Where: Baltimore Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St.
When: Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 17, 11 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Nov. 18, 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Tickets: $19.50, $16, $12.50 and $10.
Call: 481-6000 to charge tickets; 347-2010 for information. Ring-counters will immediately note that the Moscow Circus only has a single ring, unlike the hyper-busy three rings of an American circus. But that single focus of activity, set up at the Baltimore Arena through Sunday, is still bursting with circus
That characteristic aside, there are other things that make this circus distinctively Russian. Take a gander at the showgirls whose folkloric-patterned outfits make them look like they just hatched from decorated Easter eggs. Or let your jaw drop in amazement at the Cossack riders who prefer to stand atop their horses rather than sit in the saddle. And there are the adorable Russian bears that juggle and cavort as if glasnost-giddy.
Some aspects of the Moscow Circus are more universal, of course. The hula hoop-spinning Daniya Kaseyeva, who comes out wearing not much more than a skimpy glowing green outfit and a smile, would easily fit into an American circus. And no less universal is the circus artist tendency to raise his arms every 10 seconds or so to elicit our applause.
Well, they richly deserve it.
The highlight of the Moscow Circus -- and in more than literal terms -- is an aerial act known as the Flying Cranes. Their balletic, Wagnerian music-enhanced segment represents the souls of dead soldiers rising up from a smoked-over battlefield net. It's another kind of Ring cycle, if you will, and proof that Cathy Rigby's "Peter Pan" isn't the only flying act in town.