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March 21, 2013

Big Apple brings circus history to life

(Continued)

“I know the circus,” he said, “and this is the finest, most artistic circus in America.”

The circus has a reputation for fun and carefree adventure, but a lot of work goes into making the show just right. Kane said that preparing for The Big Apple Circus isn’t very different than preparing for a Broadway production.

“Everyone is an artist here,” he said. “They make it as close to a theatrical production as they can.”

While most people think amazing gymnasts and brave lion tamers are the forces that give circus its magic, Kane said that behind-the-scenes forces like the writer and director really help the show deliver on its flawless reputation.

West Hyler, who directs “Legendarium,” previously worked on Broadway with “Jersey Boys” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” He has been working on “Legendarium” for three years.

“I love the writing,” Kane said.

Without giving specifics, Kane said that many of the acts in “Legendarium” have a subtle, clever humor that appeals to circus-goers of all ages.

That is important, since no children today wake up and ask to go to the circus, he said. Instead, they are brought by parents and grandparents who have great memories of going to the circus as children.

“The kids come in, and they’re skeptical, because they’re used to being entertained by videos,” Kane said. “But then they’re right there, and the show is right in front of you. You can’t help but become involved because it’s that intimate, that close. It’s a totally different experience.”

If You Go What: The Big Apple Circus, "Legendarium." Where: City Hall Plaza, Boston. When: March 26 to May 12. How: Get tickets by calling 1-888-541-3750, or online at bigapplecircus.org.

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