Monday, May 17, 2010

Ringling Bros. - Barnum's FUNundrum (Review)

As my family and I were leaving the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus this weekend, we were trying to decide how to describe it.  I think my husband had the best way:  "It's six hours of entertainment packed into two hours."

Ringling Bros lighted sign

Before the performance starts, fans are allowed to walk onto the floor of the arena to see demonstrations, meet some of the performers, and even try on costumes. My little point-and-shoot camera didn't do very well in this lighting, but I wanted to share some of the photos I took. These are just from the pre-show:

pre-show images

When the show begins, it's much like the video that you can see in the Barnum's FUNundrum section of the Ringling Bros. website ... only of course it's much more intense when you're in the arena, seeing it live!  It's hard to sum up the show in a few sentences, but I can tell you that it's fast-paced, non-stop action with something for everyone.  Clowns, acrobats, motorcyclists, tightrope walkers, trapeze artists, animals, and even pirates appear in this show. Even if you can't see the details in these photos, I think you'll get the idea that there's a lot going on!

circus pictures

I don't think there was ever a moment without something happening.  While the crew cleaned up from one act and set up for the next, another act was performing on another section of the floor.  At times there were three acts going on simultaneously!  With the glitz and glamor, the bright colors, the music, and the constant activity, it bordered on sensory overload--in the best possible way.

My son's favorite act was the Torres Family, which performs with seven motorcycles, at speeds up to 65 mph, circling inside a 16-foot steel globe.  I tried to take a photo, but it was just a blur inside the sphere!

My husband and I most enjoyed the acrobatic acts, and particularly the Barnum Bouncers.  After we came home from the show, we read more about them.  They're from the city of Puyang, located in the Henan Province of China, and trained at the renowned Puyang Acrobatics School.  I hadn't heard of the school, but was interested to read that more than eighty percent of the acrobats who perform all over the world come from this training facility.

If you have the chance to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey FUNundrum show, I recommend it.  It's not just for families with small children:  my husband and I enjoyed it, as well!  Click through for more information and the tour schedule.

Disclosure:  My family and I received complimentary tickets to a performance for purposes of reviewing the show.  I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.


  1. First of all, that is extremely cool you got free tickets. Secondly, my mom got tickets to this when I was a kid and she gave them away. Hmm...I was robbed. This sounds like such a fun thing! So glad you and your fam had a fun time. I love the pictures. Great job!

  2. I was certainly blown away by the spectacle of it all. Those performers are extraordinary, and to be honest I think such entertainment is under priced. But, I ain't complaining:-)

  3. I'm so jealous I've been dying to take the boys to it! Next time they are here I have to go. Awesome pictures and review!

  4. Looks like you had a blast!

  5. a friend of mine once had family that did circus stuff... i would love to take broxton one day

  6. i saw the show at the circus tonight i was amazed by the preformance the circus is no longer just for kids it was spectacular


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