At the start and end of each Ringling Bros. performance in Miami, elephants will march trunk to tail downtown between the train tracks and the tent. What do you think the circus is? Fun and games? Nah baby, the big top is big business, and that means boxcar travel and chained legs for the species that never forgets. As you wait in line for the greatest show on Earth, youll likely see the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida protesting around the American Airlines Arena. This year, Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus comes to town with Funundrum, which features 130 performers from around the world alongside 100,000 pounds of gray skin and ivory. If youre scared for their sake, go behind the scenes at Animal Open House. Its open to all ticket-holders an hour and a half before showtime. Youll get to see the animals up close, and watch how they live, eat, and play. But with all those clowns, pirates, mermaids, and acrobats, youll soon forget about the exploitative nature of the entertainment business. Instead, youll stare in wide-eyed wonder at the explosive power of sensory manipulation.
Jan. 7-17, 7:30 p.m., 2011
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