The past few years have seen nothing but circapocalypse news when it comes to the sawdust and canvas, so we feel obliged to share some rare good news. The Big Apple Circus has hired Bindlestiff Family Cirkus’s Stephanie Monseu, a.k.a. Philomena Bindlestiff, to be their ringmaster this season. (They’re saying “ringmaster” and I think that’s good…”ringmistress” smacks of some kind of Berlin S/M circus.)
This is a great move, I think, the kind of revitalization the circus world needs. Needs a good shake-up, and some serious reinvention. It’s kind of nightmarish that we have to wait until 2018 for such a development, but hey better late than never. Stephanie will be great for many reasons beyond her gender. She has a freshness and an energy that oughtta wake the joint up. I hope she’ll be able to throw away the script and get away from the super canned mode that major circuses have been forcing on their ringmasters for so many decades. Masters and Mistresses of Ceremonies ought to be allowed to extemporize — that’s how you make a live event LIVE. But whatever hand her bosses deal her, I know she’ll do a great job. The fall season of Big Apple Circus opens October 20. Get your tickets here.