Review: “Circus 1903-The Golden Age of Circus” is a crowd pleaser

DETROIT — The most amazing show on Earth, “Circus 1903-The Golden Age of Circus,” has arrived at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit for only six days, March 14-19.  This heart-stopping, spectacular show features daredevil entertainment, elephants, magic shows and famous circus acts from people from all over the world.

Before the show began, a popcorn vendor was walking in the aisle tossing popcorn into the audience. He also chose a six-year old from the audience, brought him on stage and did some magic with him.

Ringmaster Willy Whipsnade (played by David Williamson) says “Circus day is a holiday.  The most important part of any circus is the talent.  Their showmanship is the heart of any circus.”

The performers were dressed in turn-of-the-century clothing designed by Angela Aaron which is truly a work of art.  Her inspiration came from authentic photographic collections, studying historical museum pieces and discussions with experts and historians.

Florian Blummel from Germany is called “The Wizard of the Wheel” performing stunts on a bicycle.  By the age of six, he was fascinated with artistic cycling and started to learn the skill, practicing for several hours each day, addicted to learning the art.  Over the years, Florian realized he was destined to perform on stage, where he could thrill an audience.  Since then, he has performed around the world with circuses, on cruise ships, in theaters and at concerts.

Circus 1903 also had a Sideshow called “Wild, Weird, and Wonderful” which featured a bearded lady, Hercules who lifted a one ton weight,  Serpentina, the snake charmer, “Queen of the Reptiles.”  Senayet Asefa Amare was the “Elastic Dislocationist” who twisted her body into things I couldn’t even imagine.

Elena Gatilova, a gymnast, was “Lucky Moon” who did acrobats in the air with a ring.  She was featured in over 2500 performances in the Cirque du Soleil production Zumanity.  Her act is a show stopper which harkens back to the aerial ballets of circuses during the early part of the 20th Century.

The sensational puppetry of the elephants were amazing.  The mama elephant and her baby was so lifelike, and was very realistic.

There were also trapeze artists, jugglers and tightrope acts, just to name a few.  This family-friendly show is fun for all ages.  I thoroughly enjoyed it as it was so entertaining.  No circus would be complete without its music composed by Evan Jolly.  The soundtrack of Circus 1903 encapsulates the time period and accentuates the thrill and danger of the acts.

Performance times for “Circus 1903-The Golden Age of Circus” at the Fisher Theatre, located at 3011 West Grand Blvd., in Detroit are:

  • Tuesday through Saturday evening performances at 7:30 p.m
  • Sunday evening performance at 6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday matinee at 2:00 p.m.
  • Sunday matinee at 1:00 p.m.

Tickets start at $35 (includes facility and parking fees) and are on sale at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 800-982-2787 or online at Broadway In Detroit  Tickets are also available for purchase at the Fisher Theatre box office.


Hammer guys (Photo ©Mark Turner)


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