I have a rule about Christmas. I do not celebrate it before Thanksgiving. I have another rule though. When given the chance to see a Cirque production, do.
So on this Tuesday before Thanksgiving, in direct violation of the aforementioned rule, I went to see Cirque Dreams Holidaze.
I’ll cut to the chase. If there was ever a reason to start your holiday festivities early, this is it. I was initially skeptical as I love Cirque du Soliel. I love the tent and the circus atmosphere and the spectacle of the show. There is no way to create that sort of atmosphere at the Center for Performing Arts. My skepticism was not unwarranted. It is not the same as the Cirque shows I know and love, but it was a glitzy, fun, humorous, and often times amazing production.
Similar to other Cirque productions, Holidaze is packed with display after display of acrobatic feats, juggling, body contortionists, humorous audience play, magic and music. While some of the songs were shaky and the sound was often off, some of the performances where jaw dropping amazing.
Some of the highlights included a very unique choreographed jump roping troop of reindeer, a duo of penguins balancing on impossible obstacles, and a magic act involving more wardrobe chances than an Oscars hostess could muster up in the span of 2 minutes. I still can’t figure out how they made that happen!
The 1st act closed with a memorable and very humorous act with a “Meastro” and 5 bell ringing audience members. Masestro (played by Antoily Yeniy) was brilliantly funny and engaging as he directed 5 unsuspecting audience members to ring bells, eventually syncing them up to perform the act closing song. As the curtain came down, the audience was still chuckling at his antics.
The start of 2nd act jumped right back into full swing with more singing and dancing and random acts flying across the stage culminating in a circus act with so much going on I would need to see the show 3 times to catch everything that was happening.
After all the chaos and excitement, the Holidaze closed with an updated, but very moving rendition of Holy Night that was the perfect end of a great holiday production.
As I walked back to my car, past the darkened Christmas in the Park displays I found myself calculating how long exactly I would have to wait before I jump into full holiday mode.
Cirque Dreams Holidaze is showing now through November 30th at the Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available at the Broadway San Jose box office, all ticketmaster locations or via phone at (800) 982-2787. For more information, visit: www.broadwaysanjose.com