Freaks and Carnivàl taught us that circuses arent the happy places they appear to be. Water for Elephants doesnt challenge those portrayals. Its not the big top that fascinated me, but the stuff that happens under it, says Gruen. In the book, an old man recalls a time 70 years ago when he worked for a circus run by a crazy ringmaster and populated by the usual freaks. Theres romance, murder, and a young boys back-tent seduction by a pair of circus ladies. Its not about the show, says Gruen.
Thu., July 27, 7 p.m.