So, as Petra’s “birthday party” (such as it was), we went to the Big Apple Circus in Dulles. JC and I binge-watched Circus, a PBS documentary about the group, and we were eager to see them live. We had talked about doing it as a family Christmas present, and it ended up coming to town a little early, which was fine.
The Big Apple Circus is a European-style one-ring circus. Forget what you think you know about the circus. This is a whole different thing. They have clowns, yes, but these clowns weren’t made up or nose-wearing (Silas was kind of confused about whether they were clowns at all). There were no bad seats–everything was very close to the action.
There aren’t many animal acts–it’s mostly humans being amazing. Silas liked the clowns the best.
Petra liked the horses. JC and I agreed that our favorite act was Duo Guerrero, a husband-and-wife high-wire act. The lady sang the whole time, including one trick where she crossed the wire with her husband on her shoulders! They were middle aged, and there was something extra magical about seeing someone who wasn’t a super-athletic young person do it.
The live music was wonderful. I cannot even begin to list the thousand ways in which this was better than the Cole Bros. Circus, but the fact that they had authentic music produced right there was certainly a contributing factor.
I highly recommend this show to anyone, and I hope we get to go next year. It was special in the way that the circus should be.