The Music Circus and How Barnum’s ‘Big Top’ Struck a Chord

This excellent gent is related to Jay Amberg, fellow Amika author. Neat!


By Ken Zurski


In a scene from the movie musical  “The Greatest Showman,” Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum proclaims that he doesn’t need a building to put on a show, “All we need is a tent,” he says. The scene seems to suggest that Barnum came up with the idea of using a tent to house a circus-type show. Fair enough, especially for a dramatized movie script, but not entirely true.

While Barnum eventually did use tents to put on a show, the idea to stage circus acts under a temporary shelter actually dates back to 1825 by a man named J. Purdy Brown who used small canvas tents for shows. Although Brown doesn’t get much recognition, the canvas-covering stage idea, then a one-ring circus act, was a revolutionary one.

Eventually in the 1870’s, Barnum took his “Greatest Show on Earth” on the road traveling by train and setting up…

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120 DAYS by Ronald L. Ruiz NOW ON SALE

Ronald L. Ruiz’s long-awaited new novel, 120 Days, is now on sale!

120 Days by Ronald L. Ruiz

Barbara Blake is a bright, young, attractive, and ambitious defense attorney. Alejandro Soto, an inmate already serving two life sentences for the brutal murder of a drug dealer and the man’s mother, is on trial for a third murder, one he did not commit but that could well result in the Death Penalty. When Blake and Soto meet in the San Cristobal, California courtroom, they begin a 120-day journey that will invariably alter both of their lives.…

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Pushing the River interview on WGN Radio with Rick Kogan — Barbara Monier

Take a listen to Rick Kogan’s interview of me about my novel PUSHING THE RIVER. I joined Rick’s iconic “After Hours” radio show from the cozy warmth of my Chicago home on a frigid January night, and we covered a whole lot of ground. I’ve known Rick Kogan for more than thirty years, but […]

via Pushing the River interview on WGN Radio with Rick Kogan — barbara monier