Ringling Bros. Is Built to Amaze But Could Use Some Work

Categories: Performance Art

Photo by Lynda Rouner
I skipped the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus last year, but did have a chance to check out Fully Charged the year before. In the two years since then, there have been some improvements made in the latest tour, Built to Amaze, but not necessarily enough to justify a ticket to those hoping for a whole new experience.

One thing that was definitely changed for the worse was the music. Circus music is usually made up heavily of tunes that are more or less knockoffs of pop songs, but whereas Fully Charged felt like it pulled from more timeless melodies like Abba's "Mamma Mia," Built to Amaze seemed to try over-hard to tap into modern, drill-team-ready pop songs. They even busted out "Gangnam Style," which at this point is a pop culture crime.

Music aside, it's a brighter show than in previous years, trading mystery for bald performance. These included some really inventive highlights.

Last Night: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

Jef With One F
The King Charles Troupe played a Harlem Globetrotters-esque game of basketball, except that the Globetrotters don't do the whole thing on freakin' unicycles. Have you ever seen someone dunk from a unicycle? I have, and it's way more amazing that anything I've ever seen on a conventional basketball court. Every minute of the well-choreographed exhibition was moment after moment of amazement and excitement. You literally can't stop smiling while watching it.

Another unbeatable act was the tests of flexibility and strength put on by Duo Solys and Duo Fusion. I've never seen anything like it. Both acts are married couples that do hand-standing and other feats of strength while posed on their partners. What sets the two apart, though is that the women serve as the bases, not the men.

It's incredible to watch these women pull amazing feats like full backbends while a full-grown man performs a hand-stand on their bellies. I personally know a 90-pound girl who can dead lift 230 pounds, but even that was nothing compared to watching the core of might that was exhibited by the two duos. Even in the world of circus performance it was a unique sight to see.

This story continues on the next page.

Location Info


NRG Stadium

1 NRG Park, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Elephants are highly intelligent & emotional animals who don't belong in circuses. Let's boycott any circus that keeps performing elephants!

Staci Marks
Staci Marks

I agree time to take aminals out out of show biz..


Maybe they need to promote the fact that they're sponsored by Chik-fil-A. The rednecks will go to the circus just to publicly demonstrate how much they hate gay people.

Moses Martinez
Moses Martinez

Where are the Army of the 12 Monkeys when you need them! Set those poor animals free to live a full life.

Els RS
Els RS

who wants to see a show that tortures elephants.

Kelly Torres
Kelly Torres

We took our three year old on Sunday evening & he did say a couple of "WOW" during the show but most of the time he was more interested playing with a motorcycle we bought him there from the vendors

Mathew Burnstein
Mathew Burnstein

I saw the show and agree, it was heavily dated and not exciting.

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault



Health & Beauty