A new circus is heading to Manhattan next week, paying retro tribute to its turn-of-the-20th century forebears.
“Circus 1903,” coming to the Theater at Madison Square Garden between April 5 and 16, pays homage to the traveling acts that barnstormed across America in the early 1900s.
Although the two-act show will feature traditional acts such as jugglers and wire and bike performers, it won’t revive the controversial practice of having live animals perform.
Instead, the show incorporates life-size elephant puppets, an adult and a child, created by the team that developed their equine counterparts for “War Horse” on Broadway.
“It’s an innovative way to bring people back to the roots of the circus,” said David Williamson, who plays the ringmaster, Willy Whipsnade, at a press event on Wednesday.
The circus will include performers who have been part of a long line of entertainers from around the world, such as the Lopez family from Guatemala on a a high wire, a Russian aerialist and an Ethiopian contortionist.