Illusionist Tristan Crist is performing weekday shows at Circus World Museum this spring, highlighted by a trick in which he crawls through the spinning blades of an industrial-sized fan.
By Ben Bromley
March 13, 2013
Looking to capitalize on the jump in visitor traffic it sees during spring break, Circus World Museum is offering a spring show for the first time.
Last week, illusionist Tristan Crist began performing twice daily shows at the Fox Wagon Restoration Center. The 300-seat venue has attracted only a handful of spectators per show so far, but that figure could swell to 75 as area schools go on break, said Dave SaLoutos, the museum’s performance director.
“We do notice that we get attendance during spring break,” SaLoutos said. “It’s nice to be able to offer them a performance.”
In addition to checking out the Baraboo historic site’s buildings, exhibits and parade wagons, visitors can attend Crist’s half-hour show each weekday at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Entering his eighth season at Circus World, Crist has developed a following with his blend of magic, illusions, comedy and audience participation bits. New this year, he tempts fate by crawling through the spinning blades of an industrial-sized fan.
The spring show marks Circus World’s latest step to extend its performance season beyond its traditional summer slot. Last year, Crist performed into October, and this year is slated to perform through mid-November. “It was driving additional attendance at Circus World,” SaLoutos said.
The museum is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this spring. SaLoutos said the illusion show serves the museum’s mission to preserve circus history, as magic has long been part of traveling circuses. And it made sense to build a spring season around a local one-man show like Crist, rather than undertaking a full big top show with multiple acts.
“This is something he dearly loves,” SaLoutos said of Crist. “It’s close to his heart.”