Circus duo strives to be the zaniest

Ringmaster Chuck Wagner and clown eccentric Tom Dougherty are ready to offer the wildest circus experience the Northwest has ever seen.

While a variety of maneuvers takes place around them, they will compete to see whose version of the 138th Ringling Bros. and Barnum &Bailey Circus is the most amazing.

The circus will be at Comcast Arena at Everett for seven shows Thursday through Sept. 7.

“The show truly goes over the top during the first act to the finale,” spokesman Andy Perez said.

“Chuck trades vocal barbs with Tom in a song called ‘Top That,’ which involves all 102 members of our cast and many of our 92 animals. In this number, Chuck and Tom try to prove that their version of the circus is the zaniest, most thrilling and jaw-dropping spectacle ever seen.”

Simultaneously, the audience will see the American premiere of the Bombastic Bouncers from the Ukraine, who flip in the air while bouncing on giant doughnut-shaped balls.

Performer Alex Petrov will drive a motorcycle onto a high wire seven stories in the air while aerialist Gleice executes acrobatic stunts, and the Torres Family will try to break a world record by putting seven motorcyclists into a 16-foot steel globe while driving at up to 55 miles per hour.

“If you can peel your eyes off this act, you’ll see that kids and adults alike are literally sitting on the edge of their seats,” Perez said. “It’s circus at its most thrilling best.”

Chuck Wagner is such a dynamic singer that you get chills whenever he opens his mouth, Perez said.

“After all, this man portrayed the Beast more than 1,200 times in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and appears on the original Broadway cast album of ‘Les Miserables.’ His chemistry with Tom is electric and crackles as strongly for the person in the first row of the arena (as) in the last row.”

“Tom is a well-respected theater artist in addition to his clowning with the Greatest Show on Earth,” Perez said. “Watching Tom and Chuck in a scene is like watching two tennis greats at play. You root for each of them and are always satisfied with whoever has the upper hand, because they are just so good to watch.”

Along with the mainstage fun, viewers can arrive 90 minutes before each show for the Animal Open House, to learn about the Ringling Bros.’ efforts to save the endangered Asian elephant at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum &Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation, or one hour early to learn circus skills from Ringling Bros. athletic performers at the free All Access Pre-show.

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