Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What is your Greatest Show on Earth?

I took Lilian to the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Saturday morning. Lilian found everything so very "impressing" but her favorite act was the motorcycles racing around inside the round, steel cage. For me, it was the elephants. Always the elephants. Because well...elephants, right? Who doesn't love them?

The circus bills itself as The Greatest Show on Earth. But I want to know is who came up with this distinction? I mean, the circus is indeed a pretty great show. It's got many and varied acts. Cool and amazing, all of them. Heck, even the clowns have mad skills. But the Greatest?

Because I'm thinking that to some, The Greatest Show on Earth may not be the circus at all. For some it may be the Superbowl. For another it may be U2's 360 tour concert. Maybe it's dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Spago in Las Vegas. Or perhaps listening to Yo Yo Ma perform at Carnegie Hall in NYC. It could've been watching Star Wars in the theater with your Dad back when you were just a kid in 1977. Maybe The Greatest Show on Earth is participating in the Rise Lantern Festival in the Mojave Desert. Maybe it's as simple as watching the sun set over the ocean in San Diego or Hawaii.

I think it depends on each individual person as to what the definition of The Greatest Show on Earth truly is. For me? It's a Broadway musical. And though I've seen four shows in NYC on Broadway (one of them twice), if pressed I'd probably call "Anything Goes" my Greatest Show on Earth. Probably because not only was it an old time classic broadway musical starring Sutton Foster as Reno Sweeney and have phenomenal music and tap dancing (!!!)....but it was the very first Broadway show I ever saw. And I was blown away by the caliber and quality, yes...but also by the very fact that I was watching a show on Broadway!

The circus is great. I hugely enjoyed it. But it's not The Greatest Show on Earth to me. Maybe it is to you? If not, what's YOUR Greatest Show on Earth?

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