Sunday, May 23, 2010

Banana Shpeel

Banana Shpeel is not the best thing Cirque Du Soleil has ever done. Its focus on Schmelky, the master of ceremonies, is completely uninvolving, and some of the clown bits go on way too long. However, it's still Cirque du Soleil. Gorgeous people still do amazing things with their stunning bodies. Foot juggler Vanessa Alvarez shows breathtaking skill and style, Dmitry Bulkin uses his strength to make beautifully impossible (impossibly beautiful?) tableau, and contortionists Tsybenova Ayagma, Zhambalova Lilia, and Tsydendambaeva Imin make you believe Schmelky when he says that he flew them over first class, two in the overhead compartment and one under the seat in front of him. Banana Shpeel also features some wonderful dancing, particularly the tap numbers, as well as some gorgeous scenery. The costumes are insanely colorful, sometimes to great effect, sometimes not. The clowns are not what many people would imagine when hearing the word clown; for example, the wry, slinky, wonderful Patrick De Valette has a persona very close to a creep exposing himself on the subway. The live band rocks but is way too loud--I believe that the acts would get more applause at certain moments if people could hear each other starting to applaud. Discounts are available on the Cirque Du Soleil website.

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