Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Gift of The Magi"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 1998 by Larry Stark


"Cirque Ingenieux"

Created by Neil Goldberg, Cirque Inc.
Directed by Joe Leonardo
Music by Kitaro

Scenic Design and Projection Effects by Jerome Sirlin
Lighting Design by Howell Binkley
Costume Design by Jonathan Bixby
Sound Design by Jonathan Parke
Production Stage Manager Kerry Wayne Farmer

Stiltwalker.....Geoffrey Bach
Ringmaster.....Irina Burdetskaya
Ringmaster.....Olive Mancino
Enchantress.....Iolanta Stradomskayte
Alex/Scarf-Rider.........Jean Chiasson
Sarah/Trapeze......Ekaterina Fedosseeva
Her Trapeze Partner...Anastasiya Nelyubina
Ballerina.......................Ashley Leadbetter
A Tailor.............................Jason McPherson
Singer.................................Jennifer Hamady
Rope Artist.........................Brigitte Scherrer
Pole Artist....................................Alvin Tam
Acrobat/Diabolo Artist....Roman Tloustenko
Juggler..............................Vladimir Tsarkov
Contortionist...................Serchmaa Byamba
Contortionist.........Biambasuren Janchivdorj
Strong Man...................Jaroslaw Marciniak
Strong Man.......................Dariusz Wronski
Trapeze Team.....................Nathalie Hebert
Trapeze Team.......................Shelly Kastner
Trapeze Team.............Veronique Thibeault


Neil Goldberg's "Cirque Ingenieux" presents some of the most impressive acts seen anywhere --- largely incredibly accomplished and intricate gymnastic routines enhanced by exceptional lighting and stage effects and executed to stirring musical and sound accompaniment which though much, much, much too loud adds immeasurably to the effect. The whole show is amazing spectacle from end to end, and since there are never distractions in any other two rings attention is concentrated on the smoothly executed physical acts being performed to music as well, as impersonally, as plotlessly as any ballet. It isn't exactly theater, but it's spectacular.

As an example, have you ever managed something I never could: a handstand: balanced, feet in the air, on your two hands? Well here a man balances on one hand placed not on the ground but on the head of another man sitting below him. Later he does it on that other man's one hand while that other man is rolling his entire body around on the stage --- oh, and the one in the air slowly executes one lovely arabesque after another.

Another: what look like two long, flowing silk scarves hang from the flies. A man wraps each about a wrist and lifts himself from the floor, then performs a series of looping somersaults --- each one wrapping more scarf about his biceps until he is thirty feet in the air.

There are three trapeze-ladies who perform intricately intertwined and hanging by their heels. There are two contortionists whose backbones do things snakes would never even think of, a man who climbs a pole, two jugglers, one (or is it two) clowns, mime galore from everyone, some black-light wizardry, a stage-full of smoke three feet deep and cascading into the orchestra-pit, lovely tights, and a woman who sings a highly amplified song apparently in Quebequase while striding slowly around the stage with huge papier-mâché wings on her back.

There is very little English --- in fact no dialogue whatever --- and less plot than a Ballanchine ballet. (Girl attends circus, dreams she sees lots of circus acts, and ends up as second sister in a trapeze act. End of plot.) There are no characters. The major conflict, every moment of the two hour production, is with gravity.

But these circus-performers do, flawlessly, the two things that are their stock in trade: they make incredibly difficult things look smoothly effortless, and they make easy things look hard. And, every moment, they smile even more engagingly than any ballerina enduring the agony of one more damn fouette.

Theater, shmeater, go!

Love,
===Anon.


Cirque Ingenieux" (till 27 December)
COLONIAL THEATRE
106 Boylston Street, BOSTON
1(617)880-2400

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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