Pompano Beach – Neil Goldberg was eight years old when his mother took him to see his first Broadway play. It was then and there that he realized Broadway is where people show the world that dreaming is something that can happen on a stage.
“This has been my dream my entire life,” said Goldberg, whose Dream Studios is located here. “I was interested in everything behind the scenes and I pursued that with a passion.”
Goldberg took that lifelong interest in theater production by being involved in art programs and community theater. His family had textile and fabric stores, where he learned about designing and working with fabric. This would lead to him working as a textile designer at the Garment Center in New York City after college.
“That ultimately led me down to Florida,” said Goldberg. “It had me closer to the textile mills in the south. I started a theatrical entertainment company here.”
In 1993, Goldberg launched Dream Studios, in Florida. The 25,000-square-foot space offered show design services, video production across all genres, costume fashioning, creative studios, and workspaces.
“I needed a place that’d be my own little Disney World,” said Goldberg. It also hosts a diverse contemporary art collection encouraging discovery and creativity, which he has curated from his extensive travels.
In 2008, Goldberg’s first-ever show, Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, hit Broadway. It earned him an American Theatre Wing Best Costume Design Award. It also gained an American Theatre Wing Best Costume Design Award.
Goldberg has also adapted his first book, POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance, into a stage production. Co-written with Niko Nickolaou and illustrated by John Kelly, “It’s about three best friends who study at a secret university learning music, magic and circus skills. Having the world premiere in my backyard is a dream come true,” he said. “I made sure every child at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital had a book in their hand for Christmas.”
With the talent and support of creatives, Goldberg has produced an original music score, designed nearly 200 costumes, and hand-picked an international cast of 30 performance artists.
The costumes, adorned with 150,000 rhinestones and sequins on 140 different fabrics, were tailor-made at Dream Studios by designers and technicians from the U.S., Ukraine, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Netherlands.
The largest costume in the show is Snow Flurry, which stands eight feet tall, is 10 feet in diameter, weighs 40 pounds, and is supported by an aluminum frame on wheels. “Some of the costumes can be completed in three weeks,” said Goldberg. “Others can take as long as four months.”
From Dec. 22 to 30, POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance will be at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood and will feature the book’s illustrations in a 360° video mapping experience, highlighting the live-action theatrical stage spectacle in the round. A performance is also scheduled for Dec. 31, 11:30 a.m. at The Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale.
Goldberg is also working on a new musical and with Brown Books Publishing, has a three-book deal. His second book will be available at the Diplomat before its worldwide release in 2024.
“From being that kid watching Broadway to now, I never thought I’d be able to do something like this in my backyard,” said Goldberg. “Just being able to sit back and be swept into this journey of imagination that brings a smile to their faces, that warms my heart.”
* Photo Credits:
Neil Goldberg at Dream Studios in Pompano Beach where hundreds of costumes are made for productions. [Neil Goldberg]
By Nile Fortner | New Pelican Writer