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CLEVELAND (WJW) – The circus is coming to town this October! Kids of all ages can take part in the Ringling Brothers’ 2023 North American Tour and Barnum & Bailey’s The Greatest Show on Earth.
According to a press release from Feld Entertainment, talent from around the world will present musical performances, aerial arts, comedy and never-before-seen performances on tightrope, trapeze and bicycles in the 360-degree arena.
Feld Entertainment, which owns The Greatest Show on Earth, told The Associated Press what viewers can expect on their upcoming 2023 North American tour, which kicks off this fall.
The 75 performers from 18 countries will include triangular wire performers 25 feet above the ground, flying trapeze artists, a rotating double wheel powered by acrobats and BMX trail bikes, unicycle riders and skateboarders performing somersaults and tricks.
The tour kicks off in Bossier City, Louisiana from September 29 to October. 1 and then goes to Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri, Maryland, Michigan, Indiana and ends the year in Oklahoma. It will restart in 2024 in Florida, where Feld Entertainment is based.
The show arrives in Cleveland with six performances at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse from October 6-8.
Cleveland shows include:
• October 6: 19:00 • October 7: 11:00, 15:00, 19:00 • October 8: 11:00, 15:00
According to the Associated Press, the show is a complete reimagining of the modern circus. Feld Entertainment has been working on everything from how to integrate clowns, branding and merchandise for the last four years.
“We knew we would be back. We didn’t know how,” says Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment. “It took us a long time to really get into and look at Ringling from different perspectives. It became a rethinking, a rethinking of how we were going to do it.”
The circus has removed its tents after several years of declining ticket sales as customers disagree over the treatment of circus animals. Costly legal battles led to the end of the elephants in 2016. The Ethical Treatment of Animals praised the “animal-free reenactment.”
The new production project includes movable stairs and two main stages. Viewers will have a 360-degree view with live cameras and virtual reality, as well as a lighting and sound design that tracks the performer.
“The technology in the show is about enhancing the experience, not just technology,” said Juliette Feld Grossman, COO of Feld Entertainment. “We have so much activity and action so we want to make sure we never miss the most important moments of the show.”
Grossman said that as she and her team reimagined what a circus could be, they came up with the concept of fun and the importance of playing. She promises to “give viewers something they haven’t seen or even expected.”
The Feld family, who bought the circus in 1967, expanded by buying and creating other major touring shows such as Disney on Ice, Marvel Live and Monster Jam. Feld said that there is something about the circus that people cherish.
“Why there is a circus and a form of circus in literally every place on the planet is that people are emotionally the same,” he said. “When you’re on a tightrope and doing a backflip on a tightrope or doing something really extraordinary, I don’t care where you are. You appreciate it. You understand the danger of it, the thrill of it.”
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* The Associated Press contributed to this report.