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Cole Brothers takes on Ringling — but results are mixed

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Cole Brothers bills its new production as the “Circus of the Stars,” but this better-than-average cavalcade only reached the moon.

Yes, some acts garnered wonder and amazement, but too many induced yawns.

The show’s first act — that old motorcycle “Globe of Death” routine — was undoubtedly one of the best. Watching a cyclist ride around the inside of the cage at high speeds was exciting enough, but then two more riders entered the cage and took off.

Audience-members — of all ages — were justifiably awe-struck.

But “Circus of the Stars” couldn’t ride that moto-momentum. The death-defying riders were followed by some sumo-wrestling clowns, whose slapstick comedy was a drag that had me wishing someone locked them inside an actual “Globe of Death.”

The show’s animals, though, were a blast. I never knew dogs jumping through hoops and over hurdles could be so entertaining (perhaps I don’t get out enough).

And despite my well-documented refined taste in comedy, I also couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight of one of the pups riding a pony around the ring.

The show’s three elephants also got some hearty laughs from children and parents alike as they stood and sat on stools, piggy-backed on one another and rolled over on command.

But not all the animals were great. Synchronized camels? That act was so boring that wouldn’t even wind up on the unedited DVD of the Ringling Brothers’ superior (and cheaper!) one-ring show now going on in Coney Island.

Some of the humans picked up the slack, though.

The seven-man tightrope-walking pyramid was incredible, and the gyroscopic “Wheel of Destiny” was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time.

But the rest of the Homo sapiens were absolutely Neanderthals of entertainment. Juggling bowling pins? I’ve seen better on youtube. Next time, let’s see some torches. Or some knives!

And where was the trapeze act? Can a spectacle even call itself a circus without high-flying action?

But I must be a kid at heart because when I left the Aviator sports complex, I had a smile on my face, happy in the knowledge that one of the world’s oldest forms of family entertainment could still impress in an age of big-screen TV’s, viral videos, and octomoms.

“Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars” at Aviator Sports [3600 Flatbush Ave. between Avenue U and the Belt Parkway, (800) 796-5672], through Aug. 2. Tickets, $12–$17.

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Reader Feedback

Kate from Park Slope says:
ANIMAL ABUSE IS NOT ENTERTAINMENT. PLEASE VISIT WWW.RINGLINGBEATSANIMALS.COM OR WWW.CIRCUSES.COM to find out how these animals are treated behind the scenes. I viewed the elephants that Cole Bros. are using for their "show" and they are swaying back and forth nonstop. This is a sign of psychosis from being in captivity and abused. Please, if you love animals, do not go to the circus.
July 29, 2009, 9:57 pm
okay bro from brooklyn says:
yeah, that's cuz they're animals. who cares? they don't even understand what's going on. why not have them entertain us at least.
July 30, 2009, 1:02 am
Kate from Park Slope says:
COLE BROTHERS BEATS AND ABUSES ELEPHANTS. The elephants are displaying signs of psychosis from being imprisoned and beaten by circus trainers. They sway back and forth constantly and ANYONE can see that they are very sick looking in appearance, with emaciated heads. Please don't support this animal abuse. There are other great ways to be entertained, without supporting brutality. Go to an all human circus (they are AMAZING) or go to the movies or to the park. Enjoy yourself in a non-violent atmosphere! Visit circuses.com for more information.
July 31, 2009, 11:20 pm
Kate from Park Slope says:
okay bro: Please educate yourself. Animals are not stupid. The definitely understand what is going on. Please visit the website mentioned above. Also remember, an elephant NEVER forgets.
July 31, 2009, 11:23 pm
okay bro from brooklyn says:
ok maybe you're right. i'll be nicer to animals. the review didnt make it sound too good anyway, so sure, dont go to the circus.
Aug. 1, 2009, 2:15 am
sal from W.V. says:
Take care of the children in this world first.
Soon the only place in this world you will be able to see these animals will be a zoo or circus.
I love animals. I like to eat them too.
June 19, 1:28 pm

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