Favorite

Just a bad dream 

MURKY: Cirque's intent.
  • MURKY: Cirque's intent.

‘Cirque Dreams’
Robinson Center
Nov. 14


I don’t know what it’s like to have a bad LSD trip, but after seeing “Cirque Dreams” on Monday I have a pretty clear idea. The agile and athletic performers could not make up enough stunts to compensate for the lack of coherence on stage.

Unlike those of similar theater/acrobat touring companies such as Cirque du Soleil, this group’s performance did not have a unifying theme or a plot line. Throughout the show I kept asking myself, “What is going on and how many times are these gymnasts going to jump between each other’s legs?”

The characters bumbled about, unmotivated in their use of gesture and movement. The dance numbers were simply a choppy sequence of yoga, lyrical ballet and acrobatics, and at times I wondered if I was watching a high school dance team. The audience was forced to endure an insufferable series of laughable songs by a character who appeared to emulate the Chiquita banana lady.

The most disappointing aspect of “Cirque Dreams” was its effort to break down the barrier between the performer and spectator. Cirque du Soleil knows how to do this and make it funny for all; not “Cirque Dreams,” however. A few victims were chosen to engage in activity that reduced them to mere fools. The audience was compelled to laugh at fellow ticket-holders shaking their asses and ringing bells. At one point a jester/alien-type character conducted several audience members in ringing bells as background music slowly swelled. Was this to evoke some sort of impulse to shout for joy and forget about a corrupt government, disease and hunger because we are triumphant human beings who can ring bells at once? The act exceeded the worst form of escapist art.

Shame on you, Celebrity Attractions, for numbing the minds of Arkansans with this weak production.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Jessica Sardashti

  • 50 years of Community Theatre

    What is theater? Spanish playwright Lope de Vega said it was two planks and a passion. The Community Theatre of Little Rock proves de Vega’s point. Despite limited funding and continually having to move from theater space to not-so-typical theater spa
    • Mar 16, 2006
  • Fun ‘Dates’

    “Bad Dates,” now at The Rep, is a fun, lively and clever play about a single mom’s attempt to balance her career and deal with the tumultuous and unpredictable dating scene in New York.
    • Mar 9, 2006
  • Clumsy ballet

    ‘The Nutcracker’ Robinson Center Music Hall Dec. 10 There is only one reason why “The Nutcracker” is still important to central Arkansas. The ballet incorporates many children of the community who aspire to perform. More young people are taken to
    • Dec 15, 2005
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • An uneven 'Macbeth'

    Michael Stewart Allen as Macbeth carries the play.
    • Sep 17, 2015

Most Shared

Latest in Theater Reviews

Visit Arkansas

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Arkansas is the perfect place to try out this new health trend. Read all about the what, why, where and how here.

Event Calendar

« »

March

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation