Cirque Dreams Holidaze delivers enchanting entertainment

By - Nov 20th, 2010 02:41 am

photo courtesy Zizzo Group.

Very seldom does my three-year-old find himself at a loss for words, but as we watched the dazzling cast of Cirque Dreams Holidaze opening performance at the Milwaukee Theatre, he was practically speechless. Every so often, he’d look up at me and ask, “How did they do that?”

I must admit, I too was on the edge of my seat when lavishly-costumed characters pranced deftly across (and in some instances, above) the stage.

Captives of the Christmas spirit, we could hardly bear to look away from director Neil Goldberg’s magical menagerie. Tumbling, tinsel, and theatrics make Cirque Dreams Holidaze a seasonal performance that should not be missed.

The twenty-one song show packed in more entertainment than one would expect from a single stage. The international cast of circus-style performers simultaneously delight and terrify with beautifully choreographed maneuvers paired with an excitable soundtrack of spruced-up seasonal standards and original compositions, set against the backdrop of a larger-than-life holiday display.

The cast depicted a colorful feast of  ornaments and toys  while a trio of narrators spun tales of  toys’ secret lives and children’s yuletide yearnings. The Ice Queen (Emily Matheson), the Angel (Kelly Pekar), and Dickens (Jared Troilo) moved the show seamlessly from one scene to the next.

“Lyra” from Cirque Holidaze, photo courtesy Zizzo Group.

Over and over again, the cast demonstrated the strength and agility demanded of acrobatic exhibition. In one scene, two flaxen-haired damsels known as the Flying Reindeer defy gravity, dangling from a single hoop midair, relying on mirrored movements to create a fluid and graceful human ornament swirling above the stage. This feat, while impressive, was only a taste of what was to come.

The audience held its collective breath each time a new cast member flung themselves toward the ceiling, and burst into maddening applause as each act was successfully completed. The energy was contagious, egged on by displays of beauty, skill and strength. But the fear that at any moment, one of these delicate ornaments could come crashing down, loomed over the crowd. We watched, wide-eyed and ready for anything. Fortunately, bones nor rhythm were broken and he cast carried on to perform increasingly difficult stunts with what seemed like minimal effort.

We all sat in amazement, and much like children wondering,  “How did they do that?”

Cirque Dreams Holidaze has truly earned its name: the vibrant colors and cheerful voices will delight audiences from three to ninety three.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze will have two more performances at the Milwaukee Theatre on Saturday, November 20th.; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets range from $25-$60 and can be purchased at the Box Office or through Ticket Master.

Categories: A/C Feature 3, Dance

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