Setting the stage - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Setting the stage

July 13, 2004

Albany - The stage is set for "The Greatest Show on Earth." The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus begins Wednesday night at the Albany Civic Center.

The sounds of construction echo inside the Albany Civic Center. A hectic, but precisely choreographed, set up is underway for the circus. "It takes 6 hours to load the show in and 3 to 31/2 to load it out," said Production Manager Brian Newman. A quick make-over that only works when everybody helps. "We have 128 people working on the show everyday. That's everybody from the cotton candy vendors, to the performers, to those of us behind the scenes that you never see."

Crews rig hundreds of lights and speakers while performers carefully assemble the trapeze and other equipment. "The circus performers do put their lives at risk to bring you the best possible show they can at Ringling Bros," said Newman.

All this work is done under the watchful eyes of the performers who typically get the most attention - the animals. "We have two elephants, six alligators, six horses, five snakes and three dogs," said Veterinarian Technician Allison Keeley. Keeley's job is to keep the animals happy. "They have a better life than I do. They eat better and have a better exercise regiment."

Four and two-legged performers will no doubt dazzled hundreds of people this week as the curtain rises on "The Great Show on Earth."

Show times:
Wednesday - Friday: 7:30PM
Saturday: 11:30AM, 3:30PM, 7:30PM
Sunday: 2:00PM

All ticket holders can come an hour early to meet performers and circus animals.

Posted at 4:15PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com