Gwen Verdon “Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus” Sweet Charity, 1966

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus officially announces today that they are eliminating elephant acts from their shows and all elephants will be relocated to their Center for Elephant Conservation.

The circus plans to phase out elephant acts by 2018.  Their 43 elephants will live at the company’s 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in central Florida. Twenty-nine animals are already there, and the other 14 will arrive as they are phased out from the circus. Elephant acts have been showcased by Ringling Bros for more than a century.

Pictured below are two original black and white press call or news print publicity photograph proofs featuring Gwen Verdon in full costume as Charity Hope Valentine in the original 1966 Tony award winning Broadway “musical smash” hit Sweet Charity conceived, staged and choreographed by Bob Fosse.  Gwen Verdon is pictured gallantly waving her right arm atop a Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus performance used elephant with side promotional panels reading “Sweet Charity.”GwenRinglingBro

GwenRinglingBrosBEach photograph measures 8 x 10 inches overall, having verso blind red ink stamp reading in-part “Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus.”

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“The Musical Smash at the Palace” Gwen Verdon starring in Sweet Charity, 1966Ticket Advertisement for Sweet Charity 1965Bob Fosse “Sweet Charity” Choreographer Tony Award, 1966

Photo by Brian Christopher Cummings

“Big Spender” Fan-Dango Ballroom Girls, 1966

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