Cirque Eloize ID (30 November 2016)

Unbelievable, Unreal, Astonishing, beautiful and insane are some of the words that came to mind after watching the incredible company of Cirque Eloize ID at Montecasino last night. The show has travelled here for the second time now and I am so happy I got to attend the opening night in Johannesburg last night. It all goes down at the beautiful Teatro theatre at Montecasino.

I have been to many shows. I have seen a lot of musicals, comedy, dancing and singing. I have seen over the top costumes, incredible sets and huge dance routines. I have watched actors and actresses who are so extremely talented and I have enjoyed every minute of it all. But I have NEVER seen ANYTHING like CIRQUE ELOIZE ID before. This show is so jam-packed with energy that I felt exhausted from just watching it. Watching these performers do what they do is a privilege and I have the utmost respect for them all- and their mothers.

I am pretty certain that these performers possess some sort of magical power that makes them indestructible. The way they move, the way they perform and the tricks that their bodies are able to do are truly incredible. I actually am at a loss of where to start…

The show takes place in an Urban setting and gives off a west side story kind of feel. Throughout the show, there is a story being told. Two groups are battling it out to secure their place in ‘the streets’. There are lovers, rivals and friends. Each section of art, for lack of a better word, has an underlying theme that seems to enhance the story of an Urban city.

What was amazing for me was that these performers did not need any ‘glitter’ to make it all work and come together. Their tricks were out of this world but the way they interacted with the audience was real and raw and I felt like I got to see each performer’s personality. Often when there are many performers on stage the audience get a broad idea of the story, in this show, I felt like each performer was showing me his or her skills. I can not juggle half as well as the juggler but I felt like he drew me in so deeply that I completely connected with him.

There really was nothing complicated on stage or on their performers. On the stage was a tower of boxes- that was it- but the way these boxes were transformed to suit each piece in the show was amazing. Digital graphics were used to set the scene and give the stage a unique background and different levels and openings were used to aid the performers. The ‘box towers’ magical changed from apartment blocks to beautiful backgrounds to a trampoline! It was truly genius.

Each performer had a different talent and it was shown off so beautifully. I felt like everyone had a chance to show the audience what they can do and each act was amazing. No one outshined anyone and there was no sense of who is better than who. I want to say this was largely due to the choreography and the gap fillers in the show. The way that the other performers were choreographed while the main act was performing was so well done. They helped show the audience what was going on when the stage got very busy at times.  There was always a supporting performer on stage to help jolt your eye to the correct place or explain what the main performer was actually doing.

There were so many outstanding acts that it is so difficult to choose ones that I loved more than others. I loved the hip-hop element to it and the acrobatics were insane. The way these people fly through the air is truly amazing. Juggling is always a fun thing to watch and the contortionist was awesome to watch. How she gets her legs all the way over her head like that I will never know- and that’s ok because I just want to enjoy it. The skipping section is so energetic and the aerialists were amazing. The chair balancing piece made me cringe in the best way.

What made the whole night even more exciting was that I got to meet some of the performers after the show. This was a wonderful moment because it reminded me that they are still just people. I watched these incredible artists leave their lives on the stage- literally- and then I got to speak to them like humans do. It was a wonderful contrast that really put the entire experience into perspective.

img_0543

The show is running until the 24th December at Montecasino. If you want to treat yourself and someone special to an amazing experience, this is it! GO GO GO!!!

img_0546

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

 

Advertisements

Singin’ in the rain (17 February 2016)

Hi guys,

So I am extremely excited to be writing this review. I grew up with Singing in the Rain, it was one of my all time favourite movies. It is one of those feel better movies, you know, the one you choose when you feeling down to help cheer you up. I found out this production was coming to SA over a year ago and could not control my excitement! It was always a life’s goal for me to see this on stage so you can imagine how high my expectations were.

As I walked down to the Teatro at Montecasio the hallway was decorated with many umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, the ushers were wearing yellow raincoats and the weather was almost obliging to the theme of the evening- rain. It was such a wonderful way to build the excitement before the show started. We found our seats and waited for the show to begin. The lights went off and the orchestra began to play the overture. I heard them start to play the infamous song ‘Singin’ in the rain’ and all my memories of the wonderful film came flooding back.

From the first moment that the company steps onto stage you get this feeling that this show is high energy! The stage is set up like a movie studio and there is a hollywood sign in the background. You are automatically placed in the 1920’s in the golden ages of hollywood. It is most glamorous. The show opens the same way as the movie, which I think was a very good choice. The show feels like the movie, you feel  like you are in the movie. This is something I loved. The stage production did not feel like it was trying to out do the movie, rather it kept the essence of the movie and brought it to life.

The night we went to the show Duane Alexander played the lead as Don Lockwood. I am a fan of Grant Almirall and would have loved to have seen him play the part but nonetheless Duane did a great job of bringing Don and his over the top personality to life. After all stepping into the shoes of Gene Kelly is no easy task. The chemistry between Don and Cosmo Brown , his loyal sidekick, is a very important part of the story. Steven Van Wyk, who played Cosmo was fantastic! I enjoyed his performance so much and his duet with Duane, Moses Supposes was brilliant! They really worked so well on stage together.

The female leads were also nothing short of brilliant. Taryn-Lee Hudson played the annoying and excitable role of Lina Lamont so well! She got her voice down to a T and you could see that she enjoyed playing this character. She also got to wear some of the most beautiful costumes. Everything she wore was so glamours. I have watched Bethany Dickson in many different roles and I have never been disappointed. She has a way of bringing such grace and poise to the stage. She reminded me of when Debbie Reynolds played Kathy Selden in the movie and I adored it.

As wonderful as the leads were, the company was wonderful in there own right. They brought such energy to the stage and created the atmosphere. I especially enjoyed James Borthwick’s performance as R F Simpson, the producer of the company. He was funny when he needed to be and stern when the character called for it.

I have to talk about the famous scene when Don Lockwood sings and dances in the rain. OH MY GOSH. I have never seen anything like this on stage before. It was genius and magic all rolled into one. At the end of act one Don drops Kathy home after a long and exciting night. He then walks home and it begins to rain. He is in such a good mood that he bursts into ‘Singin’ in the rain’ and it begins to rain-on stage- with real water. I heard the thunder and I knew it was about to happen but I did not expect it be so beautiful. The rain started on stage and I was overtaken by this wonderful feeling of excitement and amazement. This experience can only be described as theater magic! Seeing one of the most famous, beautiful and enjoyable scenes recreated on stage was truly a dream come true.

There are so many elements to this production that make it such a treat to witness. The costumes are beautiful, the prop work is done so well and the technical side of things is so smooth. This production really showed off South African talent. We are a talented nation and anyone who thinks differently knows nothing! There were so many moments in the show that I enjoyed, I would list them all but then you would be reading for a very long time, so instead I will INSIST that you go and treat yourself to this show. Productions like these are what make me want to do what I do and reach my goal. The way I felt while watching this fantastic production is the way I want to make people feel one day.

The show closes on the 13th of March and bookings can be made through computicket. Trust me, you do not want to miss this one!!!

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx