The Gowanus Circus at the Muse

Circus show will bring the heat with fire-breathing performance

The Brooklyn Paper
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This circus won’t be in tents — but it will be intense.

A Brooklyn circus troupe will celebrate its third birthday with a performance at Bushwick brick-and-mortar big-top the Muse on May 29, but instead of blowing out candles, it is going to light up the room with a performance of fire-breathing. And the performers have plenty more tricks up their sleeves, said the group’s creator, including aerial contortion, trapeze, acrobatics, and classic sideshow routines.

“We wanted a show that really brings together all these different art forms,” said Noah Price, a fire-breather and the founder of the Gowanus Circus. “A lot of the shows these days have like five aerial people and nothing else, but circus is a lot bigger than that. We wanted to showcase many different types of talents.”

Price started the Gowanus Circus with six other performers in 2012, and the troupe has recruited more members over the years, now boasting alums from the likes of Ringling Bros. and Cirque du Soleil. The group started out practising and performing at the Gowanus Ballroom, but Price says a risk-averse landlord soon gave them the boot, and the entertainers have been without a regular space since then, performing at parties and shows at different venues around the borough.

Now the troupe is finally able to put down roots at the newly-moved Muse, which Price helped rebuild in Bushwick after Vice Media displaced its original space in Williamsburg. So the May 29 performance will also be something of a homecoming, said Price, as well as a chance to show that Brooklyn circus is still going strong.

“Our last set show was in January 2013, so this is sort of our return,” he said. “It’s also a chance to be like, ‘Hey, look at all these great spaces being built.”

The huge new venue, which offers classes to kids and adults during the day, will also allow the troupe to attempt new death-defying displays, said one performer.

“People can expect a really broad showcase,” said trapeze artist Hanna Mandelbaum, who has been with the group since 2013. “The Muse is massive, so we have the capacity to do things that wouldn’t work in other places.”

The Gowanus Circus Third Anniversary Show at the Muse (338 Moffat St. between Irving and Knickerbocker avenues in Bushwick, May 29 at 7:30 pm. $20 ($15 advance).

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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