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Family Portrait: The Lepiarz-Lewis Family

The performing arts family from Brooklyn talks about life in the circus and their favorite winter activities.

  • Photograph: David Rosenzweig

    The Lepiarz-Lewis family

  • Photograph: David Rosenzweig

    The Lepiarz-Lewis family

  • Photograph: David Rosenzweig

    The Lepiarz-Lewis family

  • Photograph: John F. Tremblay

    Bello at the New Victory Theater

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Michael and Ping's

    Michael and Ping

  • Photograph: Lindsay Taylor

    Bloomingdales Holiday Windows

Photograph: David Rosenzweig

The Lepiarz-Lewis family


With a combined total of 70 years of circus experience between them, it’s no wonder that John Lepiarz and Lisa Lewis have made performing a family affair. The Boerum Hill couple, who founded the Super Scientific Circus in 1994, introduced their daughter Lea, 9, to the trade when she was just a tot. “Lea did her first show with the Bindlestiff Cavalcade of Youth when she was three. She danced with spinning plates and put a needle through a balloon,” says Lisa. Today, the fourth grader choreographs her own work each year for the group’s annual show—everything from walking on stilts to emceeing a magic show. Most of all, though, the trio loves performing for family audiences. “It’s so nice to watch people of all ages sharing a moment and laughing together,” Lisa says. “I love it when we can be a part of that experience.”

THEIR FAVORITE...

THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE
“We’ve been members of the New Victory Theater (209 W 42nd St between Seventh and Eighth Aves; 646-223-3010, newvictory.org) for years. Lea’s favorite show was Lookingglass Alice, which played a few years back. We also like all of the theater’s circus acts—especially since we know some of the performers. We’re excited to see our friend Bello onstage this season.”

RESTAURANT
“Lea loves the spare ribs at Michael and Ping’s (437 Third Ave between 7th and 8th Sts, Gowanus, Brooklyn; 718-788-0017, michaelandpings.com), a certified-green Chinese restaurant. They’re made with a really good sauce. The restaurant is right across the street from where she used to take gymnastics, so we’d stop there on Wednesdays after class. Everything we’ve tried has been great.”

WINTER ACTIVITY
“We love going to Radio City Music Hall (1260 Sixth Ave at 50th St; 212-247-4777, radiocity.com) to see the Rockettes. My brother comes up from Atlanta and my mom gets the whole family tickets. We even have a family friend who works there, so we’ve gotten to go backstage and see the animals. After, we usually walk over to the tree and look at the store windows. It’s a grand day all around.”


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