Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cirque du Crap

If I had never seen a Cirque du Soleil performance before Wintuk at Madison Square Garden's WaMu Theater on Saturday, I would still have found the tepid juggling and bizarre anti-plot to be a disappointment.

I can't believe I exchanged cash money for the chance to sit and watch that load of horse sh*t.

Cirque du Soleil. What comes to mind?

Lithe, somewhat emaciated very short Bulgarian trapeze artists in elaborate costumes doing death-defying leaps through the air. Teams of men on trampolines somehow crossing paths in midair while tossing burning swords. But all with a somewhat French sheen of blase and Marcel Marceau oddity. It's compelling. It's mezmerizing. It's not Wintuk.

In the photo here note the weirdo creepy puppet dogs. At times the dogs sing. The boy in the red parka keeps babbling about how he wants to see it snow, but one has no idea who he is or why it's suddenly so important that it snows that he gets on a flying sled with a mime, a woman in a gaudy patchwork cloak who keeps throwing up her arms like she's casting spells in Macbeth, and of course, the giant dog puppets.

I don't want to slam the performers, but aside from the crappy story, the spectacle itself was underwhelming. Two women who were doing acrobatics on ropes basically just spun in circles. There was a woman who juggled 7 pink balls. Impressive if you're at a frat party, but one expects something more from the creators of Corteo, Mystere and "O". The acts were almost comically short as well.

One woman standing behind me at intermission said she felt like they were scamming people by doing the show on a small stage in New York at Christmas. It had to be a gold mine. The performance was sold out. But putting on a lackluster cash-cow of a show should be shameful to Cirque du Soleil. Hopefully next time they come to New York they'll live up to what audiences have come to expect.

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