A review of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus show “Out of This World”

It’s the end of an era. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus ends in 2017 after a 146-year run.

Its demise is celebrated by people who see the circus as a place where too many animals over time have been treated badly. Its demise is mourned by people who went to the circus, whether they did so as kids or while taking their kids.

On Friday night, my wife, our younger son and I took in “Out of This World” in Washington, D.C. (I’m here attending the two-day spring liaison board meetings for The Washington Center.)

The show offered the usual stunts, clowns, array of animals and colorful outfits. It had a thin plot line, though I’m guessing the adults paid no attention to it and the many, many “little people” never noticed it.

Looking for excitement? You’ll find it.

Looking for controversy? Nowhere to be found.

As my family and I took the train back to our hotel, my wife struck up a quick conversation with a man who was with his three small children. They were discussing the show, and at one point the man said, “I never saw the circus as a kid, so I wanted to make sure my kids had the chance before it went away.”

I wondered how many people in the stands shared a similar sentiment, no matter if they had seen the circus in the past.

The most famous American circus brand is soon to be gone.

Bummer, if you ask me.


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