CIRQUE SHANGHAI: BRIGHT SPIRIT Performs 6/3-9/7 At Pepsi Skyline Stage, Chicago
After three smash seasons at Navy Pier, Cirque Shanghai returns with an all-new full-scale theatrical production, "Cirque Shanghai: Bright Spirit." Embraced by Chicagoans and tourists alike as "Chicago's Summer Circus," Cirque Shanghai performs June 3 - Sept. 7, rain or shine, at the Pepsi® Skyline Stage®, the 1,500-seat, canopied, open-air theater on Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. "Bright Spirit" is presented in partnership with International Special Attractions (ISA) via its offices in Shanghai and the United States. The press performance is scheduled for Wednesday, June 3 at 8 p.m.
Featuring such exotic acts as "Diabolo," "Aerial Ballet," and the "Russian Barre," this dazzling showcase of strength, agility and grace is meticulously choreographed to a specially produced musical score and performed with ingenious stagecraft, offering audiences a full-scale theatrical experience. Full of energy, color, raw power and fluid beauty, "Cirque Shanghai: Bright Spirit" is a soaring celebration of life appearing only in Chicago and only at Navy Pier for this limited summer engagement.
"‘Cirque Shanghai' is fast becoming a quintessential Chicago summer experience for many families, akin to baseball, the lakefront, or an outdoor summer concert," said Marilynn Gardner, general manager of Navy Pier. "Everyone at Navy Pier is very proud to once again host ‘Cirque Shanghai' and its world premiere debut of ‘Bright Spirit.'"
Presented by ISA Executive Producers Haiping Ge and Michael Wilson with creative consultation by John L. Steenhoven, "Cirque Shanghai: Bright Spirit" brings the outstanding showmanship that ISA displayed as the first producers of Chinese acrobatics on Broadway. Having played to enthusiastic audiences for three consecutive years, Cirque Shanghai will continue in the tradition of bringing top-tier international entertainment exclusively to Navy Pier at reasonable prices.
"This year's production, ‘Cirque Shanghai: Bright Spirit' is yet another groundbreaking step as ISA showcases our East/West partnership by presenting the great tradition of Chinese acrobats through the vision of top-flight U.S. directors and choreographers. Chicago is our home away from home," said Haiping Ge, president of ISA. "‘The Cirque Shanghai: Bright Spirit' cast comes to Navy Pier directly from China for the world premiere of this exciting new show. We look to touring ‘Bright Spirit' internationally following our summer-long run at Navy Pier," added Mike Wilson, vice president of ISA.
"We are thrilled to welcome this stunning troupe of Chinese acrobats to the United States this summer. Hundreds of thousands of Navy Pier visitors have been awed by the amazing feats of ‘Cirque Shanghai' over the past three years. The 2009 world premiere of ‘Bright Spirit' will bring a highly accomplished, award-winning group of young athletes that promises to captivate audiences of all ages!" said Dulcie Gilmore, director, Pepsi Skyline Stage and Arie Crown Theater.
Founded by Haiping Ge and Mike Wilson, ISA is the first company dedicated to two-way entertainment trade between China and the U.S. The company began working with Chinese acrobatic troupes in 1996 and is now the largest presenter of foreign entertainment in China as well as Chinese entertainment and attractions into North America. In addition to their work in the field of Chinese acrobatics, ISA also produces ICE! at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Centers in Nashville, Orlando and Dallas and opening this year in Washington D.C. At each Gaylord location, ICE! is a spectacular indoor walk-thru attraction consisting of nearly two-million pounds of ice carved into the icons of Christmas. ISA has offices in the United States and global headquarters in Shanghai.
Haiping Ge is a graduate of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and has been closely involved in the Chinese entertainment industry his entire professional life. After six years with the Shanghai Opera Institute, he joined the Shanghai Cultural Exchange Agency and hosted many of the first Western entertainers to perform in China. In 1993, he joined Mike Wilson to establish ISA as the first company dedicated to two-way entertainment trade between China and the United States.
Mike Wilson grew up in Los Angeles, the son of famed magician Mark Wilson. He first traveled to China in 1980 and was immediately captivated by its people and culture. He began to produce Chinese acrobat shows in the United States in 1984, having graduated with an M.B.A. from the University of Illinois followed by two years of study at Beijing University.
Located on Lake Michigan, just east of Chicago's downtown, Navy Pier® is the most-visited tourist and leisure destination in the Midwest, welcoming more than 8 million visitors annually. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, it is now one of the country's preeminent recreation and exposition facilities, showcasing 50 acres of parks, gardens, restaurants, shops, attractions, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exhibition facilities and more. Navy Pier is directly accessible by car and public transportation. More than 1,700 self-parking spots are available on the Pier, and free trolley buses serve off-site parking lots as well as the Grand Avenue stop on the CTA Red Line Train. For those arriving by taxi, convenient drop-off points are provided at the front, middle and east end of the Pier.
"Cirque Shanghai: Bright Spirit" will be performed at the Pepsi® Skyline Stage® on Navy Pier June 3 through Sept. 7. Performances are held Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2, 6 and 8 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 and 4 p.m. The Wednesday and Saturday 8 p.m. performances are immediately followed by Navy Pier's fireworks display presented by Pepsi, B96 and Jack FM. Recognized as a great family entertainment value, ticket prices for 2009 will remain unchanged from 2008: $14.50 - $19.50 for adults and $12.50 - $14.50 for children ages 3 - 12. "Gold Circle" seating is priced for all performances at $29.50 for adults and children. Children 2 and under are welcome and admitted free of charge.
Go a little overboard at Navy Pier this summer with the Navy Pier Fun Package deal combining the high-flying acrobatics of "Cirque Shanghai: Bright Spirit" with two special ways to view the city: by boat and by Ferris wheel. A 20% off dining voucher at Riva Restaurant is also included. The Fun Package is only $35.75, representing savings of more than 20% for guests to enjoy several the exceptional attractions at Illinois' number one tourist destination.
Tickets and the special package deal can be purchased at Navy Pier, by calling Ticketmaster at
800-745-3000 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com/shanghai.
Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are available by calling GroupTix at 877.4GRP.TIX (877.447.7849).