Big Apple Circus Returns To Boston In April

New Performance Location in City Hall Plaza

In what is sure to be a draw for downtown Boston, The Big Apple Circus will pitch its tent this year in the middle of City Hall Plaza. The all-new show, "Grandma Goes To Hollywood," will play from April 1 through May 7. The engagement marks the Big Apple's 21st show in Boston as well as its 28th anniversary season.

In announcing the date, Mayor Menino said, "Bringing The Big Apple Circus to perform on City Hall Plaza will enhance the lives of Boston children and their families, help local community and cultural institutions and support the downtown economy. With this central location in the heart of our city, they will be accessible to all Boston residents and can continue to build partnerships with our local organizations, including the Children's Museum and Boston Children's Hospital. After a year of negotiations and planning, I'm pleased that we can welcome Big Apple Circus to City Hall Plaza."

Inspired by the legendary town that produced silent films and talkies, sweeping epics and musical extravaganzas, westerns, sci-fi fantasies, thrillers, romances and (of course) comedies, "Grandma Goes To Hollywood" will bring the celluloid dreams of the silver screen into the circus ring.

Artistic director and producer Paul Binder and creative director Michael Christensen are joined this season by director Steve Smith, composers Michael Valenti and Vince Martin, choreographer Vicki Davis, scenic designer Peter Wexler, and costume designer David Belugou, for another colorful and original production.

Performers from around the world will once again appear in the Big Apple extravaganza, adding their world-class talents to the circus' long-standing reputation.

The show's cast will include:

• From the United States, Barry Lubin as Grandma (above)
• From the United States, Broadway's Kathy Halenda, making her debut as Circus Hostess
• From Italy, the ventriloquial antics of Willer Nicolodi
• From Russia, the high-soaring adventures of the Garamov Troupe on the trapeze
• From China, the unique teeter-board act of the amazing Anhui Acrobatic Troupe
• From Russia, Sergey Akimov and his lyrical flight on aerial straps
• From Chile, the razzle-dazzle dog act of the Olate Family
• From England, international award-winning equestrienne Yasmine Smart
• From Russia, the non-stop juggling of the stylish Elena & her Gentlemen
. . . plus lots more to come.

Key to the arrangement with the city is that the Big Apple Circus will extend its active Community Programs in Boston. The 2006 engagement will mark the debut of Circus After School, an innovative new program for Boston students. A collaboration of the Big Apple Circus and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, Circus After School offers children an opportunity to develop life-enhancing skills such as teamwork, commitment and responsible risk-taking through a structured program of learning and performing circus arts.

Aside from the ongoing financial benefits for the Boston Children's Museum, the Big Apple Circus will continue its Circus of the Senses, a specially adapted performance of the Circus for Boston's sight and hearing impaired children.

Tickets are now on sale through Ticketmaster at 617-931-2787. Beginning February 11, tickets may be purchased at the Community Box Office at the Children's Museum, 300 Congress Street in Boston.

The Circus Box Office at the tent itself will open on Friday, March 31. (The Big Apple tent is heated in cold weather, and air-conditioned in warm weather for all-season comfort.)

-- OnStage Boston


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