…by Anura Guruge
We Are Going to Dralion by Cirque du Soleil at the Verizon Arena Manchester — May 30, 2012.
I love the circus. Been going to them all my life and don’t plan to stop anytime soon (even if Deanna complains often that we spend way too much money on shows and that we should cut back); also want to make sure that the kids get to see them.
With the ‘Barnum & Bailey’ circus, at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH, we do the cheap seats — and have done so for 3 years with great success. The Arena is small and with the layout for the circus the $2x seats provide great viewing. This was more serendipity in our lives. Make a note of this. Barnum & Bailey has a very clever ‘Baby’s First Circus’ program. Register during the first 12 months and you get a voucher redeemable in the future. Deanna had done this when Devanee was born.
In 2006, during our constant visits to Dartmouth to do with Teischan’s birth, we discovered that ‘The Big Apple Circus’ came to Hanover. I bought tickets, for 2006, and took Teischan when she was but a few weeks old. Yes, I had to take her out, twice, because she was crying. But, the ‘Big Apple’ then got added to our annual list of events. Then Deanna remembered the free voucher. We went to the Verizon to claim it and buy 3 more tickets.
There was a catch. The voucher was only valid for a cheap seat. I looked at the seating chart and the cheap seats looked OK. So I bought 3 more. We went; we enjoyed, we went back. So that is the deal now. We go to the circus in Manchester in September/October. It has become another annual family tradition alongside: Chinese New Year in China Town, Whale Watch, Laconia Multicultural Day, NH Highland Games, Apple Picking, Sandwich Fair, Revels etc. In addition we always try and catch the elephant parade on main street. Having grown up in a country where elephants do roam the streets routinely it gives me a huge kick to see elephants walking in Manchester, NH.
The Red Apple no longer comes to NH! Shame, but was to be expected. I am surprised that ‘Barnum & Bailey’ still come. I have never seen a full house for them. I think they come out of a sense of community and duty. I thank them. It is a good show. They try hard. They have a pre-show where the kids can mingle with some of the performers and animals. Yes, they charge crazy prices for cotton candy but some of their merchandize is ‘reasonably’ priced. Teischan looks at the programs over and over again, so I always buy one; sometimes the DVD.
This year we got to see two Cirque du Soleil circus — our first exposure to them. They are spectacular and different. Some elements are the same as those in ‘B&B’. I like ‘B&B’ — and yes, I have studied the allegation about their animal cruelty, especially towards the gentle Indian(/Sri Lankan) elephants. I don’t know. Yes, all animal training involves some level of harshness. The elephants I have seen with ‘B&B’ look OK — and I can tell the signs of a mistreated elephant.
I recommend the ‘Barnum & Bailey’ circus unreservedly — just get the cheap seats and it is a ‘well worth the money’ experience. Enjoy.