By Ian Rigg
There’s a great show in town for your family to adore:
Cirque du Soleil’s cheerful ‘Twas the Night Before!
Their first Christmas show is fantastic, festive, and phantasmagorical – Cirque’s renown after all, defies the categorical. As an estranged father and daughter follow a spark of light, every act that follows is a Yuletide delight.
Daniel Fortin, Manuel Bissonnette, and James Hadley have a creative will untethered, and make an event to bring the whole family together.
Genevieve Lizotte designs a set that’s creatively ripe, whimsical and artful with a clever half pipe. Nicolas Brion illuminates it bright with color and feeling and candy-striped light.
It’s James Lavoie on costume design – he brings a unique flair and color divine.
Jean-Phi Goncalves makes audiences dance in their chair when his catchy beats blare.
Edesia Moreno has an otherworldly flair when she flawlessly choreographs the acts of the air.
And what could be happier, what could be warmer, than an incredible cast of international performers?
There’s great skill aplenty and spirit galore: just ask Jenna Beltran, Paul Ross, Diana Schoenfield, Bianca Vallar, Kalila Hermant and Samuel Moore. With exuberant mirth and flawless precision, casting these master dancers was one great decision. They tap a youthful energy most rife to bring Vinh Ngyuyen Kinjaz’s choreography to life.
Nicole Faubert and Guillame Paquin make the heart race, with an aerial act of strength and grace.
You might grow tired of this incessant rhyming, but you won’t of Francis Gadbois’ comedic timing. Makes ‘em laugh and laugh ‘til they turn to a puddle, then he can impress with a skillful block juggle.
Audiences were awed, attention was rapt, at Katharine Arnold’s death-defying aerial act. On a hotel cart, she spins like a top, completely unafraid of the drop.
Rosie Axion and Adam Jukes leave us all in the dust with their roller blade routine of heart-racing trust.
The crowd is then wowed with a love most dynamic, enchanted by Tuedon Ariri in aerial hammock.
What goes around, comes around: Ming-En Chen, Tsung-Ying Lin, Ting-Chung Wang, and Chia-Hao Yu, with Diabolo, astound.
If hypnotic hula hooping sounds like a lark, look no further than Ms. Michele Clark, whose multi-hoop wonder lights up the dark.
Alexis Vigneault might be the holiday champ, catching emotional air on acrobatic lamp.
One last act to garner “whoop whoop!”s. Quentin Greco, Jacob Gregoire, Chauncey Kroner, Timothe Vincent, Jinge Wange, Evan Tomlinson Weintraub. They play high flying reindeer, diving through hoops.
Cirque du Soleil makes the best kind of art: it’s an ecstatic joy to light up heart.
With ‘Twas the Night Before, let your spirit rouse – its gift will send you cheering all through the house.
Playing now through December 8 at The Chicago Theatre – there’s much fun in store! Please visit here to explore some more.