My God, it's "Pippin", a better-than-most-but-not-outstanding piece of musical theater writing that is full of logical inconsistencies in terms of the troupe that is being presented, as well as massive anachronisms that situate the action squarely in the American 1970s, which requires an effective theatrical conceit to give life to a fairly inert main character and his Candide-like picaresque adventures. Did the circus troupe fulfill the opening lyrics? Not really, but they don't make a lot of sense to begin with, and people really enjoyed seeing the circus performers, and maybe that's why the show had a successful revival for the first time in 40 years. Because, ultimately, all that matters is that the audience have a belief that some sort of performing troupe is putting on a storytelling, and that's what Diane Paulus et al provided. It worked, simple as that.