Big Apple Circus has big ‘Dreams’ for boro

“Dreams of a City,” the all new 25th anniversary production of the Big Apple Circus, is set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century — a period of great changes and massive immigration, influencing everything, including the circus.

Irish, Russians, Italians, Jews, Chinese and many others brought (and still bring) to the city their dreams, their energy, their unsinkable spirit and their cultural diversity — all elements found in a good circus performance. By joyfully celebrating New York’s storied “melting pot,” this season the Big Apple Circus also celebrates the Circus!

Produced by Paul Binder and conceived by Michael Christensen and Canadian director Michel Barette — who returns to the Big Apple Circus to direct the show — “Dreams of a City” will be scored by the vibrant music of Michael Valenti and Scott Sena (performed by the Big Apple Circus All-Star Band under the musical direction of Rob Slowik), adorned by the colorful costumes of Rumanian-born designer Mirena Rada, festooned by the superb scenery of Dan Kuchar, enlivened by the witty choreography of Lisa LeAnn Dalton and polished off with spectacular lighting by Louis Morisset and sound by Darby Smotherman. The Director of Clowning is Barry Lubin.

An exciting company of international circus stars journeys back to the golden days of the Victorian era to recreate in the sawdust ring the excitement, the unflappable optimism, and the wonderful energy of people from around the world, who bring to New York its unique spirit and vitality with their own “Dreams of a City.”

• From the United States, the Big Apple Circus’ very own Grandma, and emcee Dinny McGuire.

• From France, returning to the Big Apple Circus by popular demand, the charming musical clown Francesco.

• From Switzerland, and for the first time in the U.S., the mesmerizing, high-speed juggling of Claudius Specht.

• From Russia, and for the first time in the U.S., the amazing Aniskin Troupe with two acts: an original, daring, and spectacular flying-trapeze act; and extraordinary acrobatic feats on the trampoline.

• From China, and for the first time in the U.S., the unbelievable slack-wire balancer Cong Tian, winner of the coveted Silver Clown Award at the International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo.

• From Armenia, the inimitable bouncy balancer on free-ladder, Azerbaijani Uzeyir Novruzov performing for the first time in the U.S.

• From Russia, the rambunctious and talented dogs and house cats of Irina Markova.

• From Sweden, returning to the Big Apple Circus, the delightful ballerina on horseback Susanne Svenson, and the equestrian antics of Carlos Svenson.

• From Denmark, the elegance and excitement of Katja Schumann’s magnificent Arabian horses.

• And last but not least, the multi-talented Big Apple Circus Company, featuring Regina Dobrovitskaya (Russia), Valdis Yanovskis (Russia), Virgile Peyramaure (France), Andrey Mantchev (Bulgaria), Hans-Ludwig Suppmeier (Germany), Katherine Schumann Binder (USA), Michelle Youens (USA) and Max Binder (USA) in astonishing displays of floor and equestrian acrobatics.

Cunningham Park in Fresh Meadows is the sixth stop on the 11-month, 10-city tour of Big Apple Circus’s “Dreams of a City,” following its world premiere engagement in Washington, DC, and stops in Atlanta, Manhattan’s (Lincoln Center), Bridgewater, NJ, and Boston.

Tickets for “Dreams of a City” at Cunningham Park (Francis Lewis Boulevard and Union Turnpike) range in price from $13 to $34 for weekday evenings (6:30 p.m.) and all Saturday and Sunday performances (12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.); and from $15 to $25 for weekday matinees at 11 a.m. and Memorial Day (May 26th) at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at 212-307-4100, ticketmaster.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets.

Tickets may also be purchased at the Community Box Office: V.R. Card and Gift Shop, 156-28 Northern Boulevard in Flushing. Community Box Office hours are Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays and Memorial Day; cash and credit cards—$1 per ticket service charge.

The Circus Box Office, located in front of the Big Top at Cunningham Park, will open May 17. Hours of operation will be Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For groups of 15 people or more, for wheelchair accessible seating and for additional information please call 800-922-3772.

For 25 years the Big Apple Circus, New York’s original one-ring circus, has been delighting audiences of all ages under its big top by presenting the finest in live family entertainment featuring world-class circus artistry. Experience the instant connection between audience and artist as your family sits less than 50 feet from the rings. The Big Apple Circus is a not-for-profit performing arts and community outreach institution committed to children and their families. Tax deductible contributions made by corporations, foundations and individuals enable the Big Apple Circus to bring its special magic to diverse audiences through its outreach programs — the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit, Beyond the Ring, Circus For All! and Circus of the Senses — as well as its critically acclaimed performances.

For more information visit the Web site at www.bigapplecircus.org.

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