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Story by Andy Argyrakis
In terms of those gasp-worthy moments, fans of the Neil Goldberg created and directed show are in for contortionists clad in construction site-themed costumes, practically impossible gymnastic stunts, a twist on tight rope walking (we're talking full out flips on a thread thin wire) and people tossing other's bodies with merely their feet! Yet there's a unifying theme and storyline that runs throughout the showmanship, (a true rarity for this artistic discipline), which is a fleet of street artists on the aspiring journey to fame being documented by a news crew every step of the way.
Speaking of these roaming performers, there are plenty of musical interludes intermingled with the stunts, including a diva-like soul singer who could easily be cast in "Rent," a drummer who blasts beats with bouncy balls instead of sticks (all while juggling) and a hip-hop troupe led by a pop & locking breakdancer. In fact, that latter entertainer is an instant marvel, twisting and turning in remarkably uncomfortable positions with fluid nimbleness and a kooky smile on his face at all times.
Surprisingly, the most enjoyable segment throughout the entire progression came in one of the simplest displays that found a semi-traditional clown calling four unsuspecting cast members from the audience to participate in an off the cuff spoof of the film noir genre. During this particular date, the guest actors passed the test with flying colors and earned a hearty round of hoots for purposely overacting the intentionally silly slapstick. While not as high budgeted as like-minded Las Vegas productions (not to mention a fade out finale rather than a true climax), theatergoers should enter "Cirque Dreams Illumination" expecting the unexpected and being prepared to laugh a lot along the way.
"Cirque Dreams Illumination" continues through June 6 at the Bank of America Theatre. For additional details, visit www.CirqueProductions.com or www.broadwayinchicago.com
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