I have been fortunate enough to see a number of Cirque du Soleil performances but I have to say that their newest production, Crystal, is my favorite (for now!) It is the first show created to be performed on ice and it is game-changer.
The show features all the elements you’ve come to expect for a Cirque du Soleil show (acrobats, jugglers, clowns, trapeze acts, live music, colorful costumes, etc.) and presents them on large sheet of ice because, you know, solid ground is just so pedestrian. But Crystal is also a very elegant ice show with half of the cast consisting of ice skaters.
Before the show begins, those who have taken to their seats early are treated with a mini-show featuring a comic character (Nate Cooper) and Jorge Petit (who I interviewed just a few weeks ago.) The comic stumbles around the ice with a bucket on his head while Jorge tosses snowballs to the audience to pelt the comic with. Surprisingly, there were a lot of near misses during opening night.
As with many other productions, Crystal has a loose storyline running throughout the production. Crystal (played by four different performers throughout the show) is a young girl with a huge imagination and a writer. She is an outcast at school and she feel misunderstood by everyone. Running to the ice to escape her problems, she sees a reflection of herself and then falls through! Now on the other side of the ice, Crystal’s alter ego takes her on an Alice-in-Wonderland-like journey showing her the power of words. Her journey revisits her days of teasing on the playground, her family ignoring her at home while watching TV, exploring the big city, getting her first office job and falling in love before making her journey back home again.
The women playing different version of Crystal include Silja Dos Reis (figure skater), Danica Gagnon-Plamondon (swing trapeze/acrobat), Mary Siegel (figure skater) and Emily McCarthy (acrobat).
The many acts include a juggling routine (Jorge Petit), comedic clown bits (Nate Cooper), swinging trapeze (Danica Gagnon-Plamondon), pole hopping, ice dancing and more. The most impressive performances were the extreme skaters playing as hockey players doing jumps and flips on a number of ramps, an amazing chair balancing act (Lkhagva-Ochir) that nearly took my breath away and the romantic Aerial Strap Pas de Deux performance with Crystal and her love interest (Jerome Sordillon). All of their performances were by all appearances, flawless and the live music (provided by Steve Bach, Camilo Motta and Stephan Grytsay) and the occasional falling snow added to the magical performance.
Crystal continues through Sunday, April 14 at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. For information and tickets, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/crystal