Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus was founded in 1995 by Keith Nelson and Stephanie Monseu. Initially, the duo was named "Fireplay.[1] They toured the world with a mix of circus and sideshow. In 1999, the company became a non-profit organization incorporated as "Bindlestiff Family Variety Arts, Inc.[2][3][4][5]


Beginning in 2001, the Cirkus produced full-length theatrical productions, including "Buckaroo Bindlestiff's Wild West Gender Bender Jamboree" (2001), "High Heels and Red Noses" (2003), and "From the Gutter to the Glitter: A Night Out with the Bindlestiffs" (2005), directed by Michael Preston.[6][7][8]

They also produced several editions of the Cavalcade of Youth, a showcase for performers 21 years of age and under.[2][9]

The Palace of Variety[edit]

In 2002, the company converted a defunct shoe store just off Times Square into a performance space called The Palace of Variety and a museum called The Free Museum of Times Square. During the following seasons, The Palace of Variety became the focal point of variety arts in New York City. As many as fifteen shows per week featured the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and other performing artists. Acts included plays, sideshow exhibitions, burlesque shows and a flea circus. The Free Museum of Times Square showcased the area's history. They were forced to close in February 2004 due to the planned demolition of the building.[10]

Company members[edit]

Mainstay performers include founders Keith Nelson and Stephanie Monseu, keyboardist Raja Azar, aerialist and trapeze artist Tanya Gagné, lasso artist and rope-spinner Angelo Iodice, clown Christine Duenas, musician Peter Bufano, clown Matthew Morgan, juggler Adam Kuchler, drummer Tim Hoey, flea circus impresario and clown Adam Gertsacov, magician Magic Brian, daredevil clown Jonah Logan, insectivore and magician Tanya Solomon, and magician MC Scotty the Blue Bunny.[5][11] Other members have included Sxip Shirey.


  1. ^ Kamenetz, Anya. "Fire, Fire, Burning Bright", The Village Voice, Neighborhoods, New York, New York, 4 June 2002.
  2. ^ a b Smithsonian Institution. "Profiles: Bindlestiff Family Cirkus", Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Circus Arts, Washington, DC, United States, 2017, as referenced on 18 February 2020.
  3. ^ Lemons, Stephen. "Step Right Up: It’s the Strangest Show on Earth", Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, California, 19 September 1999.
  4. ^ Albrecht, Ernest / Editor. "Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Has Been Defying All Odds for Twenty Five Years", Spectacle (an online journal of the circus arts), Vol. VIII, No. 5, East Brunswick, New Jersey, date of publication undetermined, as referenced on 18 February 2020.
  5. ^ a b Juggle Magazine, International Jugglers' Association, Kissimmee, Florida, May/June 2004.
  6. ^ Ferguson, Sarah. "Tricky Bohos", The Village Voice, Theater, New York, New York, 8 February 2000.
  7. ^ Bellafante, Ginia. "A Funny Kind of Love", The New York Times, Style, New York, New York, 21 August 2005.
  8. ^ Berger, Arion. "Q&A: Bindlestiff Family Cirkus", The Washington Post, Express, Washington, DC, United States, 28 June 2006.
  9. ^ Graeber, Laurel. "Events for Children in NYC this week: A Cardboard and Duct Tape Spectacular", The New York Times, Arts, New York, New York, 4 May 2017.
  10. ^ Martin, Douglas. "Old-Time Vaudeville Looks Young Again", The New York Times, Theater, New York, New York, 24 November 2002.
  11. ^ Baldwin, Michelle. "Burlesque and the New Bump-n-Grind", Speck Press, Denver, Colorado, pgs. 107-108, as referenced in the Open Library.

External links[edit]