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Review: CIRQUE MUSICA HOLIDAY WONDERLAND at Van Wezel

Review: CIRQUE MUSICA HOLIDAY WONDERLAND at Van Wezel

The production is a must-see holiday event to usher in the season.

Featuring a talented cast that you can only see at a Cirque production, Cirque Musica, audience members were captivated by the acrobats, jugglers, aerialists, and fun holiday merriment that filled the Van Wezel. Holiday Wonderland blends the spellbinding grace and daredevil athleticism of today's greatest circus performers with a lively musical mix of everyone's favorite holiday carols.

"Our holiday-themed Cirque Musica productions have quickly become a season tradition for families across the country and we are excited to continue this tradition with our 'Holiday Wonderland,'" says Stephen Cook, President of TCG Entertainment, Producer of Cirque Musica. "We expect fans of cirque-shows to be enchanted with our latest production and hope it will create a wonderful memory for all to share."

If you have experienced any of Cirque's holiday shows, the Holiday Wonderland production brings a new story to life. Caroline, the CEO of a big company, finds herself pulled inside her favorite holiday storybook Wonderland while visiting her aunt and uncle. Since wi-fi is unavailable and she feels cut off from the world, Caroline struggles to balance trying to find a connection to the world versus being in the moment and enjoying the holidays with family. Such a relevant conundrum we face these days.

Soon we find ourselves in the storyline of the book and follow Caroline's journey as she meets with various entertainers who are keeping the spirit of the holidays alive. The audience is treated to nail-biting theatrics on the balance beams, a violinist and acrobat defying gravity from hanging wires, and a juggler using columns, cascades, and showering skills to manage pins, rings, and hats to name a few, all while he was moving about the stage. There was a young lady who showed her mastery of hula hooping skills culminating in the "slinky" that took everyone's breath away. The most elegant and beautiful part of the show was Caroline's exquisite vocals on Oh Holy Night while a swan-like ballerina graced the stage.

The breadth and depth of the stage are full of beautiful snowy effects projected on tall white Christmas tree cutouts highlighted by assorted backgrounds, lighting, and smokey special effects. At one point the spirit of the holidays fades away as we lose the color of the holidays and everything fades to white. Caroline had to decide if she will take on the mantle from her aunt to become the holiday princess or return to her all-consuming work life forgoing all of the color, festivities, and magic of the holidays. When she decides she actually can be in charge of the spirit of the holidays, after all, she is the CEO of a big company and she loves being in charge, her uncle gently reminds her. "not in charge - inspire!". That is a great life lesson in general. The color returns to the holidays in brilliance as Caroline decides she can be the CEO of a big company while enjoying the holidays and inspiring others.

Audience members will enjoy the interaction with the cast that starts preshow. The hilarious highlight at the end of the show was Wonderland's version of Twelve Days of Christmas. The ringmaster hands out numbered signs one through 12 to various audience members. As we all sing the Twelve Days of Christmas, each sign holder must stand and elevate their sign when we get to their number. The star of the show was the Twelve Days of Christmas sign holder whose cheers got louder and louder as the song progressed. He really had some fun striking a different pose each time we got to his number. On the way out I noticed him in the lobby joying his newfound stardom surrounded by several new fans.

This family-friendly show has appeal for all ages and will often keep you on the edge of your seats, especially when acrobats defy the "wheel of death" as it spins and they balance, jump rope, and dare to run on the outside of the wheel. Kudos to all the performers whose artistry takes talent to a whole new level. Stay safe and happy holidays from your fans in Sarasota.

Cirque Musica is one of the top cirque-style shows in the industry. Since its inception in 2010, the world-renowned cast has performed feats of grace, skill, and strength for audience members worldwide. The visually stunning masterpiece of artistic interpretations combines mesmerizing acrobats, aerialists, and daredevil athleticism with the greatest music of all time. With its multiple productions, including Rhapsody, Crescendo, Heroes and Villains, Symphonic, and Holiday Wonderland, Cirque Musica is a ground-breaking production guaranteed to thrill and captivate audiences of all ages. For more information visit, www.CirqueMusica.com.

TCG Entertainment is a leading producer of creative content for live entertainment properties and touring productions. Owning multiple intellectual properties, and partnering with top IP holders and studios, TCG has generated decades worth of live family fun and entertainment. With a laundry list of productions enjoyed by millions of audience members around the globe, TCG is the leading authority in providing brands a visionary, one-stop source for live touring and experiences. www.TCGEnt.com.

For more information on the Van Wezel and upcoming shows visit: www.vanwezel.org



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