December 6, 2008 · 12:37 pm
The fantastic imagery that governs “Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy” begins even before the show officially starts. The audience is jarred from pre-show conversation when a huge turtle (actually a performer in costume) begins to scoot across the stage. The turtle is followed by a man-sized frog, a tree, and then the obligatory opening comments, which include notice that the show will begin when the turtle — finally — makes his way to the other side of the stage.
Click here for full review: http://www.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200881206014
December 5, 2008 · 12:17 pm
Performers from "Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy."
In the theater world, it’s good to be a triple-threat — a performer who can sing, dance and act. To star in “Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy” it takes even more.
“I kind of give myself the title of quadruple threat,” said Marco Balestracci, a “Jungle Fantasy” performer. “You’ve got singers, actors, dancers. You have gymnasts. … Not many people can do everything. I can sing a little bit. … I danced for 11 years, strictly ballet with jazz and modern and tap and all the other stuff on the side. Then I took gymnastics for 12 to 13 years competitively. … Now I can actually add to my resume that I’ve been on Broadway and that I’m an acrobat, too.”
It takes a multitalented entertainer to lead a show like “Jungle Fantasy,” opening at the Pioneer Center today, because it shares traits with both cirque (or circus) productions and Broadway theater. Although cirque is French for “circus,” the production is a far cry from a Ringling Brothers show. Rather than focus on animals performing in rings, it blends traditional circus acts into the ongoing story of a man discovering life in the jungle.
Click here for full story: http://www.rgj.com/article/20081205/ENT/812050421/1056