Preview: Step right up! The circus is coming to town…


Ringmaster Andre McClain

Step right up! The circus is coming to town…

The newest installment in the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey franchise – “Built to Amaze” – will open in Pittsburgh on November 5 with high flying acts, amazing animals and pure fun for all ages.

“This show is different,” said Ringmaster, Andre McClain. “It’s more contemporary. The elephants dance to ‘Gangnam Style’, there’s dogs from Russia and even ferrets this year.”

This year, the show mirrors a child’s curiosity of how things around us work with a showcase of some of the world’s most talented individuals and animals. Pitting boys vs. girls, this show is sure to delight fans of all ages with fun, excitement and laughter.

“It was both weird and very educational,” McClain said. “These are all professionals who do this day in and day out – six and seventh generation performers.”

Fans will be guided by ten-year circus veteran Andre McClain.

“I’ve never been to a circus before until 13 years ago,” McClain said. “When I decided to audition and landed the gig, it was great.”

McClain is known as “America’s Favorite Cowboy” and loves taking the Ringmaster reins to lead the show. A veteran horse trainer, McClain is accompanied by his horse, Comanche, and rides to out to greet fans.

“It takes everyone [working together] to make this show happen,” McClain said. “It truly is the greatest show on earth.”

This year’s performance features more than one hundred of the world’s best performers, representing 17 countries, 95 exotic and domestic animals , and includes nine-time international award winning comedic animal act Alex and Irina Emelin, new act the Tower Tumblers, and the legendary King Charles Troupe from New York City.

“I love the high-wire act,” McClain said. “The wire is about as wide as your thumb.”

Fans are invited to arrive early to check out the all-access pre-show before each performance. During the pre-show, fans are invited to the ring floor to interact with the performers and some of the animals. Fans can try on some costumes, learn circus skills like juggling and even watch an elephant paint a picture. The pre-show is free with every admission ticket.

“When you walk through the doors, we will change your day,” said McClain. “From beginning to end – it’s exciting.”

Tickets are available for all performances at Performances are nightly November 5-9 with additional early shows on November 8 & 9.
Story by Hayley Martin for Pennsylvania Bridges

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