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NYC circuses

Small troupes deliver big-top thrills in the Big Apple.

  • Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

  • Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

  • Boom Town at the New Victory Theater

  • Boom Town at the New Victory Theater

  • The Flying Karamazov Brothers

  • The Flying Karamazov Brothers

  • The Hey-Ya Brothers Comedy Hour

  • Magma Mix at LAVA

  • Magma Mix at LAVA

  • STREB Extreme Action Company

  • STREB Extreme Action Company

  • "Subterranea" Suspended Cirque

  • "Subterranea" Suspended Cirque

  • UniverSoul Circus

  • UniverSoul Circus

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

Construction at Madison Square Garden has forced Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey to skip the city this month (they'll still hit nearby suburban stadiums). But that doesn't mean your crew can't run away and see the circus: These quirky performances offer down-home thrills, skills and yuks.

Bindlestiff Cavalcade of Youth
In 2004, the bawdy Brooklyn-based troupe launched this G-rated series, which showcases the talent of plucky amateurs and precocious pros, all under age 21. Kids will get a kick out of watching their peers unicycle, juggle and do magic. Sun Mar 27 at 4pm. Coney Island USA. Tickets: $15, under 21 $10. All ages.

Boom Town by Cirque Mechanics
We adored this international troupe's last New Vic outing, 2009's Birdhouse Factory, which melded the aesthetics and message of Fritz Lang's Metropolis with fabulous acrobatic feats. The outfit's new show is set in a frontier town during the mid-19th-century gold rush, leaving lots of room for playful brawls, budding romance and, of course, cool tricks. Fri Apr 1--Sun Apr 24. Times vary. New Victory Theater. $14--$38. All ages.

The Flying Karamazov Brothers
The gleefully silly juggling quartet has been around since the '70s but their humor isn't a bit stale—though the fish they like to throw very well may be. During the signature act of their eponymous variety show, the guys accept items from the audience to juggle—the more bizarre the better. Fri 8pm; Sat 1, 3, 8pm; Sun 1, 3, 7pm. Minetta Lane Theatre. $39--$89. Ages 4 and up.

The Hey-Ya Brothers Comedy Hour
Alone, Joel Jeske and Christopher Lueck are world-class clowns. Together, they're a nonstop laugh riot, especially for tykes, who adore their slapstick antics. At this monthly variety show, guest jugglers and magicians complement the duo's vaudevillian humor. Sat Feb 19, Sat Mar 19 at 2pm. Dixon Place. Tickets: $15, children under 12 $10. Ages 3 and up.

at LAVA
The Prospect Heights studio melds dance, theater and acrobatics in its classes and showcases. This month Magma, LAVA's junior company of girls, performs works that incorporate circus skills and martial-arts moves. Sun Mar 27 at 2pm, 4:30pm. LAVA Studio. Free. All ages.

STREB Extreme Action Company
Although Williamsburg's S.L.A.M. (STREB Lab for Action Mechanics) doesn't debut its new show until April, families can catch a peek during open rehearsals throughout March. The highly acrobatic works include "Human Fountain," during which performers leap from a three-story scaffolding, while dancers literally fly (thanks to an Air Ram) in "Falling Sideways." Tue Mar 1--Fri Apr 1. Tue--Fri 11:30am--3:30pm. SLAM Free. All ages.

Subterranea: An Urban Fairy Tale by Suspended Cirque
The credits of this five-person troupe are impressive: They've appeared on Broadway and alongside dance bigwig Twyla Tharp. Mixing aerial acrobatics, music, movement and circus, the NYC-based group is presenting its first extended-run extravaganza, described as "Alice in Wonderland meets Fuerza Bruta," in which an average Joe falls into a world of myth and fantasy. Sun Apr 17--Sun May 8. Times vary. Connelly Theater.  Tickets $15--40. Ages 8 and up.

UniverSoul Circus
Marvel at animals (including elephants!), acrobats and aerialists when this self-described "circus with attitude," the most traditional troupe of the bunch, pitches its tent in Bronx and Queens parks. Mar 16--27 times vary. 149th and Exterior Sts across from the Gateway Center, the Bronx. Mar 29-Apr 10 times vary. Roy Wilkins Park at Merrick and Baisley Blvds, Queens. Tickets: $17.50--$26, children under 1 free. All ages.

 

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