The Greatest Show on Earth withstood the Great Depression; it persevered through two turns of the centuries; it even gave harried moms something to yell at their children: "I am not running a three-ring circus here!" But can it survive modern audiences who crave the high-tech appeal of Cirque du Soleil?
We'll see. Tonight, the best-known names in circus present the 136th version of the age-old favorite, the Re-Imagined Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Denver Coliseum, 4600 Humboldt Street. How is it re-imagined? For starters, it'll be ring-less (bad for moms), with the performances taking place in a 9,600-square-foot arena. And for the first time ever, it will follow a theme: Circus of Dreams.
But the show that set the stage for so many still boasts the ubiquitous rayon/spandex bodysuits festooned with iridescent appliqués, strong men with goatees, elephants always elephants and perma-smile pretty ladies in sparkling leotards.
The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Performances will run Thursday through Sunday at varying times through October 15. To purchase tickets, $15 to $77, call 303-830-TIXS or go to www.ringling.com.
Wed., Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 7, 11:30 a.m., 3:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 8, 11:30 a.m., 3:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 12, 11 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 14, 11:30 a.m., 3:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 15, 11:30 a.m., 3:30 & 7:30 p.m.