By Howard Pousner
Big Apple Circus, which made Atlanta a tour stop for many years but hasn’t been to the city since 2010, plans to return to a new metro area site in February.
Instead of setting up its big top at Stone Mountain Park as usual, the New York-based circus will bring a new show, “Legendarium,” to Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in Alpharetta, Feb. 1 to 18.
Celebrating its 35th year, Big Apple is a throwback troupe specializing in an intimate one-ring experience that revels in the artistry of performance — including acrobatics, clowning and juggling — with no seat more than 50 feet from the performers. It doesn’t boast the sorts of big animals presented by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, preferring to present horse and dog stars.
When “Legendarium,” a loose tribute to the roots of circus performance in 19th century Gotham, opened in New York in October, it played to positive notices in the city’s major daily papers. The New York Times called Big Apple “consistently inspired” and said “Legendarium” “isn’t about to break that long, superb streak.”
Through Dec. 31, Big Apple is making a “pre-sale offer,” discounting all weekday tickets 25 percent. Use code ATL12 when calling 1-800-922-3772. More info: www.bigapplecircus.org.
Big Apple’s return means that Atlanta will again be circus central in February, a time of year when troupes typically bring their tours south.
Ringling Bros. will present the show “Dragons” at Philips Arena downtown from Feb. 13 to 18 and at the Arena at Gwinnett in Duluth from Feb. 21 to March 3 (www.ringling.com). And Atlanta-based UniverSoul Circus, celebrating its 20th anniversary, brings its “US” tour to Turner Field’s Green Lot from Feb. 9 to 26 (www.universoulcircus.com)