Ringling Bros. Final Show Coming to Facebook Live - NBC4 Washington

Ringling Bros. Final Show Coming to Facebook Live

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Top 4 Reasons to Go to ZooLights
    Getty Images
    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 02: Fans come out to see one of the final performances of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey as they present "Out of this World" at Barclays Center on March 2, 2017 in New York City. The touring shows of Ringling Bros. will be closing at the end of May. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

    Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus first wowed audiences in the 19th century. For the iconic American spectacle's final act, it will broadcast the final performance on a 21st century medium: Facebook Live.

    The company told The Associated Press this week that the final circus show on the evening of May 21 will be streamed live on the social media network and on the circus's website. The final performance will be in Uniondale, New York.

    Earlier this year , Feld Entertainment, the company that owns the iconic circus, announced that the show would end in May.

    The circus's decline happened due to a variety of factors. Declining attendance, combined with high operating costs, changing public tastes and prolonged battles with animal rights groups all contributed to its demise.

    ‘Tonight’: Regina King on Directing 'This Is Us'

    [NATL] ‘Tonight’: Regina King on Directing 'This Is Us'

    Regina King reveals what it's like directing the tear-inducing NBC series "This Is Us," tries not to make HBO angry by hinting about “Watchmen" and discusses the love (and lighting) in her awards-buzzy film, "If Beal Street Could Talk."

    (Published Friday, Dec. 14, 2018)

    Sam Gomez, the circus's vice president of digital and relationship marketing, said Ringling did something similar, although on a smaller scale, during the final elephant act performance in 2016. During that broadcast on Facebook, Ringling showed a pre-recorded intro, then cut to the live act. For the May 21 show, the entire performance will be broadcast live from start to finish and will be hosted by Kristen Michelle Wilson, Ringling's first female ringmaster.

    Organizers have taken into consideration that most people will probably tune in on phones or tablets.

    "It's basically a TV shoot and we're certainly thinking about lighting and sound," said Gomez. "How will this look when you're looking at it on your phone or your tablet? We've had lots of conversations about tight shots so you can see the performer's skill and expressions and their artistry."

    Gomez said Ringling will leave the video up for a short while — it's unclear how long — but not forever.

    The live show allows people to "witness the end of an era."

    "We wanted to give families around the world one last chance to experience 'the greatest show on earth' together," he said.

    ‘Tonight’: Name That Song Challenge With Miley Cyrus

    [NATL] ‘Tonight’: Name That Song Challenge With Miley Cyrus

    Miley Cyrus and Jimmy Fallon compete as they try to guess random songs The Roots are playing one instrument at a time, including Cyrus' own "Party in the U.S.A."

    (Published Friday, Dec. 14, 2018)

    Ringling Bros. has two touring circuses; one will perform for four nights in Providence, Rhode Island, starting Thursday and ending for good in that city on Sunday. The other touring show will end at the Nassau County Coliseum in New York on May 21.

    The circus, with its exotic animals, flashy costumes and death-defying acrobats, has been a staple of entertainment in the United States since the mid-1800s. Phineas Taylor Barnum made a traveling spectacle of animals and human oddities popular, while the five Ringling brothers performed juggling acts and skits from their home base in Wisconsin. Eventually, they merged and the modern circus was born.