Ringling Brothers Circus to Reopen, Sans Elephants

Photo: Ringling Bros.


Bring out the popcorn and peanuts, and “come one, come all!”

Chalk it up to the popularity of the 2017 “The Greatest Showman” movie, or to the fact that thousands of big-top fans around the globe were nostalgic for the magic of sprightly trapeze artists flying through the air as human cannonballs ringed by a menagerie of unicycling clowns were shot across a three-ring auditorium, but the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is set to return next year with a whole new, animal-free spectacle.

The iconic traveling “Greatest-Show-on-Earth,” which was closed in May 2017 after a 146-year run because of thinning audiences and years of controversy for its use of animal performers, is set to make a much-anticipated reappearance in September 2023, the U.S.-based Feld Entertainment announced on Wednesday, May 18.

The new all-human show will be animal-free, so don’t expect to see a Hugh Jackman look-alike making a grand appearance on a jumbo elephant. And you can forget about the lion tamer or tigers jumping through loops.

But the thrill of the circus and magic of schmaltzy glitz are certain to not disappoint.

Giulio Scatola, a former Cirque du Soleil choreographer hired by the Ringling Bros., has updated the acts and blended old-time circus traditions with modern-day awe-inspiring performances.

The new Ringling team is currently holding auditions around the globe — including in Mexico, which boasts the longest-running Latin America circus, the Atayde Brothers — and the cast is slated to start rehearsals next summer.

According to Feld Entertainment, in September 2023, the circus will embark on a 50-city tour across North America, including Mexico.

I, for one, can’t wait!

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