For 45 years, the Big Apple Circus has astonished and awed crowds under the Big Top to New Yorkers and tourists alike. Beginning in 1977, fresh new shows have been presented yearly. This year’s new 120-minute-long spectacle is “DREAM BIG!” and will be on display for 8 weeks at the Lincoln Center.
Fan-favorite acts from previous shows are set to return, Ringmaster Alan Silva is back with his aerial silks and to steer the audience through the acts. Combining comedy with circus mastery, daredevil Johnny Rockett is returning for laughs. The high wire connoisseur Nik Wallenda is also re-entering the Big Top. Wallenda is the only person to ever cross a wire across an active volcano, Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon.
A host of new acts collected from around the world are also set to make their Big Top debut. The Kiriku Brothers are an acrobat duo who hail from Ethiopia, one soaring through the sky using only his feet. Rokardy Rodriguez is a hand-balancer from Cuba and Gena Cristiani is an acclaimed juggler from Russia. TanBA is a Japanese clown and magician, who got his start on Britain’s Got Talent. Acts closer to home are also featured, including 12-year-old dog trainer Veranica, who hails from the state of Florida.
Phil Wm. McKinley is back as a director for this radiant show. His past experience includes Tony-nominated The Boy from Oz, the explosive Spiderman: Turn off the Dark and La Reve from the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.
“I am so thrilled to return to the Big Top this year,” McKinley said. “The Big Apple Circus is a New York City institution; it has been incredibly rewarding to direct our unparalleled cast of performers and bring together the world’s best acts so that new generations can experience as much awe and excitement as those who saw the very first show 45 years ago.
Coming from a theatrical background, the Big Apple Circus is a true testament to how far-reaching and unique live events can be.”
Marty LaSelle has been appointed as the new CEO of the Big Apple Circus. Originally part of the LaSelle brothers juggling duo, his circus expertise will serve well. Chairwoman of the Public Theatre, Arielle Tepper, will be a producer for the spectacular. Former Chairman of Live Nation, Arny Granat and Tony and Emmy Award winner Michael Cohl will also be joining the renowned group of producers.
“The circus has always been about bringing people together of all ages and backgrounds to uplift spirits through a shared sense of wonder, possibility and belonging: what better way to do that than in the heart of New York City at Lincoln Center, under the Big Top, with popcorn and cotton candy and the best circus performers in the world? There is a reason the Big Apple Circus is a holiday staple in New York City, and we look forward to honoring this rich legacy while creating new ways to surprise and delight contemporary family audiences,” LaSalle said.
The Big Apple Circus has an emphasis on giving back this year, working with non-profits and community organizations. Circus for All offers shows to families at no cost and offers discounts for local schools. The BAC is also partnering with animal activist Jill Rappaport to host a rescue day for animals from local shelters, the Rappaport to the Rescue extravaganza.
Prices run from $25 to over $153 depending on the day and package purchased. Tickets can be bought at www.bigapplecircus.com starting Sept. 29 at 10 a.m. EST.