Under the Small Top

To expand sales, Ringling Bros. is taking a two-elephant circus to towns it hasn't visited in decades

The last time a renowned circus visited Rome, Ga., American troops were engaged in a foreign war. That would have been World War II. Yet for second-generation circus owner Kenneth Feld, many of the show's issues haven't changed much in the more than 60 years between stops. Would the locals fill the arena? Would the ringmaster get his head out of the alligator's mouth in time? Had Feld budgeted enough for gasoline? Would his cell phone work in Rome? O.K., some issues are new.

And so is the show. In March the granddaddy of all circuses, Ringling Bros. and Barnum &...

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