Friday, May 28, 2010

Shazzam! Waterfront Museum's circus series returns this June

By Meredith Deliso

It’s showtime on the showboat!

The popular Sunday circus series returns to the Waterfront Museum, a restored barge on the Red Hook waterfront, with a whole new season of acrobats, aerialists and jugglers in “Showboat Shazzam.”

For families acquainted with the barge and its variety show CIRCUSundays, have no fear: this is the same show, but with the name changed for fundraising purposes (apparently, state agencies aren’t so keen on giving grants to anything with the word circus in it).

As in past years, the show will include a variety of acts for a full circus experience — right at your feet.

“It’s the closest parents and children will be to circus performers,” said Karen Gersch, artistic director of the show, now in its 14th season on the barge. “It’s that proximity and intimacy that makes our series so successful.” (Successful, indeed. Last year, Brooklyn Paper reviewer Thurston Dooley III couldn’t stop raving.)

This year’s series starts on June 6 with the comedy trio Fidget, Loon & Tater; eccentric juggler Will Shaw; acrobats Rudy & Lea; aerialist Hilary Sweeney (pictured), who does her act on a hammock and a rope; and Rudi Macaggi, a winner of “America’s Got Talent” who performs comedy acrobatics (see that footage below).

Other highlights of the month-long series include a pirate — Billy Bones the Good Pirate! (June 13) — Professor Phineas Feelgood’s Flea Circus (June 20), and David Sharps, caretaker of the barge, performing a Chinese vase manipulation act (June 13).

“It’s always great to see the barge fill up with folks who had never been to Red Hook or the barge, as well as those who return every year,” said Sharps.

Because luckily, this showboat isn’t going anywhere.

Showboat Shazzam at the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge [Pier 44 at Conover and Beard streets in Red Hook, (718) 624-4719], Sundays in June at 1 pm and 4 pm. Tickets $16 for adults, $12 for kids (in advance). For info, visit


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