The “Greatest Pie-Throwing Adventure” — an attempt to break the Guinness Book of Records’ pie-tossing fight numbers — is set for July 20 on Hollywood Blvd. at Highland Ave. It is inspired, cooked up that is, by “The Greatest Show on Earth — Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey” whose 136th edition, “The Circus of Dreams,” will be in town.
As all circus aficionados know, the clown pie fight is an old-faithful laff-getter. This pie-athon will be different – 5,000 of the real custard variety will be supplied by Coco’s and two teams of 250 across the street from each other will do battle — to benefit L.A.’s Best.
I learned about this (and more) from someone who was born into the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey legacy. Nicole Feld, 28, producer of the current “Circus of Dreams.” is the granddaughter of Irvin Feld and daughter of Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment which produces 12 live shows about the world and employing 2,500 performers. Nicole’s circus experience started in circus camp at the age of 10 and her excitement has never waned I saw that enthusiasm first-hand as we lunched at Spago. Nicole is the (May) bride of Jonathan Strauss, casting director of “Law & Order-SVU.” Joining us was the “Circus of Dreams” director Shanda Sawyer whose credits range from the Oscar show to the Miss America Pageant.
They enthused to me about the circus’ new, computer-friendly, single arena, three-camera, audience-involved show with a giant 24-foot in diameter screen boasting close-ups from the audience to the elephants “talking” back to one another. Shanda taped the elephants happily munching grass in Pittsburgh. “It’s the biggest change in the circus since it moved from tents to arenas,” Nicole enthused to me. “Audiences wanted more focus to the show,” she explained the change to one giant arena (140′ x 80′) in lieu of the historical three rings. The now-scripted show stars Jennifer Fuentes and Chuck Wagner and also boasts original music by Craig Safan.
The Feld Entertainment’s live roster increases in September when “The Doodlebops,” segues from the TV screen to play to pre-school theater audiences, bowing Sept.30 in the Madison Square Garden Theater. Another Feld family member reins the “Doodlebops” arena she’s Nicole’s younger (26) sister, Alana. Las Vegas’ Orleans’ Arena bows the “Circus of Dreams” June 22 in advance of the arrival in Southern Calif.’s L.A. and Anaheim sites of the 300-strong troupe. Meanwhile two other traditional Ringling Bros. circus productions are also touring the country with their traditional three-ring circuses. Please pass the popcorn…