Big Apple Circus is in Dulles, VA through October 5. Get show information and buy tickets here. Big Apple Circus provided me with tickets to facilitate my review because, apparently, the word has gotten out that I am prone to having opinions on things. Obviously, what is presented here is 100% my own opinion and your experience may be completely different. From the website:
Fly away to our magical All-New Show,METAMORPHOSIS. Be transported to a realm of enchantment and illusion, a dreamscape domain whereno one sits more than 50 feet from ringside, and nothing is impossible! You will be thrilled by the Flying Trapeze, the razzle-dazzle of the Rolla-Bolla, the dynamo of the Diablo, the risky rhythms of the Risley team, the cunning conjurors of the Quick-Change, and the incredible flexible limbs of the Contortionists. See and hear the musical merriment of our featured clown and camels, horses, playful pooches and more. Come immerse yourself in the wonder, joy and astounding magic of METAMORPHOSIS! The show runs 2 hours with intermission.
My husband and I made a date night of our trip to the circus. (Parking is at Dulles Town Center, with a short walk or shuttle ride to the circus tent, so we were able to have dinner afterwards without even moving the car.) Metamorphosis is themed around transformations. I couldn't even possibly list everything in the show, which included a box of ferrets, a dancing camel, horse riding goats, and trained shelter dogs- so I'll just tell you that every time you think they could not possibly top whatever you just saw, they do. The show is performed in a smaller than average tent, so you are never terribly far from the action. In fact, at times, the show actually comes out into the audience and you may find yourself becoming part of the show. Being so near the action allowed us to experience the show more completely. We pareticularly appreciated the skill and athleticism of the performance, and I, personally, loved being able to inspect every detail of the costume design.
That is a person in a very small box. Until the last one, when it is TWO people in the same very small box.
The ringmaster proudly informed us that Big Apple Circus is a not-for-profit endeavor. (You can learn more about their community programs on their website, and even support their mission by purchasing a membership.) He also announced, during one of the acts that featured dogs, that many of the animals in the show are rescues. (My husband said, "well, no wonder they are having so much fun!") Their website also talks a bit about the animal performers- the fact that they are not the property of the circus, for instance, but of their trainers, and that there are no exotic animals in the act. (Personally, seeing a live porcupine was exotic enough for me.) Obviously, no outsider can ever personally say what kind of treatment an animal experiences, but these furry performers certainly seemed to be having the time of their lives. (Particularly the dogs. I'm a fan of the working dog, but these guys really looked like they were playing.) Plus? There were llamas. It's impossible not to smile at llamas.
The set design allowed them to quickly change the entire look of the ring between acts, and the performers also incorporated the setup of different activities into the show. The result was a fast paced show that did a great job of building excitement from the opening to the finale- which was a superb and impressive trapeze act that simultaneously wowed me and made me want to shout, "DOES YOUR MOTHER KNOW YOU ARE DOING THAT?" I feel sure that every possible measure is taken to ensure the safety of the performers, and it was obvious that their skill keeps any danger to a minimum. But, what can I say... when I see someone climbing a tiny ladder several stories above the ground, I become a tad bit alarmed. (Those of you with daredevil kids know what I am talking about.)
I hope you'll have a chance to experience this show while it's in town, or that it will come to a town near you. (Current show dates on the website list the Dulles engagement and Lincoln Center dates.) If you have a special needs child, be sure to look for the special showings designed just for them.