Monday, November 17, 2008

The Rosemont Horizon

Last Thursday I went to the Rosemont Horizon. Actually that isn't the venue's official name, since a really large insurance company paid to slap its name on the structure about 10 years ago. But before that it was the Horizon, a name I always thought distinctive, even though I never actually went there to see anything. For years I associated the name with arena rock acts, college basketball, WWF and other events, and I'm not going to call it anything else.

At about 20,000 seats, it's a large place, and a money-maker for the Village of Rosemont, the town tucked away near the entrance to O'Hare that owns the venue. The arena in fact was built on a parcel adjacent to the airport, and at a distance looks like one of the more artful distribution warehouses in the O'Hare industrial market, white with blue trim. Jets fly right over it at regular intervals.

At a distance is the way most visitors are going to see the arena at first, since it's surrounded by a large amount of parking space that's accessible from Mannheim Road. At least that's the way I drove in, along with Lilly and Ann in the car. We'd come to see the circus. To be more exact, the Greatest Show on Earth, or Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey's circus, a show called "Over the Top."

"Greatest Show on Earth" of course is Ringling's slogan, and a fine one it is, too, echoing (loudly) all the way back to P.T. Barnum and other showmen who are now only dust and glimmers of circus lore. But it doesn't really fit the show we saw. "Not the Greatest Anymore Because the World is Full of Man-Made Marvels, But Very Entertaining All the Same" just isn't catchy enough for a circus, however.

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At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had forgotten that Kenneth Feld owned Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey. I'm surprised that Feld Entertainment's name is set in smaller type than Ringling Bros. but perhaps it's enough of an established brand that he didn't care to mess with it. When the ice show came to town (the last time I noticed, anyway) it was KENNETH FELD presents a FELD ENTERTAINMENT production of KENNETH FELD's icecapades, brought to you by KENNETH FELD.

At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did they have an alligator wrestler? Nothing funnier than a large man, masked like a Mexican wrestler, tugging a torpid - doubtless carefully chilled - alligator around the ring. Did they got a band? My greatest disappointment when I took the boys to the circus, twelve or fifteen years ago, was that a live band of brass, woodwinds and percussion had been replaced by a canned rock soundtrack. ANK


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