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Central Park Variety Show ~ November 20th, 2020

Central Park Variety Show producer/performer Ambrose Martos introduces the evening’s festivities.

MC for the evening was Muffy Styler.

Muffy Styler sang some great tunes with Aldo Perez on guitar.

Brian Klimowski performed a ‘chinese yoyo’ routine and a magic yoyo string restoration. Wonderful!

Tyler West performed two very wild physical comedy sketches.

Ambrose Martos followed with another wild ‘flasher’ routine!

Muffy sang another song and closed out the show.

Curtain call group shot ~ Lea McGowan with Dingo, Muffy Styler, Brian Klimowski, Ambrose Martos, Tyler West and Aldo Perez.

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Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Comedy Juggling Magic Music Physical Theater Variety Arts

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition – June 29th, 2020

Host Keith Nelson introduces the performers for the show.

Beautiful juggling by Luther Bangert in the wilds of nature.

Keith does some real fun ‘sign juggling’.

Montana Miller recites quite a few chemical names while doing a handstand.

Keith announces the best ‘chatterer’ during the Bindlestiff show.

Angelo Iodice shows off his award sash for ‘best chatterer’.

Denny Daniel introduces a whole assortment of antique items from his museum collection.

Great opportunity to help the performers by making a donation.

Mark Hayward attempts (and completes) this new trick of knocking the chip off his ear with the yoyo using a mirror.

Jenny Vidbel performs with her beautiful trained horses.

Keith attempts to catch the knife in the apple on the board. Nope!

During his weekly “Ask Hovey” segment Hovey Burgess talks about elephants in the circus.

Mentalist, magician Eric Walton performs a trick with an audience volunteer.

Butch and Buttercup perform a high aerial balance act under the roof of The Muse.

Performers take their virtual curtain call.

Next Monday night at 7:30pm. A new show with new performances! Tune in!

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Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Comedy Dance Dixon Place Juggling Magic Performing Arts Sideshow Women

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition – June 15th, 2020

Standing in front of the historic Wonder Wheel at Coney Island Keith introduces the show’s performers.

Dominque Rabideau performed a lovely skilled hat juggling act.

From the wilds of the UK Jon Udry performed a wonderful ‘juggling/striptease’ routine and then a charming teacup and teabag juggling routine.

Ermiyas Muluken performed a feat of balance and then juggled clubs while being 4 levels up on a rolla-bolla.

The performers in this show would usually be on stage getting a nice salary for their act but due to the ‘shut down’ they are here for your entertainment. Please consider donating at the options listed above!

Drew Nugent played a song on the piano and performed with the cute little teacup and mouthpiece. (A unique instrument for sure!)

Magic Brian and Tyler Fyre perform the ‘human blockhead‘ routine together online!

Brian and Tyler play some ‘technical wizardry’ in their act!

They proceeded to take the ‘blockhead’ once step further using an electric drill!

Keith attempts the ‘exquisite failure’ routine with the apple and knife. Watch next week because he ‘failed’ this time again. (this time he had his shoes on!)

Stephanie Monseu talks to the audience about ‘giving a hand’ in making the show better!

Kelsey Strauch performs her delightfully funny ‘long arms’ dance routine.

David Darwin requested a volunteer (virtually) and had her projected on his wooden wall pretending to be ‘walking dead’ and threw his knives at the wooden wall. Wild!

In this segment of “Ask Hovey”, Hovey Burgess tells the history of the ‘Wild West Show‘ and how it began with the plainsman “Buffalo Bill Cody“.

Salih Mahammed performed a very skilled juggling act with some props.

Stephanie Morphett-Tepp (Flying Brain) performs a traditional hair hanging act.

The performers take the ‘virtual’ curtain call.

Watch the show next Monday at 7:30pm – Different Acts Every Week!

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Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Comedy Dance Dixon Place Juggling Magic Music Performing Arts Puppetry Variety Arts

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition – June 8th, 2020

Host Keith Nelson introduces the weeks news and show.

Keith Nelson performs his signature act ‘the spinning top’ to open the show.

The Kinesis Project is a collection of wonderful dancers who performed together.

Jonathan Burns gets into and out of a toilet seat and tennis racket with much comedy indeed!

Logan Kerr performed a beautiful tight wire act in the countryside.

Magician Nelson Lugo performed a wonderful rope routine.

Bindlestiff co-director and Open Stage host Keith Nelson performs another amazing trick.

Serenity performed a lovely aerial act in her back yard.

Brad Shur created and performed with some wonderful cardboard puppets.

Corn Mo entertained the viewers with his accordion and original songs.

‘Ask Hovey’ – This week Hovey Burgess discussed the circus bear and it’s history.

Aaron Bonk cracks whips like no one else. Juggling them and cracking!

Elena Sanders performed amazing contortions.

The cast takes their internet ‘curtain call’.

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Aerial Acts Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Clown Comedy Dance Dixon Place Juggling Magic Music Performing Arts Variety Arts

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition – June 1st, 2020

Host Keith Nelson opens the show with an introduction of the acts.

The Bindlestiff Open Stage introduced a ‘new’ camera angle.

Steve Langley performed a wonderful ‘bubble’ production act.

Steve created a ‘bubble’ merry-go-round with his equipment.

Pinkie Special performed a wild ‘hula-hoop’ act.

Bruke had his hands full with a delightfully agile hat juggling act.



Professor DR Schreober took us back in time with some fun period magic.

Larry Vee did the rolla-bolla, hula-hoop, spinning a ball and juggling another.



Stephanie Monseu encouraged the viewers to take the survey.

Chase Culp performed with musical cow bells and played them well.

Hovey Burgess talked about the ‘shot from canon’ act that was in the circus for so many years.

Marcus Monroe juggled illuminated and regular clubs and told some ‘one-liners.

Kyla performed a beautiful aerial act.

The Coronel Sisters from Peru had the most amazing balancing skills on the balls.


Tune in Next Monday for another Bindlestiff Open Stage show!

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Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition – May 18th, 2020

Host Keith Nelson introduces the acts of tonight’s show.

Magic man Torkova performs two different amazing feats. One with multiplying candles and the second producing two bowls of oranges.

Erin Stephens performs a very skilled juggling set in a beautiful studio setting.

Patrick Garner performs a ‘tribute’ to Senior Wences ‘one-handed’ ventriloquism act

Stephanie Monseu models the ‘Top Chatter’ banner awarded to Angleo Iodice.

Presenting a show has many costs. To help defray these please see the above methods for donating to this cause. Bindlestiff Family Cirkus is a ‘not-for-profit’ 501(c)3 organization.

Fernanda Sumano performed a high energy hula-hoop act that allowed us to follow her through the house she was performing into the street and then the roof!

Wilfredo sang a lovely song for the viewers which included the ever-present “I”.

Keith Nelson introduces the ‘Ask Hovey’ segment of the show.

Circus historian/performer/author Hovey Burgess talks about the Hagenbeck & Wallace Circus train wreck of 1918.

Justin Weber performs his amazingly wonderful Yoyo act with colored light projections.

Keith Nelson catches all six spoons and keeps all 6 plates spinning!

Alisa Mae performs a ‘satirical’ aerial act with rolls of toilet paper.

Host Keith introduces the last act. The Kalvan Family!

The Kalvan Family had all the right moves and everyone had great skills!

The online Virtual curtain call for all the performers from the show. (and tech crew!)

Come back next Monday for another great Bindlestiff Open Stage Quarantine Edition Variety Show!


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Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Charlie Chaplin Circus Clown Comedy Dixon Place Juggling Magic Music Performing Arts Physical Theater Sideshow Women

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition – May 4th, 2020

The beginning of May and the sun is shining and the weather is getting nicer here in New York. May 4th had many great surprises for the viewers!

Host Keith Nelson introduces the show to the viewers.

The Bindlestiff Open Stage is made possible by donations from the viewers like you.

Opening the show was The Great Dubini. (Greg Dubin). He swallowed several razor blades and then regurgitated them on a thread he also ate!


Zander Mowat juggled and balanced many household items amazingly!


Eva Lou Rhinelander juggled, did backbends, walk on a wire, and many other wonderful circus feats.


Michael Rosman painted this Chaplin portrait while it was upside down.


Circus historian, performer, author Hovey Burgess gives the viewers a brief history of the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus.


The beautiful and talented Rachel Karabenick performs on the trapeze.


Keith Nelson does so eccentric hat juggling.


Drew Brown performed an extremely delightful cane juggling act.


Gigi (Gina Allison) and the ever so talented dog Zeus did some really nice tricks.


Keith Nelson attempted the sideshow stunt Kendama-Blockhead once more!


David Cain performed numerous juggling stunts.


Sxip Shirey performs live eccentric music as Jonathan Nosan performs his impossible contortions.


Make sure to visit the Dixon Place DP TV shows going on daily!

Make sure you donate to the Bindlestiff Open Stage to keep it happening!

Would you like to perform at the Open Stage? Email: Keith@bindlestiff.org

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Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Comedy Dixon Place Juggling Magic Music Performing Arts Physical Theater Women

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition – April 13, 2020

The second week of The Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition was so much fun. Now we get to see all this great talent every Monday instead of waiting for a whole month. Of course, I miss the LIVE performance at Dixon Place but in the meantime, this is so special! Screengrabs are certainly not a good replacement for good quality camera files but we have to live with what we have at the moment. Here goes week #2!

Keith Nelson opened the show with his ‘Chinese yoyo‘ act. Here is the wonderful top spinning meditation. How long could you look at a top spinning?

Book Kennison juggled with a ceiling secured camera so the viewers had a curious angle to view his juggling routine. Original music and unique viewing angle.

Filling in for another act Michael Rosman performs a rather complicated stunt. Lighting a gasoline-soaked marshmallow that’s sitting on his shoe with his flaming ukelele and then kicking the marshmallow up to be caught by the Nutella spread on a graham cracker he is holding in his mouth. It all worked out well! Thanks for that Michael!

Tyler West is one of my favorite performers. He always gives his show 100% no matter what. Tonight he performed a ‘pantomime’ with an Eric Satie soundtrack. It was surreal and lovely. Great skills mixed with emotion and joy.

Cardone performed a wonderful array of great card manipulations. A master card trick magician (among other great magic skills) and ventriloquist.

Rachel Hipszer balanced on her hands (did an amazing one-arm planche) and many other amazingly beautiful acrobatic skills.

Keith Nelson never stops amazing me with all of his skills. Always learning new routines and doing them so wonderfully. Here he balances 4 delicate glasses on a 3 layer pyramid.

Pinch and Squeal (Jason and Danielle Tilk) performed a lovely duet singing and playing the banjolele (cross between a ukulele and banjo) and accordion.

Paprika Leaverton performed some lovely hat tricks and magic for the viewers.

Coney Island Chris (Chris Alison) stunned the viewers with his strange ‘eating glass’ stunt. Chewing on a GE light bulb and swallowing the glass particles was both strange and funny. He claims to have learned his skills in a ‘How-to internet Sideshow course’.

The entire production of The Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition depends on donations from the fans viewing the show. Here are the methods you can use to help make this wonderful tradition continue weekly during this quarantined time!

If YOU want to participate as a PERFORMER in this show contact Keith at the email address above. Always open to new acts from all over the world!

Elizabeth Munn performed a hysterical romp singing and dancing in her narrow hallway. Performing upside down on a chinning bar and all the time keeping up her song.

Here is Elizabeth in the last moments of her song!

Thanks to all of the folks that made this wonderful show possible!


Next Monday at 7:30pm! The show must go on no matter what!

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Clown Comedy Magic Mime Performing Arts Quick Change Artists Variety Arts Vaudevisuals Interview

Vaudevisuals interview with Luca Lombardo – Quick Change!

I met Luca online as he was perusing the internet for historical information on the art of Quick Change. I had begun writing a book in 1989 title “Quick Change in American Vaudeville” which I researched for over 3 years and had accumulated many volumes of xerox copies (Pre-Internet days).

Having posted a few items on this blog Luca was interested in finding out more about the American history of Quick Change. He is from Naples and only knew the artist from his country and Europe. I emailed him and we set up a time/date for an interview. I thought using Zoom would be great. He agreed but then we realized his English wasn’t up to par (and my Italian was terrible!) to do a thorough interview. I then emailed him the questions I wanted to ask him and he answered them in text. Here is the interview and a video clip of our attempt at a Zoom interview. Along with some videos of his performances.

Interview with Luca Lombardo

Q: You are a magician, quick-change artist, magician, and clown. Can you give us a little history about these skills and where you acquired them? What schools you attended or what teachers you studied with?  

Luca: When I discovered the art of magic I was 15 years old and it really moved me. I studied every kind of magic for many years attending workshops and conferences of worldwide fame magicians. I decided it was my path when I watched Arturo Brachetti’s theatrical show. So I studied clownery both in Italy and abroad while I was practicing my magic tricks. I came up with the idea of a quick-change act with magic tricks. At first, I started only as a magician I then evolved in time as a clown developing a much deeper understanding of the audience. 

Q: Can you tell us about your thoughts regarding the mixing of all these wonderful disciplines?

 Luca: You can use as many tools and disciplines as you acknowledge to tell a story. The message is important. I love being and playing the clown because it is the closest to the truth, you can’t lie to your audience. However, my character is not a pure clown and I like to use my character to create my story.

Q: In a few articles I have read they refer to you as “The Crazy Performer”. Can you tell me why you got that title from the press? 

Luca: I got this nickname because I always tried to overthrow all theatrical rules still existing in the conservative Italian theatre scene. 

Q: I read a quote that mentioned ‘Fregolian Transformation”. Can you tell us what that is?

Luca: The Fregolian Transformation is a transformation not only in the clothes but also in the character, the moves, the attitude. In my act, there is a story and I have to change character not only a costume. In the Russian quick-change instead, the artist changes the only costume and the effort is more in the choreography of it, the story is less important.

Q: While you were in Rome a few years ago you met with Augusto Fornari who helped you write your current show: “Poubelle – Magic Beyond Imagination”. He also directed you in this new show. Can you tell us about the work you did with him? 

Luca: Augusto Fornari is also a film director and he is a very much acclaimed artist in Italy. I owe him everything as he believed in my talent and my creativity since the beginning. We are friends and I am very happy to be his friend.

Q: One of the things I heard about your show was the importance of empathy. Can you tell us how important this emotion is for you in your work? 

Luca: Empathy is what makes an artist happy. I think an artist needs emotions and if you are able to pass these emotions on to your audience, those will come back to you and it probably means you did a good job! I like to gift my audience an emotional and maybe surreal performance. I feel more grateful when someone says you really moved me instead of appreciating how quickly I was with the changes.

Q: Why do you think “Poubelle” has been so successful?

Luca: The nice thing about ‘Poubelle’ is that despite the fact that the character never speaks, he still manages to reach everyone. Empathy with the public is certainly the key to the success of this character. It is not a traditional show but a story of my childhood, the story of my life. With my dress changes – from Peter Pan to Mary Poppins to Super Mario Bros – I am able to tell my world. And this world then becomes that of the spectator who identifies with Poubelle. The great success of this character makes it clear that we all need magic and to play again.

Q: What does magic represent for you?

Luca: Magic is the ability to bring others into your dream, into your world. Changing the world is becoming increasingly difficult, but each of us can create one of our own in which to transport people. The magician does this by profession

Q: What are you working on now? Any new shows? 
Luca: It is very hard to think about future projects right now with the ongoing virus outbreak. I am supposed to be on stage in France at the ‘Avignon Off Festival’ next July. If everything goes further I will preview a new interactive quick-change act where a member of the audience chooses the character I change into.


Poubelle is a multitalented show ( Without words) : magic, poetry, comedy, and solo quick change. In this video the quick change it’s in real-time NO EDITING


Photographs of Characters from Luca Lombardo’s show


For more information on Luca Lombardo check out his InstagramWebsiteYouTube Channel

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6th Annual Southern Sideshow Hootenanny – New Orleans

March 6-8th, 2020 – New Orleans – Cafe Istanbul

A visual survey of the 6th Annual Southern Sideshow Hootenanny. Part 1 of 3.

Monsters of Schlock hosted the ‘Sideshow Innovators’ Show – Friday, March 6th, 2020.

Jezzibel performs the infamous ‘blockhead’ act with an ice pick.

Jezzibel performs a ‘spark’ spectacular finale.

Lunival Lousion performs a wonderful hula-hoop act.

Betsy Propane entertains the audience with her lovely voice while escaping from her straight jacket.

Jared Janssen charmingly performed juggled with ‘live food’.

Betsy Ritz caught a tongue on her mousetrap while kneeling on the floor.

Dante fooled the audience with his charming magic act.

Salem added a touch of the bizarre with the outfit and magical offerings.

Salem combined the ‘blockhead’ act with the seductive.

Chatty the Mime performed silently combining the chair with mimetic skills.

Nathan McScary dazed the audience with his single-handed knot tying tricks.

Emma D’Lemma performed many skills including walking on bottles.

Sweet Pepper Klopek has his tongue caught in a mousetrap set off by his partner

The Monsters of Schlock finish off the evening’s festivities. Sweet Pepper prepares to slam the cinderblock with a sledgehammer on his partner’s groin. But first a gentlemanly hand butt.

This is the first of 3 separate shows that I documented at The Southern Sideshow Hootenanny. Check back in the next few days for photographs of the other two shows. The All-Star and Living Legends Show (Sat night) – Troupe Night(Sunday show.)

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