Juggle your schedule, balance the budget: Big Apple’s ‘Metamorphosis’ a ‘must see’

Presto- chango!

The Government Center T station may be taking its sweet time being rebuilt into a new facility, but steps away on City Hall Plaza the Big Apple Circus (BAC) is setting a much faster pace with its latest show, packed as it is with its split-second conversions and rub-your-eyes wonders.

Did we just see a goat riding a pony? A human xylophone? A daredevil hurtling down headfirst from the peak of the Big Top?

Constantly surprising, the BAC’s 37th edition, “Metamorphosis,” will be dazzling spectators with 71 performances all the way through Sun., May 10, and right below Mayor Walsh’s office window.

Though the cast is a bit smaller than those of past years, most performers do double, sometimes triple duty. Many BAC regulars are calling “Metamorphosis” the most jaw-dropping BCA ever with its you-ain’t-seen-nothin’-yet line-up of contortionists, aerialists, animal acts, and clowns who lure spectators into the sawdust ring.

Director West Hyler marvelously arranges the various routines, which come from all over the globe. The charming opening charivari previews the upcoming acts, all tied together in some way with the theme of transformation,

Back for his third season as ringmaster, John Kennedy Kane personifies changeability with the vest and lapels of his formal jacket forming that classic symbol of metamorphosis – a butterfly.

Also exemplifying swift switches is quick-change artist Olga Smirnov. Talk about having a hard time deciding what to wear! This Russian vamp revamps her outfit nearly a dozen times during her dance routine with husband Vladimir.

The undisputed “adorkable” darling of the show is bespectacled Tatevik Seyranyan. She somehow segues from being a ringside wallflower into the most memorable artist in the troupe. In the first half, “Tate” gives new meaning to “tight quarters,” and in the second she totters impossibly high atop a stack of metal tubes in her balancing and juggling act.

The two latest generations of a famed circus family, the four Anastasinis effortlessly hurl and catch shimmering diabolos (“Chinese yoyos”). In their Risley routine, sons Fabio and Giuliano Anastasini juggle one another with their feet. Dad Giovanni Anastasini and his wife Irene España take spectators’ imaginations soaring with an aerial act that features a sleek spacecraft that circles over the audience like an escape jet from the Enterprise.

Whether vaulting from trampolines or swinging from trapezes, the Aniskin Troupe blithely defies death seemingly without the least concern. And a motley menagerie of critters elicits a different variety of “oohs” and “awhs.”

So juggle your schedule, balance your budget , and crack the whip over your unruly family, but do whatever it takes to get the whole clan over to “the one-ring circus where no on sits further than 50 feet from the ring.”

New this season for families with squirmy tots! Wednesday Family shows at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.  BOGO – Buy One ticket, Get One free for a special 75-minute version of “Metamorphosis” (no intermission).

There’s no service charge for tickets purchased at the Circus Box Office, located in front of the Big Top. The show runs for 2 hours, including a 15-minute intermission. For more ticket information, group sales, inquiries about wheelchair–accessible seating, call the Ticket Info Line at 800-922-3772.

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