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Cirque Dreams -- Jungle Fantasy

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Patash
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joined:5/27/08
Broadway Legend
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5/27/08
Cirque Dreams -- Jungle Fantasy#1
Posted: 6/24/08 at 10:00am
So with all the talk here about Cirque Dreams and the comparisons to Cirque Soleil, let me say that last night we saw this production from the front row mezzanine of the Broadway. (Note, seat A-2 has a raised safety rail at the base of the aisle stairs that blocks about a third of the stage view!)

First of all, let me tell you that Cirque Productions has been operating for 15 years from Florida, both in the States and Internationally-- so this production is not some lame attempt to capitalize on the more famous Cirque Soleil name. Over half of the 28 performers are from Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, or Mongolia. Go to Europe and you will see the term "Cirque" in nearly any circus.

So what was it like? No, not as good as a Cirque Soleil production of which I've seen 5 (several of them several times). One issue is that they are limited by the stage. How dramatic can trapeze acts be when they can't swing 75 feet in the air and do dramatic throws and catches? I'm not sure that most of the performers don't equal the calibre of the Cirque Soleil performers, but their routines don't seem to go anywhere. After they've flown in a cirle from two long banners of fabric, what more can they do, but more circles, etc. It's not like they can be lifted a hundred feet into the air, then unfurl as it looks like they're going to fall to the floor -- or if they do it's from only about 20 feet high. Big deal. There are two Russian guys who do one of those rolling boards on a cylinder act, but theirs is the showstopper of the night. The two of them balance together on the board, and at one point they stack up five of six cylinders, alternating cylinders standing upright on those on their sides. It is astounding to watch!

Costumes and set were colorful and clever -- but it ain't no Lion King or Mystere, or anything like that. Lighting was poor in my book, often not illuminating whomever you should be focused on, and sometimes people just seemed to be in the dark. There is a liberal use of blacklight for effect.

So was it fun? Yea, but I'm glad I got deeply discounted tickets. And of course, no one should go thinking they will see a "Broadway musical". It has nothing to do with those, including the over amplified female singer (Mother Nature) teaching rather lame lessons to Jungleboy, who supposedly comes from the audience but ends up being one of the most talented of all the performers doing bits of almost every act, the strolling electric violinist, and the otherwise synthesized music.
Updated On: 6/24/08 at 10:00 AM
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dramamama611
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re: Cirque Dreams -- Jungle Fantasy#2
Posted: 6/24/08 at 10:05am
Aw, I'm a little dissappointed as I'm seeing this next week with my kids (7 & 11). How do think their age group might enjoy it?

Thanks for taking the time to review.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
seventypercentcocoa
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joined:6/3/08
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re: Cirque Dreams -- Jungle Fantasy#2
Posted: 6/24/08 at 10:10am
And what in god's name were they thinking with the horrific, ice-capades ready singer and bad techno music? If they cut every vocal number from the show it would improve vastly...but as of last night, it was very Cirque meets Barbie on Ice meets a euro gay club.

I wasn't expecting a Vegas-style C.D.S. show, but I was underwhelmed none the less. The music really was incredibly off-putting. But some of the stunts were really wonderfully done, and the second act improves vastly on the first.

Oh god, and there was a woman behind me who dictated EVERY SINGLE movement and event out loud as it happened. But her young son even said "What's the point in that girl singing?," so she gets credit for birthing an attentive, articulate kid.
"It could be worse. You could have majored in TECH theater...then you'd really be poor."
Updated On: 6/24/08 at 10:10 AM
seventypercentcocoa
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re: Cirque Dreams -- Jungle Fantasy#3
Posted: 6/24/08 at 10:11am
young kids will LOVE it though.
"It could be worse. You could have majored in TECH theater...then you'd really be poor."
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WithoutATrace
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re: Cirque Dreams -- Jungle Fantasy#4
Posted: 6/24/08 at 10:12am
I'm going Thursday...
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Patash
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re: Cirque Dreams -- Jungle Fantasy#5
Posted: 6/24/08 at 10:15am
There were a lot of young kids in the audience and yes, they seemed to love it.

seventypercentcocoa, I agree with what you said, I guess I was trying to go easy on them. LOL. You're right that Act II was better. For one thing it was only 40 minutes long as compared to about 50 or 55 for the first act.
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Wanna Be A Foster
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re: Cirque Dreams -- Jungle Fantasy#6
Posted: 6/24/08 at 10:24am
Cirque du Soleil
"Winning a Tony this year is like winning Best Attendance in third grade: no one will care but the winner and their mom."
-Kad

"I have also met him in person, and I find him to be quite funny actually. Arrogant and often misinformed, but still funny."
-bjh2114 (on Michael Riedel)
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Mister Matt
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re: Cirque Dreams -- Jungle Fantasy#7
Posted: 6/24/08 at 10:27am
it was very Cirque meets Barbie on Ice meets a euro gay club.

Um...that sounds kind of awesome, actually.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
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SirNotAppearing
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re: Cirque Dreams -- Jungle Fantasy#8
Posted: 6/24/08 at 11:30am
I'd see that.
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WithoutATrace
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re: Cirque Dreams -- Jungle Fantasy#9
Posted: 6/24/08 at 11:32am
How full/empty was the theater?
betsyl9
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re: Cirque Dreams -- Jungle Fantasy#10
Posted: 6/24/08 at 2:58pm
Saw it last night too and I agree with all of your comments. My friends and I actually left at intermission because we were so underwhelmed by the whole show. Thank god the seats were free. The show was actually pretty packed last night. Only a couple of empty seats from what I can tell. It is true that they are limited by the stage but the major thing for me was the pointless singer, aka "mother nature", and her lifetime after school special messages. If those parts were cut out then maybe it would've been a little better.

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