Thursday, June 25, 2009

Coney Island Boom-A-Ring opens with a bang!

Photos by Paul Martinka

To an avalanche of “ooohs” and “aaahs” from spellbound spectators, electrifying daredevils, awesome acrobats and a cavalcade of jungle animals converged under a blue and gold Big Top to kick off a whole summer’s worth of heart-pounding hijinks in Coney Island with the opening day of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Boom-A-Ring Circus — attended by Mayor Mike Bloomberg, aptly attired in a top hat.

The “Greatest Show on Earth” made its sensational splash with the first of 84 shows planned along the boardwalk at West 21st Street and Surf Avenue, wowing the crowd with dazzling feats of human accomplishment against the backdrop of a charming one-ring circus, the first big-top extravaganza Ringling Brothers has produced under a tent since 1954.

In synchronized displays of wonder, aerialists and high-wire troupes leapt and soared to lofty heights, a majestic pack of white Bengal tigers and Asian elephants moved the audience to a hush and a funnybone-tickling crop of clowns ushered in the giggles. State-of-the-art electronics enhanced the non-stop thrills, which were further amplified by the traditional sounds of a circus band.

View the rollicking extravaganza, featuring a rip-roaring roster of performers — including the Urias family, known as “The First Family of the Motorcycle Globe”; The Negrey Troupe, a world-renowned retinue of Russian acrobats making their New York debut; and “Eccentric Personality Extraordinaire” Justin Case — through September 7.

Performances will take place on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and tickets start at $10. Arrive an hour before show time for the All Access Pre-show, which is free to all ticket holders, and meet Ringling Bros. performers and animals, learn circus skills and enjoy a taste of the circus before the show even starts.


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