Broadway Director, Award-Winning Author And Producer Of

By Sharon Wagner | Photography by Craig Ambrosio

"All the world’s a stage,” opines Shakespeare, yet, if you’re Neil Goldberg, this is not far from reality. An artist with a penchant for whimsy, spectacle, and putting on a show, Neil Goldberg’s story is inspirational and aspirational, a blueprint of mastery pursued and achieved through dedication, talent, and perseverance.

Growing up on Long Island and working at the family textile business, Mendel Goldberg, established in 1892 and still operating in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, introduced Goldberg to a work ethic that would later transcend into a global entertainment brand.  

“As a young child, I was blessed with the gift of imagination,” Goldberg says. “Throughout my career, I’ve used my imagination to convey meaning through imagery, narrative, and drama.” 

After graduating from C.W. Post College, he landed in the center of New York City’s garment district, designing textiles and collaborating with some of the industry’s top fashion designers. “Color, form, and style were key factors in my artistic world,” he shares. “I filled my spare time with theater and stimulating outlets drawing inspiration that nurtured my passion for creativity and the arts.”

Since 1993, Goldberg has founded and launched Variety Arts Management, Dream Studios, and the world-renowned entertainment brand Cirque Dreams, recognized for over 20 different show titles presented across the globe at theaters, casinos, theme parks, hotels, and cruise ships.

Dream Studios in Pompano Beach, Florida, is a premier theatrical, film, and media complex offering show design services, video production across all genres, costume fashioning, creative studios, and workspaces. It also hosts a diverse contemporary art collection encouraging discovery and creativity, which Neil has curated from his extensive travels.

“Dream Studios is my playground of imagination,” says Goldberg, “It’s where I innovate, explore and produce every day with a team of very talented dreamers. Costume design is one of my passions. A costume can tell a fantastical story and establish the imaginary substance of a character.” His distinctive costume creations have been featured in museums and magazines and are now being reproduced into high-end plush collectibles.

In 2008, Goldberg’s first-ever show of its kind to hit Broadway, Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, propelled to critical acclaim and public popularity and was nominated for an American Theatre Wing Best Costume Design Award.

Neil Goldberg’s original shows and productions have dazzled over 50 million people in over 500 cities across five continents at thousands of venues, including Super Bowls, the Kennedy Center, the Grand Ole Opry House, Alte Oper House, Ziegfield Theatre, and MoMA. He has been recognized for influencing today’s contemporary circus and entertainment landscape, spurring unique theatrical productions, schools, and the careers of thousands of performance artists worldwide.

Intending to retire in 2019 after an illustrious career and selling his cirque companies to Cirque du Soleil ahead of the pandemic, he has further embarked upon a consulting and writing career while launching a new brand & book series, POMP, SNOW, & CIRQUEumstance™.

“My life has been like a colorful kaleidoscope: changing, unexpected and distinct,” he asserts. The Broadway director, theatre producer, and creative visionary can now add children’s book author to his long list of descriptors.

POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance, co-written with Niko Nickolaou and illustrated by John Kelly, is Goldberg’s first book. It shares the holiday adventures of three unique characters as they study and learn special music, magic, and circus skills at a secret university before sharing their gifts with the world and learning valuable lessons in humility and service to others.

Chris Jones, noted Broadway, Theatre and Culture Critic for the Chicago Tribune and New York Daily News pens in the book’s foreword, “Goldberg’s POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance are vistas of entertainment, endless adventures, and wonderful artistry; you’ve landed inside a world as gorgeous as the entry to a Parisian metro station, as exotic as a Hungarian cafe or as vibrant as an African market.”

Goldberg’s collective projects have one goal in common: to inspire. “I was drawn to the endless possibilities of painting a picture of a fantasy world with words, combining the realms of reality and illusion to influence a new generation of storytelling for a new generation of kids.”

After Brown Books Kids reviewed the manuscript, they endorsed Neil’s vision, publishing and distributing the book in 2021 to instant appeal and notoriety.

Tom Reale, President & COO at Brown Books Publishing Group, acknowledges, “As an author, Neil’s innate showmanship and creative vision make his books and performance adaptations enchanting. He personifies our culture of fostering storytellers who leave a lasting impact on families.”

In two short years, Goldberg’s creative prowess and tenacity have catapulted the POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance brand into prominence with nine coveted book awards, seven Telly Awards for a holiday television special inspired by the book, and been featured on Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, and media platforms far and wide. The book is now distributed through more than 30,000 retail and online outlets.

Goldberg has generously shared POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance with schools, libraries, and kid’s programs, including the Department of Defense-sponsored Month of the Military Child, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, and Make-A-Wish Foundation. The book has been inducted into the USO’s Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program and Libraries. He produced a world book tour and interactive performances with Armed Forces Entertainment for over 100,000 service members and their families at U.S. military bases throughout seven countries.

THERE’S MORE TO COME The mastermind of Neil Goldberg has newly transformed POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance into a live-action 360-degree immersive holiday experience of music, magic, and circus for the entire family.

With a career of firsts, POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance will premiere as the first ever Vegas-style exclusive residency at the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach in December 2023. Echoing Goldberg’s passions, Fontainebleau Miami Beach merges striking design, contemporary art, music, fashion, and history into vibrant experiences.

“I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with imaginative partners and visionaries throughout my career. Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Capture Studio Group, and BleauLive have given me a beautiful canvas to premiere this new holiday entertainment reality.” 

Goldberg has worked unwaveringly on adapting the book into a highly anticipated stage production. With the talent and support of an unparalleled team of creatives, he has produced an original music score, designed nearly 200 extraordinary costumes, and hand-picked an international cast of 30 remarkable performance artists he will direct in the showstopping POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance holiday production.  

“The spectacle and grandeur of POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance make this new show a natural fit for Fontainebleau Miami Beach, which continues to be a beacon for iconic entertainers and extraordinary performances,” says Fontainebleau Miami Beach Vice President and Managing Director Patrick Fisher. 

It’s evident that Goldberg has achieved great success in life and shows no signs of wavering creativity. With his ingenuity and pioneering spirit, a toy line, television series, national tour, residency shows, and Broadway engagement are all in development.

The enthusiastically expected second book, Holidays All Year with POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance, will be released in 2024. It follows the characters around the world, learning about different holidays, from Lunar New Year, Ramadan, and Diwali to Passover, Easter, and St. Pat’s. When their gifts don’t match each day quite right, a new character is introduced whose mother is Nature and father is Time. With her wisdom, knowledge, and powers, she rewinds time so the trio can celebrate each holiday’s traditions with the special care they deserve. 

Neil continues innovating new ways to engage readers and theatergoers, consulting on unique projects that cultivate, promote and present distinctive content, such as Koolulam, an extraordinary immersive musical experience coming to the States from Israel. 

He has served on the Board of Directors of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, is an official sponsor of the Miami Book Fair, and has established the Neil Goldberg Dream Foundation as a way to give back and enrich the arts—and his path to where he is today all leads back to his childhood.  

For show tickets and more information on POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance,
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