Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is tented in Coney Island and thrilling audiences with some rather exceptional yet throttled entertainment. The animal acts are dazzling if minimalistic, the acrobatics thrilling if less ostentatious, and “Illuscination” which features magic acts (something new for a major circus) is very good but rather bounded if you’re not sitting up close.

Nevertheless “The Greatest Show on Earth” manages to impress and remains loyal to its circus tradition. David DaVinci leads this current presentation with his Houdiniesque magic ranging from the death-defying (e.g. escaping while straight jacketed/ suspended above a cage of roaring lions) to less hazardous conjurations with the like of macaws and cockatoos.

The standard fare of aerialists and related flying daredevils will be on hand (highlight: a mother/ daughter duo that creates a living carousel in midair with their horses and miniature ponies) and even martial arts masters will kung fu to-and-fro for your entertainment. Of course, there will be elephants on hand (and on the ground) to lend the atmosphere some ballast.

Visitors who arrive an hour before the show will be treated to a pre-show: meeting with performers and animals as well as learning circus skills. Following the show, the Circus Sideshow and “Shoot the Freak” are among the attractions for your post-circus delight.

For more information/ ticket prices, go to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey website.

Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier via The Brooklyn Paper