Next Wednesday, fresh from a successful run out in Worcester, â€œOver the Top,â€ the 138th edition of â€œThe Greatest Show on Earthâ€ rolls into town for eight performances at Bostonâ€™s biggest venue.
From October 14 to 18, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & BaileyÂ® Circus once again presents â€œchildren of all agesâ€ with its signature mix of animal antics and human derring-do.
â€œOver the Topâ€ technically derives its name from the struggle between Ringmaster Chuck Wagner and clown eccentric Tom Dougherty for control of a â€œmagicalâ€ red top hat that brings their wild fantasies to life.
But the show title also alludes to all the dizzying heights reached by many of the iron-nerved performers, starting with the six-member Flying Caceres, acrobats who dazzle with high-altitude feats on an enormous double-decker trapeze.
Suspended 40 feet in the air without a safety net or harness, Wellington Silva (known as the real life â€œSpidermanâ€ in his native Brazil) spins and struts as he makes his way upside down across a metal bar, using only his feet to hang from looped ropes. Silva also revs up the arena as he balances and spins seven stories in the air on a high-wire motorcycle act with aerialist Gleice Ribeiro de Souza.
And speaking of off-the-earth motorcycling, thereâ€™s a seven man troupe from Paraguay, who crisscross one anotherâ€™s path inside a 16-foot steel globe. Blowing a whistle and revving their engines as prompts to one another, each cyclist embarks upon a set path of trajectory around the interior surface of the globe. Maintaining constant speeds (which can reach up to 65 miles per hour), these rocketing riders are often less than four inches apart.
Even the pooches aspire to something higher. Gail Mirabella, founder and president the New England-based Yankee Flyers Dog and Disc Club, coaxes her multi- breed entourage to amazing incredible leaps and high jumps.
If you prefer your circus with four-legged as well as two-legged stars, this is the show for your family with its parade of head-bopping elephants and fearless Daniel Raffo putting nine Siberian, Sumatra and Bengal tigers weighing up to 700 pounds through their paces.
Added to the heart-stopping acts (like the Kassaev Cossacks galloping over flaming hurdles) are get-your-breath-back routines like uproarious clowns, indoor pyrotechniques, and lavish production numbers.
All seats are reserved, and tickets are available by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or by visitingwww.TDGarden.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Most seats for Opening Night are a mere $15. For discounted community group rates and information, call 617-624-1754.