Big time under the big top as circus comes to Cape

Monday, April 17, 2006
The Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey circus features co-hosts Liliana Escobar, pictured, and Jon Weiss. They guide the audience through the show, segueing each act and interacting with the audience throughout the entire performance. (Submitted photo)

The biggest of the big tops is returning to Cape Girardeau this week as the world-famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus comes to town.

The show coming to the Show Me Center starting today is an all-new Ringling Bros. production that features clown Jon Weiss, who is known by millions after his appearance on the hit CBS show "The Amazing Race."

"It's always fun," said Greg Talbut, assistant director of the Show Me Center. "No circus is better than Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. People should expect to have a good time."

There will be four performances of the circus. Today, Tuesday and Wednesday, there will be 7 p.m. performances with a 10:30 a.m. show on Tuesday. Each show features an all-access show one hour before the main show.

Fans can step into the ring and meet all the top performers -- you can even pose for pictures inside the giant steel Globe of Death, check out Zerbini's horses and wander through the backstage animal habitat and meet the elephants.

Talbut said this is the fourth time the circus has come to the Show Me Center since it opened in 1985. The last time was 18 months ago, he said. Talbut said they are hoping for about 10,000 in total attendance.

Ringling Bros. producer Kenneth Feld called this new production "our most interactive and educational circus event ever."

Also featured on the show is the world-renowned Espana family, who "thrill the fans with their death-defying daredevil stunts and aerial feats," Feld said.

The production features two Asian elephants who were born at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation.

Meanwhile, the clowns are represented by master clown musician Tom Dougherty, Mitch Freddes and the canine-assisted antics of Raul Castano.

335-6611, extension 137

Want to go?

* What: Ringling Brothers and

Barnum & Bailey Circus

* When: Today (Apr. 17), Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m., with an additional Tuesday performance at 10:30 a.m. Tickets will also allow the audience to attend an all-access pre-show one hour beforehand.

* Where: Show Me Center

* Information: Tickets may be purchased at the Show Me Center box office or online at www.ringling.

com or by phone at 651-5000 or toll free at (866) 646-8849.

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