We saw Kelly-Miller last night in Pemberton, NJ.
Ryan and Steve do an amazing job, it was great to see them in action. They are working hard, getting real laughs and connecting with the audience; classic circus clowning the way it should be done and rarely, if ever, is anymore.
Casey's cat act has become something that is incredible and virtually unknown anywhere in the American mudshow circus: an act that is truly worth seeing. Nat and her dogs bring a much needed charm, showmanship and charisma to a show that is sorely lacking this season in all three.
Because things are pretty pedestrian on "America's One Ring Wonder" this season.
The show lacks any of the zip and pizazz it had last season with some of the most inexcusably poor pacing on any circus that I've witnessed in a very, very long while. After Ryan & Steve do a quick come-in and get the crowd going, Casey's cat act starts the show off right only to be followed by an insanely long peanut pitch while the cage is dismantled.
I understand the economics of tent show performing as well as anyone but the time has come to retire the time honored burlesque show-era script of the Peterson Peanut Pitch in favor of something which accomplishes the same task with a greater emphasis on engaging and entertaining the audience throughout.
After the peanut pitch the show moves forward only in fits and starts, trudging forward with the gait of a retarded, arthritic spider monkey with a gunshot wound to the temple. The whole first half could stand to be tightened up considerably and ends with an aerial web display to the tune of "Lovely Luawana Lady" that would most politely be described as seriously egregious in both concept and execution and as good an argument as I've ever heard to support Hawaiian succession.
The second half starts off on the wrong foot with a very affordable flying act and rarely recovers it's footing, suffering from overlong stretches of thoroughly unnecessary "Kuliki Taka" on our way to an utterly underwhelming motorcycle on a wire and a completely WTF-and-out-of-left-field "Salute to Cowboys" finale.
Things weren't perfect last season but they were considerably better than this. Last season Kelly-Miller gave the impression of a small show that was on the road to becoming something more. This season, uh... not so much.
The problems aren't insurmountable and could be solved relatively quickly and easily but, this far into the season, any changes seem unlikely.
Afterwards Terry, Shane and I enjoyed the hospitality at America's Own, which we shared with Ryan, Steve, Dan Berkley, Lisa Soverino and Cricket and Casey's new groom, Radar, which unfortunately possessed a far greater entertainment value for all concerned than great stretches of the preceding 90 minutes.
Shane had a great time playing with Georgia and told us in the car that Genevieve, who we didn't get to meet, was beautiful.