Best Circus - 2000
P.T. Barnum's Kaleidoscape
"There's a sucker born every minute," or so said Phineas Taylor Barnum, the greatest American huckster who ever lived. He honed his flimflam skills to such astonishing heights that he eventually became the owner and hawker of "The Greatest Show on Earth," a grand colossus of a circus that lately has turned into a lumbering behemoth of chicanery. To make things right, last Christmas the company that now bears the old trickster's name brought a whole new kind of circus to town. Barnum's Kaleidoscape harked back to the days of sideshow grifters, a mythical past where real corn popped, golden beer frothed and lithe, sequined performers danced close enough to be touched. Held under a real big-top tent, with clanky, brassy music drifting from an old-timey band, the show delighted children and adults alike with its amazing acts, which included brave trapeze artists, erotic gold-painted muscle men and a gaggle of silly geese that sent the kids into peals of high-pitched giggles. Trinkets got sold, money flowed like water, and everybody laughed as they spent their last dimes on piles of pink cotton candy. P.T. Barnum would have been proud.