When you think of a circus you think of clowns, popcorn and how much entertainment they can throw at you. When you think Christmas you think about the kids and magic and that jolly old man. When you think Cirque du Soleil you think art. Circus with a hint of sophistication. What does all this have in common?
Twas the night before... the new show created by Cirque du Soleil. It’s their first ever Christmas themed show. The show had a soft opening at the Chicago Theatre before making the journey to Madison Square Garden in NYC. The show loosely follows the poem of “Twas the night before Christmas”. It tells the story of Isabella, a young girl who has lost her holiday spirt. She is then whisked away into the classic poem.
I’ve been a long time fan of cirque. I remember watching the filmed productions on bravo all the time. This was back when bravo would air something other than screaming housewives. I even remember the cirque reality show “fire within”. It documented the making of a production, fascinating to watch. However I’ve never seen a live Cirque show until this. Needless to say I was very exited.
So what did I like about the show. First and foremost THE MUSIC. It is absolutely fantastic. It is truly a modern twist on Christmas classics as well as traditional carols. They were for the generation of today without it getting annoying. At the same time it gave an eclectic mix of sounds. From modern pop to disco to traditional hymns. I could hear almost all the songs on the radio during the holidays. The score was truly something special.
The staging! Simple yet complex. A hill slope covered with garland and tinsel and lots of lights. The idea was to focus on the performers, props and costumes. A wise choice. It also kept that magical aspect. You felt you were someplace special. Magical.
The costumes. Again simple but detailed and pretty. Being that’s it’s Christmas, everything is shiny and or sparkly. Mix of modern clothing with a whimsical flare. Just like the music it’s an eclectic mix of textures and colors to keep the magic aspect going. My favorite was the reindeers wearing tracksuits! The reindeer names were on the back! Detail!
The flow of the show is fun. It kind of felt like a ride. Especially at the beginning! It’s a nonstop 70 minute show that keeps you on your toes throughout. I won’t go into the acts themselves as cirque is known for perfection with their artists. I’ll just say they are top notch.
So what are some critiques i have for this holly jolly extravaganza. The story telling, it’s not bad but could use some oomph. This is probably due to the short runtime or it being designed for children. Maybe some more narration or some more lines from the poem, something. This is a minor issue. But I had to say it.
Lastly the finale, it felt abrupt. When the show came to New York I herd some things would be different due to spacing between the theatre’s. The performances in Chicago had a bigger finale. Because Madison Square Garden (where I saw the show) has a lower ceiling it had to be modified. It’s fine but should have had a new finale. It didn’t feel like the show ended. Santa came out, everyone bowed, the end.
So what’s my option of Twas the night before...? It was fantastic. For my first cirque show I thought it was beautiful, sparkly, and just magical. I believe they brought the Christmas spirit for the new generation!
Soundtrack is available on all music streaming services