Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy

There's a nifty moment near the top of Cirque Dreams (consumer warning: no relation to Cirque du Soleil) where one member of the acrobatic troupe walks across the stage bent at a ninety degree angle and costumed as an ostrich. It's the only bit in the first act that showed fresh theatrical imagination; there may be others in the second, but I was not about to find out for myself. The garish costumes (they're meant to be jungle animals, but most look like unitards made out of shredded neon-colored streamers) and the drippy power ballads (of the follow your dreams and reach for the stars variety) don't do the gymnast performers any favors. In the absence of an artful, cohesive presentation, the world-class feats of athleticism get very old very quickly.

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