“All the world is a stage” opines Shakespeare yet, if you’re Neil Goldberg, this is not far from reality. An artist with a penchant for putting on a show, Neil Goldberg’s story is both inspirational and aspirational, a blueprint of mastery pursued, and achieved, through dedication, talent, and perseverance.
Beginning his business pursuits during college, Goldberg juggled a career at United Merchants & Manufacturers, one of the world’s largest textile design and manufacturing companies, while freelancing in various theater endeavors.
After a move to Florida in 1976 to head the company’s southern operations, in 1978 Goldberg started “Ballooning Around”, one of the world’s first bouquet balloon services. In 1981 he formed “Parties by Neil” which by 1991 grew into one of the industry’s largest event and entertainment production conglomerates.
It was in this year that Neil produced his first cirque show, selling off his other business holdings to focus on Cirque Productions exclusively by 1993. Later rebranded Cirque Dreams, the company went on to produce no fewer than 20 different show titles over the next 15 years at theaters, casinos, theme parks, hotels, companies, and cruise ships.
Building on this success, 2004 saw Goldberg open Dream Studios in Pompano Beach, Florida, a premier theatrical and circus production and training facility offering services from music composition and show design to costume creation and manufacturing, among other services.
In 2008, Goldberg’s first-ever show of its kind to hit Broadway, Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, launched to critical acclaim and public popularity, garnering an American Theatre Wing Best Costume Design Award.
Having entertained over 50 million people in 500 different cities worldwide, Neil Goldberg’s productions have dazzled audiences from the Kennedy Center to the Grand Ole Opry House to the Alte Oper House. Retiring in 2019 after a long career and selling his cirque companies to Cirque du Soleil ahead of the pandemic, Goldberg has transformed his Dream Studios complex into a film production, costume design and creation facility. He has further embarked upon a writing and consulting career as well as launching a new show and entertainment brand, Pomp, Snow, and CIRQUEumstance™.
Can you tell us about your children’s storybook, POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance™? What inspired the book?
The book was inspired by my imagination and the desire to create a new generation of storytelling for a new generation of kids. Children and their imaginations have been a constant influence for my creative inspiration throughout the years. I wanted to develop a relatable storybook to visually immerse and simultaneously share valuable lessons.
Are there plans for any more books or to create a POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance™ series?
The second book is in development for a 2024 release. New characters will be introduced and the adventures will continue through all four seasons and multiple holidays. Television and live action series are in discussions.
You have had a long career in art and mixed media. How has your career and work evolved over the years?
My journey has included many artistic platforms, visual, physical and immersive. Today my artistic career is a sum of the parts drawing from an entire lifetime of artistic exploration.
In a career spanning three decades, what is the biggest high point for you?
Opening night on Broadway, hearing Whitney Houston sing the National Anthem at one of my Super Bowl productions, standing on stage at The Kennedy Center before opening my show in the iconic venue and producing shows with Armed Forces Entertainment to entertain service members and their families worldwide.
How is a day in your life?
Exercise and fitness is a mainstay in my daily routine. I’m surrounded by art every day that inspires me. A day without creating something does not exist.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I prefer behind the scenes like the wizard behind a curtain of invention and new ideas.
If you had the power to change just one thing in the world, what would it be?
The ability to turn back time.
Images courtesy of Variety Arts Management, Inc.