, running through January 11, has something big planned for Saturday with its annual Big Apple Circus Holiday Season Family Benefit. This event, designed for everyone in the family, is the perfect holiday gift.
Beginning with doors opening onto the temperature-controlled rotunda at 3:30 P.M., families will be whisked intoan and astonishing world of circus wonder.
Bring your camera! There’ll be photo opts galore during the interactive pre-show performed by a large contingent of BAC’s Clown Care Unit. Before and between antics and games, enjoy family refreshments – juices, sodas, snacks, passed hors d’oeuvres; and for the adults, wine and cocktails. This is followed by a boxed supper, along with hot dogs and soft drinks. Then there’s the performance of this season [with healthy vegetarian option].’s one-ring extravaganza, complete with intermission refreshments. Then, following the show, join the performers for a party with live music, desserts, and gift bags filled with BAC goodies.
The Holiday Fundraiser is filled with memories that’ll last a lifetime. It’s as close as you can get to the excitement of the kids waking up Christmas morning and running to the tree to rip open their gifts.
It seems each year the show gets better and more colorful. This year is no exception with Metamorphosis, which is crammed with astonishing artists from six countries and edge-of-your-seat thrills and chills. Irrepressible and dashing ringmaster John Kennedy Kane has magic to do in the opening charivari [production number] as he transports audiences into a dreamscape of enchantment that redefines circus.
BAC favorite Jenny Vidbel returns with her magnificent steeds in an elegant,
polished act. Then, in a first, she mixes horses, camels, ponies, and a llama. It’s a prelude to a huge change of pace with a mixed bag of tricks: laugh-inducing cadenzas of interacting ponies, donkeys, goats, plus rambunctious rescued pooches jumping rope and riding scooters.
Odbayasakh Dorjoo givesnew meaning to flexibility as she reinvents contortion manipulating her svelte body into a cube. Tatevik Seyranyan defies the law of gravity teetering on the edge of equilibrium in a breathtaking balanci
ng act. Tatevik Seyranyan riska her life atop a rolla bolla — a wobbly high stack of steel square and cones on a huge rolling pin and juggles. Vladimir and Olga Smirnov transform themselves in the blink of an eye from one colorful costume to another.
Giovanni Anastasini and Irene Espana arrive via an orbiting spaceship and bedazzle with jaw-dropping acrobatics. The Anastasini Brothers show off their skills with Chinese yoyos, whirling double-tops, and jaw-dropping foot juggling.
The dauntless Aniskin Troupe cavort topsy-turvy: swooping, swirling, and bouncing on their giant trampoline. For the exciting finale, they soar though the air and to new heights with the greatest of ease on trapezes doing unimaginable leaps of faith and double and triple somersaults.
Under Big Apple’s heated big top, there’re no bad seats as none are more than 50 feet from the ring. Of course, some are better – and more comfortable. If you want to literally be in the show, go for the ringside seats.
There’ve been big changes to accommodate families with young children: a buy-one-ticket-get-one-free 75-minute, no intermission, show on Wednesdays at 11 A.M. And you can have your cake and eat it, too – so to speak – on Thursdays at 6:30 there are full-length shows with specially-priced tickets that include a box supper.
Book all-inclusive tickets to the Big Apple Circus Holiday Season Family Benefit at the Damrosch Park box office [where there’re no service charges], on-line at www.bigapplecircus.org, or by calling (212) 962-5471 or (888) 541-3750. Tickets for regular 4:30 show are $25 – $75; $95, center ring box and mezzanine; $135, premium center ring; and $175, premium center ring and VIP lounge with refreshments and program. For group sales and information on wheelchair-access and seating, call (800) 922-3772.