In Review

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

2.5 out of 5 stars
2.5 out of 5 stars - 'Comme ci, comme ça'
Broadway San Jose
Created & Directed by Neil Goldberg
Review by Cy Ashley Webb

Cirque Dream Holidaze - Review

Cirque Dreams Holidaze raises questions of profound significance. They’re questions we don’t raise publicly. Doing so risks ice thinner than gun control conversations with your tea party aunt on Thanksgiving. Our answers reveal our innermost proclivities, and evidence our most subtle critical judgment.

The question at hand: just how cheesy should the holidays be?

We live in a divided world, with harsh lines drawn. Some opt for traditional restraint: a tastefully looped pine swag, maybe – or a lush wreath, from the local Boy Scout drive, or perhaps for displaced New Englanders, LL Bean. Others leave no stone unturned in expressing holiday cheer, with Christmas lights threatening regional power supplies on the day after Thanksgiving.

Before opting out of this debate, retreating with hanukkiah and soufganiot in hand, I hazard the guess that these question never entered the minds behind Cirque Dreams Holidaze.

So over the top was this show – with singing Christmas ornaments, choreographed trees, dancing penguins, skipping reindeers, snowmen, elves, sleighs, trains, puppets, carolers and so on. If Jingle Bell Rock rings your chimes, you’ll be as happy as an Elvis impersonator at Graceland.

What puts this over the top is the steady stream of jugglers, contortionists, and aerial acts like this venue has never seen. If you started getting numb from all the excess, there’s more chair stackers, acrobats, roller board artists, and bevies of mini-skirted carolers, look straight out of Ed Sullivan to catch your attention. Individual acts fly by, interrupted only by intermission. Even if you’re not of the “nothing succeeds like excess” persuasion, you’ll be wowed by the astounding talents these performers bring to this production.

However, this very strength starts getting submerged in the excess, as the perpetual presence of players on stage divert attention. Here, also, a little less haze-enhanced coloration and more refined sound mixing would better showcase the considerable talents of their performers.

However, such concerns might be nothing for those whose nervous systems are more finally attuned to holiday excess, requiring another 1,000 Christmas lights, and just one more reindeer. But then, it all does come down, to that critical questions: just how cheesy should the holidays be?

Cy Ashley Webb
Cy spent the ‘80’s as a bench scientist, the tech boom doing intellectual property law, and the first decade of the millennium, aspiring to be the world’s oldest grad student at Stanford where she is interested in political martyrdom. Presently, she enjoys writing for Stark Insider and the SF Examiner, hanging out at Palo Alto Children's Theatre, and participating in various political activities. Democracy is not a spectator sport! Cy is a SFBATCC member.