One hundred and forty-six years after P.T. Barnum produced his first great show, and nearly a century after his and James Bailey's extravaganza merged with the Ringling family's entertainment, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding its tent forever. (Never mind that it's been performing in arenas sine the fifties.)
The "Greatest Show On Earth," as Phineas Taylor Barnum himself called it, will present its last shows this spring. Feld Entertainment, the Florida-based show production company that bought the circus in 1967, decided to end the circus due to declining ticket sales and changes in both opinions about animal rights and tastes in family entertainment.
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus saw its ticket sales plummet, in fact, when it retired its elephants in 2015. Public outcry against the training and misuse of elephants as performers, as well as against the atrocious conditions they were subject to, led to the decision to retire them to a wildlife conservation farm in Florida. Ironically, the elephants were the most popular attraction of the show, and that's why so people lost interest in the circus after that. It's all for the best. I'm sure the lions and tigers were treated well, and their tamers no doubt loved animals - I've heard nothing but the best and kindest words about the late Gunther Gebel-Williams, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus's most beloved animal trainer ever - but training animals to perform for the amusement of human beings is still unnecessary and flat-out wrong. Even worse was that scandal the circus was involved in when it presented in the mid-1980s "live unicorns" that were in fact goats with surgically implanted single horns in their foreheads.
Like, the high-wire and acrobatic acts weren't thrilling enough?
Feld Entertainment said the high costs of transporting performers and animals, along with educating performers' children, had become and unprofitable business model. Up to five hundred people will lose their jobs. Think of it - all those poor clowns will be out of work.
I feel sorry for anyone who owns stock in the companies that make this product! :-D
Well, there are always birthday parties. And if the Ringling clowns - who I'm sure are now crying on the inside - can't get gigs like that, they might be able to find jobs in . . . the incoming administration! :-D
Ladies and gentlemen, the Trump Transportation Department! :-D ;-D