By Leah Greenblatt
March 04, 2009 at 10:24 PM EST

Would you believe it’s been half a decade since we last saw La Brit on the road? Five years after a knee injury shorted out her Onyx Hotel Tour, the star — then still but a Cheeto-twirling pop tartlet, now a 27-year-old battle-hardened divorcee and mother of two — brought the Circus to New Orleans last night.

Dressed as a sexy ringmaster, directing a colorful cast thatincluded jugglers, acrobats, and martial arts dancers, the Louisiana native treated a nearly sold-out crowd to, as the Associated Press describes it,  “a tightly choreographed, if perfunctory” performance (see a sneak peak provided by her new sponsor, Candies, below), full of Big Top-style razzle-dazzle. The ringmistress herself was widely reported to be lip-syncing her way through hits like the more recent”Womanizer” and “Piece of Me” and the now 10-year-old(!) “Baby One More Time.”

Readers, you’ll have 26 more chances to catch her live before she heads to Europe in June….Will U Seek Britney?