The 136th edition of the show debuts tonight (Jan. 4) in Tampa, Florida, and the new show eliminates the traditional three rings in order to maximize space in the arena and bring the show closer to audiences.
One way to do this is to include a giant videoscreen to minimize distances and, this year, the show will follow a storyline where one lucky family goes on a magical journey.
There will also be an attempt to attract young audiences by having American Idol 2 finalist Jennifer Fuentes take on the duties of the singing songstress and, occasionally, the ringmaster.
The changes mark the biggest ones made in 50 years by the so- called Greatest Show On Earth, and Ringling Brothers spokesman Darin Johnson says they are a response to customer requests.
But some things wont ever change. Johnson say research shows the audiences want the clowns, acrobats and elephants to stay just as they are.
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