Zing Zang Zoom Review – Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey Circus

Tagged the “Greatest Show on Earth” by the presenters, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Zing Zang Zoom does pack some punch.

A combination of magic and circus, the show is well coordinated and bespeaks well of the long heritage of the presenters. It is colorful, energetic and well choreographed human and animal performances. There were a couple of instances of audience participation.

Performing elephants at Ringling
Performing elephants at Ringling

Ticketholders can learn the tricks of the trade in Clown College and meet performers, learn magic and juggling, and try on wardrobe pieces an hour before every performance (except for 10:30 school-group shows). The show starts with a singer on a decorated moving stand belting out their theme song. The clowns, acrobats, floats, elephants et al come in and it is a colorful medley indeed.

Tigers in an interesting pose at the circus!
Tigers in an interesting pose at the circus!

The circus performances are interspersed with magic items especially when they are getting the props for the next act ready. There were trapeze artists on long flowing clothes hung from the huge ceiling of the stadium and trapeze on huge floor swings.

Getting ready for being blasted off from the canon!
Getting ready for being blasted off from the canon!

 There was tight rope walking and cycling. There were two artists performing upside down, suspended from the ceiling. It looked like they were walking on the ceiling. It was interesting.

Rope walking and balancing at the circus
Rope walking and balancing at the circus

The choreographed group performances brought in color. The magic shows included the usual – man being cut into two, elephant disappearing, man disappearing and tiger appearing instead, woman going through ostensibly solid steel, scarves turning into doves, man being stretched etc.

Tigers at the Ringling circus
Tigers at the Ringling circus

One of the most interesting items was the canon ball act by a couple who got into separate canons and were shot across the floor onto huge landing pads. It happens very fast but it was fascinating.

Wonderful formation by the elephants at the circus.
Wonderful formation by the elephants at the circus.

The animal shows in Zing Zang Zoom included performances by dogs, horses, zebras, elephants and tigers. The best however were the adorable elephants and the catty tigers! The elephants (about 11 of them) gracefully troop in and do various antics including an end to end formation with each placing their front feet on top of the elephant in front.

Tigers at Barnum & Bailey.
Tigers at Barnum & Bailey.

The tigers were handled by one man inside a wired enclosure. The best of the tiger performance was when they stand in a line on two legs with the front paws held close – they belied their nature and looked like overgrown cats.
Overall- a good show. Children will love it. Adults would be interested too. None of the acts extended for too long so all acts actually held the attention of the audience. The performers did a good job. Zing Zang Zoom”  is about two and half hours long with a short intermission in between.
In New York, the show was held at the Madison Square Garden.
Address of Madison Square Garden –
Madison Square Garden
4 Pennsylvania Plaza
New York, New York 10001

Coupon code/ discount tickets for Zing Zang Zoom –

Tickets can be bought online or at box office at the venue. There are coupon codes available for Military veterans. Military personnel can use the online code “ASY”.

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus
Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus

Circus Celebrity ticket – With this “celebrity” pass one can get to sit right inside the arena for about 15 minutes in middle of the show.  Watch the clowns, performers and magicians in action up close. The human canon balls land just couple of feet away from you. As there are only a limited number of this special “celebrity” seats, they are given on a first-come-first-serve basis. You can apply for it online at the ringling brothers website.

Before entering the show, we noticed a small group of people opposite MSG, protesting against the group. They were protesting against the animal rights violation on the elephants by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. We were not aware of it and so we came back and checked on the net. It seems that the circus failed to meet the minimum federal standards for animals used in exhibition as given under Animal Welfare Act (AWA).  That explained the huge poster in the centre of the arena before the start of the program, proclaiming Ringling’s efforts on Elephant Conservation.

Elephant conservation poster by Ringling at the circus.
Elephant conservation poster by Ringling at the circus.

Though the show was good, we could not entirely enjoy it since the protest outside had sparked a doubt that maybe the animals were not cared for enough. And upon return when we checked we found some details on the site of ARFF – Animal Rights Foundation of Florida and animalliberationfront.com.

Zing Zang Zoom schedule for 2009:

New York City, New York Mar 26, 2009 – Apr 13, 2009
Norfolk, Virginia Apr 16, 2009 – Apr 19, 2009
Hampton, Virginia Apr 22, 2009 – Apr 26, 2009
Providence, Rhode Island Apr 30, 2009 – May 03, 2009
Hartford, Connecticut May 06, 2009 – May 10, 2009
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 13, 2009 – May 25, 2009
Trenton, New Jersey May 28, 2009 – May 31, 2009
Omaha, Nebraska Jun 05, 2009 – Jun 07, 2009
Colorado Springs, Colorado Jun 11, 2009 – Jun 14, 2009
Las Vegas, Nevada Jun 18, 2009 – Jun 21, 2009
Phoenix, Arizona Jun 24, 2009 – Jun 28, 2009
Los Angeles, California Jul 08, 2009 – Jul 12, 2009
Anaheim, California Jul 15, 2009 – Jul 26, 2009
Ontario, California Jul 29, 2009 – Aug 02, 2009
Oakland, California Aug 12, 2009 – Aug 16, 2009
San Jose, California Aug 19, 2009 – Aug 23, 2009
Sacramento, California Aug 27, 2009 – Aug 30, 2009
St. Louis, Missouri Oct 15, 2009 – Oct 18, 2009