While searching for the perfect adjective to describe “Cirque Dreams Holidaze,” seen Tuesday at the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre, the word “phantasmagorical” came to mind. It means: “having a fantastic or deceptive appearance, as something in a dream or created by the imagination.” Bingo. There is no better way to describe the mind-boggling spectacle created by impresario Neil Goldberg, the show’s creator. A Broadway in Indianapolis presentation, the production continues through Dec. 20.
Pouring forth from Goldberg’s fertile imagination, and inspired by his personal collection of 10,000 ornaments, “Cirque Dreams Holidaze” is a combination of Broadway show, circus, and holiday extravaganza. Featuring 30 virtuoso performers from 12 countries, the production boasts 20 exhilarating acts, and 300 lavish costumes, all presented in non-stop, continuous action, with nary a lull.
An immense Christmas tree positioned center stage, flanked by immense toy soldiers and massive candy canes, and with huge Christmas presents adorning the stage, is the setting for this seasonal fantasy.
It’s difficult to single out one particular act but there were definitely highlights in the show that are well worth mentioning. A scene that really stood out was “Majestical” with Buyankhishig and Erdenesuvd Ganbaatar, twin sisters from Mongolia, who were dazzling as they performed on aerial hoops as Floating Ornaments. Another was “Flurry Up”, which featured Sergii Kapranv, from Ukraine, who stacked chairs one on top of each other while balancing precariously on each.
One of the most entertaining moments of the evening occurred during “Symphony of Bells,” during which five members of the audience were selected to ring large bells, some better than others, during a song, as they were conducted by a hilarious, mocking “Maestro,” played by Billy Jackson from the U.S.A.
Act 2 favorites included Russian Semen Belozertsev, a sway line walker dressed as a toy soldier in a scene titled “March on Line” as well as “Penguins” in which a daredevil Victor Dodonov, also from Russia, balanced himself on platforms and cylinders continually stacked one upon another.
The most visually stunning and affecting scene in the show was “Holy Night.” It featured Olena Lyamina from Ukraine and Andrey Lyamin from Russia, two aerial acrobats, dressed as Flying Angels, performing with silk scarves, soared high above the stage and over those seated in the house’s front rows.
Prominent in the show were talented vocalists, costumed as the Ice Queen (Emily McCloskey), Singing Angel (Courtney Higgins) and Singing Dickens (Michael Brown), who sang traditional holiday songs as well as some originals to a track.
Just to hear the delighted oohs and aahs of the audience, both young and old, that emanated from the “Cirque Dreams Holidaze” audience itself added to the enjoyment of an multi-sensory entertainment that is guaranteed to induce thrills, amaze, and engender the holiday spirit. If you like color, variety and excitement, this show is for you.
“Cirque Dreams Holidaze” tickets are on sale now and are available in person at The Old National Centre Ticket Office, Clowes Memorial Hall, online at BroadwayinIndianapolis.com, or by phone at 1-800-982-2787. Groups of 10 or more can book now by calling 317-632-7469 x103.