Since 1995 the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus has traveled the world, bringing its unique hybrid of vaudeville, circus, burlesque, and sideshow to theaters, clubs, colleges, and festivals. The company has produced innumerable cabaret shows, custom performances for special audiences, all-ages and family productions, and sophisticated adult shows. Over the last five years the company has begun developing more theatrical productions, including 2001's Buckaroo Bindlestiff's Wild West Gender Bender Jamboree, 2003's High Heels & Red Noses, and 2005's From the Gutter to the Glitter: A Night Out with the Bindlestiffs. In 2004 Bindlestiff instituted its annual children's performance program, the Cavalcade of Youth, in which young performers and technical staff (ages 8-20) have the opportunity to hone their skills with variety arts professionals.
Ma and Pa of the Bindlestiff Family CirkusThe Bindlestiff Family co-founders are Stephanie Monseu and Keith Nelson, who over the last decade have hosted a variety of outrageous talent under the Bindlestiff banner. Individually both Keith and Stephanie provide a vast array of talents, from public relations to booking to performing. Their personal dedication to the variety arts, circus, vaudeville, sideshow, and burlesque has made the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus famous both among audiences and within the variety performance community.
From 2002 to 2004 the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus operated the "last vaudeville house in Times Square." In conjunction with chashama, Bindlestiff opened Bindlestiff's Palace of Variety and the Free Museum of Times Square. The Palace presented up to five performances a day, presenting continuous vaudeville shows on 42nd Street and hosting nearly thirty other productions.
The size of the Cirkus can range from two to sixteen performers, depending on the show. Over 200 performers from a multitude of disciplines have entertained Bindlestiff audiences across the country and around the world. Bindlestiff has brought its grand spectacle to hundreds of thousands from a live stage, and over a million through television. Dedicated fans come back again and again expecting the very best and most original acts working today.
In 2006 the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and Magic Hat Summer Variety Show made its debut tour. Co-sponsored by Magic Hat Brewing Company, this production sought to bring circus to festivals and music stages up and down the East Coast. 2006 also marked the first year the Bindlestiff performed in a Spiegeltent. This European style cabaret tent provided the perfect background for the Bindlestiff Cirkus spectacle.
BFC PerformersSince 2006 Bindlestiff has been working with Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island to provide circus elements for musical theater productions. And with Snug Harbor's support, in the summer of 2007 the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus will offer its first summer camp program for New York youth.
Bindlestiff has brought the circus arts to every type of stage and audience imaginable, and some unmentionable. Its shows have ranged from family shows to musical parodies to burlesque Cirkus spectacles. For nearly fifteen years Bindlestiff has been keeping the variety arts alive through performance and teaching in New York City and beyond.
You can find Bindlestiff Family Cirkus alums working in theaters, festivals, arts centers, circuses, cruise ships, and carnivals around the world.