Monday, September 04, 2006

Donna Gautier #2

"Lovely Donna Gautier is carefully carried in the mouth of a giant elephant in the 104th Edition of the Greatest Show on Earth. This exciting new edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus features the world's largest herd of performing elephants under the command of Axel Gautier."


Bob Cline said...

What year does the 104th Edition work out to be and what is the name of the Male in the background?

Buckles said...

1974 and the elephant is "John".

Anonymous said...

From Eric:

The 104th edition’s elephant act had a "Roaring Twenties" theme, and the music score included "Puttin’ on the Ritz," "La Cumparsita," "The Charleston," "Collegian," "Varsity Drag," "Yes Sir, That’s My Baby," "Dill Pickles Rag," "If You Knew Susie," "Runnin’ Wild," and a selection from the Gershwin musical "Oh, Kay!"

Buckles said...

A few years ago they had a Pizza Parlor clown gag that was about as funny as an open grave.
I later heard that in rehearsal someone suggested "That's Amore" be played for the number, upon which Mr. Feld announced that there would be none of that old music in his show.
So they had a new tune written which made less sense than the gag.

Anonymous said...

Remember when Mr. Feld was just "Kenny"?

Mr. Feld, according to Forbes magazine, has a net worth of $700 million dollars. [That $10.00 cotton candy revenue really adds up!]

This proves the old saying, "Money don't buy brains."

He probably doesn't attend the classical operas, either, because they just play "old music".

Anonymous said...

Recently I attended Ringling, bought very good seats, somewhere in the first 15 rows. It wasn't the first row; I don't need to be a Circus Celebrity. I was a little ticked off upon entering the arena, after being rip-offed for a parking fee of $7. The first joint I come across was the program stand. I think I heard the price of $15. which caused me to do a very fast change of direction because the program books are now junk, plain and useless junk. I have an unbroken line of Ringling books going way back, but stopped collecting the current one years ago. They are just junk.
Sitting in front of me is a family, they look average, not rich nor poor, just average. Parents and three kids, ages 5-14 I'm guessing. The mother is guarding the program book on her lap like it is the combination to the safe at Ft. Knox. After paying $15 I'm sure she is having second thoughts.
Cotton Candy butcher walking up the aisle, all three kids put their hands up, "I want cotton candy." Family never asked the price, vendor gives them three bags of floss with the special souvenir hats and with the attitude of a used car salesman says, "That's $30.". Mother opens her purse, pulls out a $50.
Good lord, hit me with the paddles, my heart almost skipped a beat.
Not 10 minutes later, the snow cone guy sells them 3 snow cones in a souvenir cup, $24. please and thank you.
Now I am intrigued with this family...during the whole show they didn't clap, didn't laugh and was generally disconnected from the performance. Several times the parents left the show with a child, restroom I'm guessing and once they came back with hot dogs and pretzels and beer, one for Mom and one for Dad. Imagine that BEER AT THE CIRCUS, $6.00 a cup I found out later.[I buy a very nice imported beer for $1.25 a bottle at the supermarket.]
During the finale, the father panics, he can tell it's the end of the show, rushes the wife and kids out of their seats and exits saying, "I don't want to get stuck in the #### parking lot. Tomorrow we got to get an early start to get to the water park."
After the show I noticed that the children left their souvenir snow cone cups ON THE FLOOR, they were barely eaten.

What is this world coming to?

Anonymous said...

Barney, that needs to get published! Where do they get the money to spend? I never had it like that for my children!

24-HOUR-MAN said...

I know what the World is coming to, what scares me is, "Where is it going"? Sometimes I'm glad I'm an old man!!!!

Anonymous said...

In Atlanta earlier this year - The Ringling Programs went for $20.00 - Take it or leave it. Charles H.

Anonymous said...

I did not intend to take up so much blog space with my ranting about RBBB, especially under the Donna Gautier photo.

I never met Mrs. Gautier---she always seemed like a very pleasant performer. Was she from the business or was see a civilian who married into the business? I am sorry that after all these years I know almost nothing of her.

I do remember her riding an elephant in a production number. She was wearing a silvery cape with a rainbow of different color feathers/trimming around the bottom. 100 per cent showbiz and circus.

Also, I didn't realize until I read your blog last week that Ingeborg Trolle was Axel's sister.

Everytime I think I know a lot, I am heartbroken to learn that I know very little.

Anonymous said...

Error, I meant Ingeborg Rhodin.

See what happens when you type a comment when it is way past your bedtime.

Anonymous said...

donna was an aerialist who learned trapeze in the sailor circus, then joined ringling, i belive for the 1957 season. she met and married axel while she was peforming a single trapeze act with the show and he was working with hugo schmidt. she eventually gave up aerial work to work with axel in th elephant displays. she was always a very sweet, considerate -- and obviously beautiful -- lady. she left the show after axel's death, along with their two sons. I don't know what they have been doing since then.

Anonymous said...

Donna has taken up ballroom dancing and I am sure that having been an excellent and graceful circus performer she would very good.

Anonymous said...

In Houston this year at Reliant Stadium, Ringling programs were selling for $18.00, and give very little information about the show or the performers. Not worth it.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone besides me save their wedding program? Its was in great shape after all those years. Lasted longer than the marriage. Regarding the gent who said he could hear Mr Herriotts voice in the comments he makes. I don't remember what my x looked like let alone what his voice sounded like.[26 years] Yet I can almost remember every moment I spent with a lover [6 years] 45 years ago. Its not always the what, but the who! I guess the years with the circus made all the difference. Way past my bed time.