Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: Truly ‘Built To Amaze’ - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: Truly ‘Built To Amaze’

Men on bicycles give a woman a ride in one of the better acts during Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s “Built To Amaze” at the Baltimore Arena on March 29. (Jon Gallo)

It probably was a performance unlike any in the history of the Baltimore Arena, which is saying something since the venue has showcased The Beatles, Grateful Dead and Elvis.

Now, add six elephants shaking their trunks to Psy’s “Gangnam Style” during the 143rd edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s “Greatest Show On Earth” to the star-studded list of performances that have wowed crowds at the iconic arena.

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The elephants’ performance was a big hit at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s “Built To Amaze” at the Baltimore Arena. (Jon Gallo)

Whether it was balancing on two feet or raising their trunks in unison, the elephants provided a exclamation point to Ringling Bros.’ “Built To Amaze,” which mixed traditional acts with newer ones during a two-and-a-half hour show.

“The elephants definitely were the best part of the circus,” said Yeoryia Swanson, a sixth grader who lives in Catonsville. “I didn’t know they could move like that.”

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey has become part of Americana because it delivers a circus’ staples – anytime, anywhere.

This time was no different: Fifteen tigers move with the precision of chess pieces upon their trainer’s command; a high-wire act does a whole lot more than just walk across a cable; a poodle dances to 50 Cent; and of course, a cannon shoots a woman across the arena.

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My daughter, Zoe Gallo, left, and Yeoryia Swanson enjoyed wearing the free clown noses provided by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. (Jon Gallo)

There’s just so much to like during the fast-moving performance, which is in Baltimore  through April 6. The aerial shows where a misstep could put the performer in the hospital captivated the audience’s attention, while the dogs’ act brought smiles to a crowd where children easily outnumbered adults.

Circus officials need to be aware of their audience, though, as the show’s music, while good, is too loud. It caused kids in our section to watch the show with their jackets over their ears.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey provides children with the circus experience. Anyone with a ticket can walk onto the floor an hour before the show and get their picture taken with a clown or the man on stilts. Clowns also include children in short performances, while others kids choose to get a close look at an elephant.

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Yeoryia Swanson, a sixth-grade student who lives in Catonsville, got her picture with a circus worker and the man on stilts at the circus at the Baltimore Arena on March 29. (Jon Gallo)

Once the show starts, the action doesn’t stop, as cheerleaders, dancers and basketball-playing unicyclists provide transition between acts, though the intermission is a welcome period of peace and quiet. I don’t know when pom-poms became part of the circus, but they provide little more than eye candy. Can they be traded for a better trapeze act?

You go to the circus to see animals do things they don’t do in the zoo, and to watch people do amazing things with their bodies, which is exactly what you get at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s “Built to Amaze.”

Tickets

  • Since tickets start at $18 and Baltimore Arena will never be described as cavernous, an upper-deck seat isn’t bad.
  • Ticket Prices: $18, $23, $28, $48, $58, $83, but supply and demand can affect prices.
  • Performances: March 30 (1 p.m., 5 p.m.); April 1 (7:30 p.m.); April 2 (7:30 p.m.); April 3 (7:30 p.m.); April 4 (10:30 a.m., 7:30 p.m.); April 5 (11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.); April 6 (1 p.m., 5 p.m.).
  • Click here to purchase tickets at Baltimore Arena.
Since tickets start at $18 and the Baltimore Arena will never be described as cavernous, an upper-deck seat isn’t bad for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s “Built To Amaze,” which runs through April 6 at the Baltimore Arena. (Jon Gallo)

Since tickets start at $18 and the Baltimore Arena will never be described as cavernous, an upper-deck seat isn’t bad for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s “Built To Amaze,” which runs through April 6 at the Baltimore Arena. (Jon Gallo)

 


About the author

Jon Gallo

Jon Gallo is an award-winning journalist and editor with 19 years of experience, including stints as a staff writer at The Washington Post and sports editor at The Baltimore Examiner. He also believes the government should declare federal holidays in honor of the following: the Round of 64 of the NCAA men's basketball tournament; the Friday of the Sweet 16; the Monday after the Super Bowl; and of course, the day after the release of the latest Madden NFL video game. Contact the author.
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