Carnivàle Lune Bleue
Carnivàle Lune Bleue is a carnival-style touring show, which made its world debut in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on July 31, 2008 (special media sneak preview night) [http://www.ottawasun.com/News/OttawaAndRegion/2008/08/01/6324961-sun.html "Carnivale Pitches Tent in Kars" by Aedan Helmer, Ottawa Sun, August 1, 2008.] ] and officially opened to the public for an initial month-long run on August 1, 2008. [http://www.ottawaseniors.com/articles/articlecomments.php?id=418_0_1_0_C "Authentic 1930s Carnival Makes North American Debut in Ottawa", June 24, 2008.] ] It is a dedicated revival of the 1930s old-tyme travelling carnival, similar to the one seen in the hit HBO television show
Carnivàle. Carnivàle Lune Bleue has been described as "offering a visceral peek into the life of a Depression-era road show." [http://www.ottawasun.com/Showbiz/OtherShowbiz/2008/08/01/6325081-sun.html "Blast From Dark Past" by Denis Armstrong, Ottawa Sun, August 1, 2008.] ]
Creation of Carnivàle Lune Bleue
Carnivàle Lune Bleue is the creation of Wayne Van De Graaff, a former international tax and human resources expert who wanted to pay homage to and resurrect the Depression-era travelling carny shows that he recalls hearing about from his grandparents while growing up in Utah. [http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/arts/story.html?id=70b4cacf-58dd-46aa-93de-065438a2d018 "Under The Big Top" by Bruce Deachman, Ottawa Citizen, July 31, 2008.] ] Van De Graaf has stated that he was directly inspired to pursue his dream and recreate the Depression-era carnival when he first watched an episode of HBO's
Van De Graaff worked closely with his Artistic Director, Johnny Meah (known as “The Czar of Bizarre” [http://www.czarofbizarre.com Johnny Meah's Official Website.] ] and famous for his work as a carnival advisor and historical consultant for the HBO show
Carnivàle)” [http://www.czarofbizarre.com Johnny Meah's Official Website.] ] , Montreal's Claude Le Belle (who created the vintage look of the tents and the signage), Jan-Rok Achard of the National Circus School, and Conklin Show's Jim Conklin, to create the most lifelike and authentic old-fashioned carnival experience.
Carnivàle Lune Bleue's debut run in Ottawa features the following main attractions: [http://www.carnivalelunebleue.com/attractions Carnivàle Lune Bleue's Official Website.] ]
Big Top Main Event featuring Cirque Maroc
The main event is the Cirque Maroc performance in the vintage Big Top canvas tent. This show features two families of
Cirque du Soleiland Ringling Bros.trained performers in a 70-minute showcase of acrobatics, trapeze, contortionism, juggling, aerial rope and other such feats inspired by Depression-era circus, cabaret, burlesque and vaudeville shows.
Cirque Maroc is produced specifically for Carnivàle Lune Bleue by Production Éclats de Rire (Artistic Directors and Administrators: Nicolette Hazewinkel & Rodrigue Tremblay; Production Manager: Gilles Renaud; Director: Pierre Potvin).
Ten-In-One Freak Show featuring Carnival Diablo
An homage to the freak shows of the original travelling circuses, the
Ten-in-Oneshow features acts such as fire-eating, sword swallowing, and the human blockhead. The grand finale involves an electric chair, an act that leaves audiences with "clasped hands over gaping mouths and (holding) their collective breath in awe."
The Ten-In-One show is produced for Carnivàle Lune Bleue by Scott McClelland of Carnival Diablo (a successful Canadian touring freak show). [http://www.carnivaldiablo.com Carnival Diablo's Official Website.] ] McClelland has deep roots in the industry and enthusiastically signed on to perform his show in the old-style carnival revival, as his grandfather was involved with the largest travelling circus sideshow in Canada from 1920 to 1968. The show features McClelland himself as "Nikolai Diablo", Sword Swallower Extraordianire; István Betyár and the Illustrated Strongman; The Mighty Leviticus.
Tropical Terrors featuring Great Snakes of the World
The Tropical Terrors show features snakes from all over the world, including a 20-foot giant rock python. There are also boa constrictors, anacondas, and other types of pythons, all available in a space-controlled, interactive environment.
The Tropical Terrors show is produced for Carnivàle Lune Bleue by Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo (the largest reptile rescue group in Canada and a successful touring zoo across Eastern Ontario). [http://www.raysreptiles.com Little Ray's Reptile Zoo's Official Website.] ]
1930s Carny Midway
Carnivàle Lune Bleue also features original, restored carnival amusements, including a 1938
Allan Herschell Companyvintage carousel and a 1917 Eli Bridge No. 5 Ferris wheel. For safety reasons, seatbelts were installed and the original gasoline engine that ran the ferris wheel has been replaced with an electric one.
The Carny Midway also includes a clairvoyant caravan, a variety of carnival concession games, cookhouse and refreshments, a vintage 1920s high striker, and the Congress of Wonder (featuring Patty Conklin’s Carnival Artifacts Museum).
Carnivàle Lune Bleue made its debut in Ottawa, Ontario in August 2008. The carnival’s founder, Wayne Van De Graaff, plans to take the show on the road for future performances across Canada (with Montreal being named as a possible future destination).
* http://www.CarnivaleLuneBleue.com (official website)
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