For King & Country

How You Can See For King & Country for Free

Joel and Luke Smallbone of For King & Country
Joel and Luke Smallbone of For King & Country (LMG Concerts)

Brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone, the heart of the band For King & Country will be back in Seattle with their Burn the Ships World Tour. I say “back” because the band played at the Moore Theatre just a few months ago and are already back performing at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett on Sunday, November 3. The show at The Moore was amazing. If you are a fan of this band, I highly recommend this concert.

“It’s going to be a very special evening…with just you and us, as we take the stage at the top of the show and journey through the entirety of burn the ships, the album (as well as many other favorites on a stage conceptually designed like the bow of a ship,” says the Smallbones. “For the first time since For King & Country began, we’re going to be able to share with you the music and the heart behind it in the most inspirational and theatrical way we’ve been able to date.”

For King & Country's Burn the Ships World Tour.
(LMG Concerts)

Regular reserved seating tickets range from $23-$43; VIP Q&A Tickets are $78 and for those who want the full experience on “the bow” VIP Meet & Greet Tickets are $203. However, they are running a special of sorts as well.

Hear a sneak preview and hear the “Burn the Ships” rehab remix.

“Because we believe so strongly in the work Compassion International is doing, we’re asking for your consideration in sponsoring a child. AND when you do you’ll receive two (2) FREE VIP Q&A Tickets as a thank you!” Follow this link to learn more about this offer!

The Smallbones made recent headlines when they created a video of their hit song, “God Only Knows” with Dolly Parton. It has been so popular that the trio will be performing for the 53rd Annual CMA Awards on November 13 on ABC.

Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Crystal’ Shines

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.

All photos by Matt Beard.

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

 

Juggler Shares His Experience On the Ice

For those who already have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time, try to imagine ice skating while juggling. Fortunately, that feat has already been mastered by Jorge Petite so that you don’t have to. Jorge appears in the amazing traveling show, Crystal by Cirque du Soleil coming to Everett from April 10-14, 2019.

I got a chance to meet Jorge and Julie Desmarais, a publicist for the show, to discuss this unlikely combination of ice skating and acrobatics. For Jorge, his story started in 2002 when he took ups juggling as a hobby in Chile.

“I just wanted to learn how to juggle three balls and then I started learning tricks from videos I found on the internet and then it became a very serious hobby,” he tells me. “I think five years after that I started doing acts and started performing a little bit. Thirteen years after that I went to École Nationale De Cirque (National Circus School) in Quebec and then started my professional career.”

I saved him from the jokes that I heard others commenting on that he must not have done a lot of ice skating while growing up in Chile, which then got me thinking. I wondered what the most annoying question people ask him was.

“If I juggle chainsaws,” he says. “They always ask me that.”

So, while Jorge may not risk his life, he is still pretty much a daredevil.

Jorge learned how to ice skate during the creation of Crystal about a year and a half ago and about three months before the soft premiere in Lafayette, Louisiana. And he wasn’t the only one. The whole crew had to learn how to ice skate for the company’s 42nd creation.

Unlike traditional circus show, this production has a storyline about a girl named Crystal trying to find her place in this world and finds it by diving into her own world of imagination. She’s young, creative and misunderstood by others. Her journey begins at a frozen pond where she sees her reflection and then falls through the ice. There, she finds herself in an upside down world where her reflection leads her to path to awaken her own creativity.

“The show Crystal is about looking at things from fresh angles, peeking through the veneer of everyday life, reframing one’s daily reality to see what one might have missed. Sometimes the only way to appreciate things is to look at them sideways,” says the show’s press materials.

So, how did this whole concoction of mixing ice with acrobatics come about? Cirque Du Soleil is known for always pushing the boundaries and creating a show on ice seemed like the next natural step for the company.

“We had to do a bit of research to see how we could implement acrobatics with ice skating,” says Julie. “We also did some workshops with ice skating coaches like Kurt Browning as well as acrobatic coaches and we experimented a lot of new things to see how this could be really possible.”

Jorge is just one of 43 performers in the show which includes trapeze artists, BMX ice bike riders, a clown and a three-person live band. The cast is about half acrobats and half ice skaters coming together as an ensemble performance.

Despite what you might think, Julie assures me that Crystal will present the same quality show usually found under their big top. Everything from the stage to the lights travels with this show in 17 semi-truck trailers traveling to more areas so that more people can experience a Cirque du Soleil show. In total, there are 90 people from 20 different countries that travel with the show for 10-12 weeks at a time. They take two weeks off and then hit the road again for about 300 shows a year.

Crystal will be presented in Everett at the Angel of the Winds Arena for eight shows over the span of five days from April 10-14, 2019. Shows will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 12:30 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Sunday before the hit the road again. Tickets start at $109 and can be purchase online. The arena is located at 2000 Hewitt Ave., Everett, WA 98201.