Magnificent Big Apple Circus returns to Charlestown


Review by DON FOWLER

We’ve been big fans of the Big Apple Circus for over 20 years and welcomed its return after a two-year absence to Charlestown’s Ninigret Park, where it is residing through July 8.

This is your last chance to see Grandma, the quintessential circus clown who has thrilled millions of circus-goers in Mark Gindick’s 25th year with Big Apple.

No seat is more than 50 feet from the action in the gigantic one-ring tent. If you want a real thrill, grab a front row seat and become part of the action, like having a clown land in your lap.

This year’s edition has two ringmasters, Jenna Robinson and Andrey Mantchev, who team with Grandma to make you laugh while the hard-working ring crew prepare for the next act.

The action starts immediately when the lights dim and the amazing Shamdong Acrobats show us how to jump rope as you’ve never seen before. They return at the end of the first act for more acrobatics.

Next up are Scott and Muriel, who appear throughout the show with their magic that defies description. They perform three illusions that will leave you scratching your head. In the third, they give you a peek at how one trick is done, then proceed to fool you yet again.

The company, as always, comes from all over the world, and they are among the best in the world. Dmitry Chernov takes juggling to new heights. Jenny Vidbell performs miracles with two of the most beautiful horses I have ever seen.

Big Apple always has something completely different, and this year is no exception. When’s the last time you’ve seen a performing porcupine. There are other animal surprises to amaze you also.

There are no lags in the performances, some that will amaze you and others that will make you laugh. The final act is worth the price of admission alone. The Flying Cortes from Columbia, South America, has been amazing circus lovers for five generations. The family continues with Ysabella Wallenda-Cortes, the 10-year-old who is one of the youngest professional flying trapeze artists in the world.

This is a circus not to be missed. Prices range from $15 to the front row $50 seats. Good seat with excellent views are $24. You have until July 8 to catch Big Apple, with matinee and evening shows scheduled. Check them out at


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