Friday, July 03, 2009

PETER PITOFSKY: Clown Workshops This Summer in SF

Teatro Zin Zanni is offering the opportunity to study clowning with one of the absolute funniest people ever to walk the face of the earth. Please click the title of this post to find out about Peter Pitofsky's Clown Workshops this summer in San Francisco.

If you are ANYWHERE near San Francisco, or have the means to get there, DO NOT MISS THE CHANCE TO TAKE THE WORKSHOP and to go to see him perform with Teatro Zin Zanni. DO NOT MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO WATCH HIM PERFORM!

If you have to pawn the last of your worldly possessions to get a ticket, GO SEE THE SHOW and watch one of the modern masters of clowning in action.

JULIEN COTTEREAU: Interview (June 2009)

Uploaded by lachainetele. -

GLEN HEROY: Big Apple Circus (2008-09)

A Clown from the Big Apple Circus from Kate Thomas on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

HARPO MARX: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (1946)

Harpo Marx, playing Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Franz Lizt, from the Marx Brothers' 1946 film A Night in Casablanca.

CHRIS ALLISON: Congratulations!!!

Congratulations go out to 2009 Award winner Chris Allison for his spectacular job this week on America's Got Talent where he advanced to the next round in Las Vegas.

The same three judges that immediately eliminated three greasepaint clowns last week, before they had even begun their act, were absolutely loving "Coney Island Chris".

This is not footage from last night's broadcast, it's from a live show, but contains the complete routine without network television editing.

THE SVENSONS: Big Apple Circus (1990-91)

Video courtesy of

Carlos and Susanna Svenson

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

PAT KELLY: With Harriet Beatty (circa 1960s)


Link courtesy of Mike Naughton

Bertram Mills Circus 1966-67 in it's final season at Olympia, comedy provided by Coco, The Francescos, Pierre Picton, Antonio, Jimmy Scott and Jacko Fossett.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: Saltimbanco Arena Tour Review from St. Pete

Cirque du Soleil's 'Saltimbanco'
recycled show with lackluster circus acts

By John Fleming, Times Performing Arts Critic
In Print: Saturday, June 27, 2009

The trademark Cirque du Soleil athleticism is on display in Saltimbanco
at the St. Pete Times Forum.

TAMPA — I never thought I'd say this, but Cirque du Soleil has lost some of its luster with Saltimbanco, the longtime tent show that has been restaged for arenas. Don't get me wrong: the Cirque acrobats are still among the most magical performers I've ever seen, but something was missing from the opening show Thursday night at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Many fans love to experience Cirque in its high-tech theaters in Orlando and Las Vegas, but I most enjoy the tent shows. Under the blue and yellow big top, you are in the company's home, with all the quirkiness and character that can mean. None of that exists in the bland, institutional setting of an arena, and there are times that Saltimbanco seems like just another traveling circus — a good one, to be sure — that lacks the atmospheric twist of weirdness you feel so intimately in a tent.

Part of the problem may lie with Saltimbanco, one of Cirque's oldest shows, dating back to 1992 and due to celebrate its 5,000th performance on Tuesday. There are plenty of people who are put off by the French- Canadian company's artiness, and for them, this may be the show to see, but I have always taken a shine to the more thematically ambitious efforts, such as Quidam, with its dark tale of a girl's coming of age.

In the first act, the pacing of Saltimbanco falters badly. After the marvelous Chinese Poles, featuring about 20 muscular athletes in pastel-streaked spandex, the performance bogs down with a string of traditional, self-contained circus acts. These include a trick bicyclist, a juggler and a clown routine that goes on much too long. The act's finale, Boleadoras, a duet with twirling bolas and percussive flamenco-style dance, is strangely anticlimactic.

Still, much of Act 2 is Cirque at its best, starting with the amazing Russian Swing, which hurls crazily costumed figures into the upper reaches of the arena. Large numbers like this really show off the superbly conceived choreography of Debra Brown and the heavy-metal crunch of Rene Dupere's score. And the scary highlight of the evening was the duo trapeze act by Ukrainian sisters Ruslana and Taisiya Bazaliy, limber sprites in pale blue outfits, soaring high over the crowd to blood-curdling soprano sax.

John Fleming can be reached at or (727) 893-8716. He blogs at Critics Circle at

ALEXIS GRUSS: Barber Entree (1978)

Photo courtesy of

Alexis Gruss performing a version of the Barber Entree on an unidentified show.

To purchase a copy of this photo, please click the title of this post.

CLOWN ALLEY: Felix Adler and Charlie Smith (circa 1920s)

Felix Adler and Charlie Smith outside the Big Top of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. I don't have a date for this one but judging from Felix's wig and painted nose I'm going to guess that this is from the 1920s or very early 30s.

CHARLY COSSY & CO: Circus Strassburger (1957)

Photo courtesy to

Charly Cossy & Co. perform the classic Painters Entree.

To purchase a copy of this photo, please click the title of this post.

THE AUSTINS: Comedy Rag Doll Act, Circus Ginnett