CIRQUE DREAMS JUNGLE FANTASY
Music and lyrics by Jill Winters
Musical direction by Jill Winters
Created and directed by Neil Goldberg
What can be said about Cirque after all of these years? The American troupe of acrobats and specialty acts had changed the idea of the circus by combining the European cirque style of performance artistry with American circus acts and Broadway Theater. Their stances of only using human performers have made a major change to regular family circuses. The show features contortionists, aerialists, jugglers and acrobats. It is circus acts but presented in a different way.
The latest to go on tour in the US is one of the first shows that were designed way back in 2008. It is called Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy. It is a part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center as a part of the Broadway Series and runs from June19-21 at the Winspear Opera House.
The play is in two acts of eight scenes. The idea is that the person is in a dream state of a jungle. The backgrounds have an eerie glow almost as if we are in the deepest, darkest part of the jungles, although with much more neon. The opening is “Flipping out in the Jungle”.
One of the highlights from Act One is “Hop, Stretch & Contorting Lizards”. It is the kind of performance that has to be seen to be believed. But, easily the biggest highlight from the First Act is “Silent Safari Film”. Our silent cinema director gets the audience involved in making a jungle picture. With a whistle and pith helmet, the actor brings the audience to their feet by over dramatic directions.
Act Two is a solid series of acts with little comedy in the proceedings. The entire act in wrapped in music and the featured vocalist has a warm, inviting voice. There is also an electric violinist who adds to her ethereal voice.
A highlight of Act Two is “Aerial Birds Nest” where two acrobatic women twist, turn and convert in a myriad of positions. One wonders how they can maneuver in such a confined space. It is a beautiful balancing act that is as poetic as it is athletic.
In “Lady Bug Legs” a woman spins and twists different objects and finished with spinning a table in almost contortionist fashion. The audience roared at her skills in flipping objects.
The show ends with “A Balance with Giraffes” and one of the most amazing balancing acts that one will see on stage. The acrobat stacks round cylinders and boxes higher and higher without losing his balance. He received a much deserved standing ovation.
This is a show that will wear out the audience’s hands by applause. By the Second Act, hands were almost blistered by clapping. Very seldom in life will one experience so many outbursts in such a short period of time. The show is two-one hour events and is exhausting to watch any more.
Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy is a show that should not be missed under any circumstance. It is a family friendly event that will entertain the kids as much as it would entertain Dad There is such a simple joy in watching seasoned professionals at the peak of their craft.