This past weekend I attended two shows, High Fidelity and the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus (Red Tour).
High Fidelity is a new musical based on the book by Nick Hornby and the film starring John Cusack and Jack Black. While I have not read the book, I loved the movie, and am happy to report that this musical does a wonderful job of echoing the feeling of the film, without trying to copy it. Edgy but not depressing, it was a great two hours of musical theatre. The performers are excellent, and I urge you to check it out if you have the chance. Right now, it is in a pre-Broadway engagement in Boston. Broadway previews begin in late November, opening December 7th.
I love the circus. Always have. Probably always will. So, we splurged and bought "Circus Celebrity" tickets for the current Ringling Brothers "Red" tour show which finished up in Boston last night. Pretty pricy tickets, you’re seated in the first two rows at the center ring, and you get to "participate" in the circus. As I recalled, it was pretty much riding around in a little train thing in the rings, and seeing the circus close close up. I thought my son would love it and was looking forward to doing it with him.
I was very disappointed. Instead of keeping the family together, for the first 5 minutes or so of the "participation" experience, my husband and son were sent one place (I found out later the center ring to dance with clowns) and my mom and I were shunted off to dance on the edges with some acrobat and a clown. There was no explanation of what was going to happen, no opportunity for my husband and I to switch places so I could go with my son. Which would have made things a little better anyway. Between my husband David and I, I am (or was?) the big circus fan, and would have enjoyed it more. They then brought us together again, and with another family, we got into some sort of teacup thing and rode around the rings a bit, and watched one act from "on the floor."
The saving grace at least was that Douglas enjoyed it, which in the end is what it is really all about for me. But I won’t be in any hurry to do it again. I think it is poorly thought out at best to split up family groups who have paid EXTREMELY good money for the experience .Even for a few minutes. And certainly not without an explanation. I wasn’t at the circus to see it through my mom’s eyes, much as I love her. Or perform. For me, for any parent, it is all about our children. I wanted to do it with my son.
The Red Tour’s motto is "saving the day from every day" and on this dimension, I have to say, they didn’t come anywhere near close. Poor customer service feels just like every day. Nothing special. And that’s too bad, because the circus is supposed to be a magical place for children of all ages.
Not this one on that day.
Now before anyone jumps on me for not giving the circus a chance to respond, I have indeed emailed them with my comment and will post any reply I get. But I am too irritated… still… to wait for the response before I post. Does that make me a cranky bitch? Probably, but so it goes.
Later today…more thoughts on Wal-Mart.
UPDATE: Ringling Brothers got back to me, SAME DAY, so bonus points for promptness. Plus, the reply indicates that they cared enough to actually respond to my specific criticism. Sad to say, that isn’t the customer service we get everyday, so well done on that score. It goes a long way to mollifying this cranky person. Not all the way mind you, but much farther than I was this morning 🙂
Here’s the email:
Thank you for contacting Ringling Bros.
We are sorry to learn that you were disappointed with the Circus Celebrity portion of the show. We are happy to forward your feedback on to the producers of the show as they start working on next years new 137th Edition. We will ask that they keep your comments in mind specifically for the Circus celebrity portion of the show.
Once again we appreciate your feedback, and hope that you were able to enjoy the performance despite your disappointment in this portion of the show.Sincererly,Ringling Bros.