Warm in winter, cool in summer, and filled with amazing acts in every season, the Big Apple Circus's pair of Italian-made big tops contains the best of several generations' worth of circus traditions. A look at any show's cast finds a complex network of venerable European circus families passing the arts of juggling and trapeze artistry down through the years, while the tents' motors and seating make for a comfortably modern spectator experience.
You might never guess that the troupe started small in 1974, when American circus artists Paul Binder and Michael Christensen joined forces as a juggling act on the streets of Europe. They moved from streetlights to spotlights in a hurry, appearing on the stage of the Nouveau Cirque de Paris, before returning to the U.S. and creating their own not-for-profit circus in 1976 and raising their first tent in New York's Battery Park.
The Citi Performing Arts Center's calendar of musicals, operas, rock concerts, dance productions, standup comedians, and classic-film screenings is a culmination of its decades as a Boston historical landmark. Starting out in 1925 as a "movie cathedral," the theater?then a renovated arts center capable of housing the most ambitiously scaled Broadway productions?morphed into the headquarters of the Boston Ballet. Throughout all its names and incarnations, the venue has retained the grandeur and luster of some long-lost wing of Versailles. In the lobby, dark-veined columns carved from imported marble vault skyward toward an arched ceiling and an enormous crystal chandelier that hangs like a pendulum from its center. In the theater itself, frescoes and intricate filigree surround the golden cupola that looms over a sea of scarlet velvet seats?a sight as awe-inspiring to audiences as it is terrifying to first-graders performing their first clarinet recital there.
As eventgoers perch under the stately domed ceiling inside Lynn Auditorium, they can take in a show against an elegant red-curtain backdrop and sleek wooden accents. The distinguished interior of the event center augments the caliber of performances available in the form of concerts and holiday specials such as Kenny Rogers and The Vienna Boys Choir. The entertainment unfolds amid newly renovated elements such as updated seating and high-tech lighting that’s capable of illuminating the next line in an actor’s head.