Friday, June 20, 2008

Broadway: What's Next

Broadway: What's Next

Now that the Tonys are history, it's time to focus on all the plays and musicals set for Broadway's 2008-09 Theatrical Season.

According to my count, there are a total of 19 shows that have either confirmed berths on the Great White Way or announced plans for the upcoming year. They include six new musicals, two of which can be deemed completely original (imagine that -- not based on anything, including a movie); four revivals of musicals; five revivals of plays; and -- most shocking given that the past year on Broadway was all about the plays -- only three new ones have been announced.

The 19th production is a most curious one. Let's place this one squarely in the Special Theatrical Event category since it certainly can't be considered a musical or play.

Already in previews, Neil Goldberg's Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy gives the impression of being a Cirque du Soleil wannabe with its cast of 25 acrobats, aerialists, contortionists, jugglers and musicians all jostling for position. Cirque Dreams is set to open June 26 at the Broadway Theatre for a limited run through August 24 before heading out this November on a 39-city tour of North America.

Guess Goldberg must be figuring if he can get enough press on his Rialto venture, folks will be lining up across Canada and the United States to see the upcoming tour.

The production of Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy is described as:

...an exotic encounter inspired by nature’s unpredictable creations that are brought to life by an international cast of 25 soaring aerialists, spine-bending contortionists, acrobats, jugglers and musicians.

The astounding feats performed in this action packed Cirque Dream are enhanced with over 150 spectacular costumes and set in a fantastical jungle ignited by striking visual effects. From the breathtaking aerial ballet of butterflies to the balancing giraffes, gigantic flowers and trees, this world-class explosion of athleticism, theatre and imagination will exhilarate the entire family.

In the ongoing tradition of extravagant touring shows, Neil Goldberg and Cirque Productions continue to blend European artistry with circus and Broadway theatrics in a dramatic fashion that transcends imagination and leaves its’ narration to the eyes of the beholder making Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy a Broadway first.
To be honest, I have never heard of Goldberg or the Pompano Beach (Florida)-based Cirque Productions. Somehow, just somehow, they've managed to be eclipsed by the nearly quarter century old Cirque du Soleil.

Call me a cynic, but isn't Cirque Dreams just a brazen attempt to cash in on the "Cirque" craze among unsuspecting theatregoers? Not to take anything away from Goldberg's performers, whom I'm sure are talented, but I'll bet many a ticket buyer will automatically assume this is a genuine Cirque du Soleil production.

Despite what the courts may have ruled, isn't the rather transparent goal here to be able to usurp the good name Cirque du Soleil has established by now being able to market the announced tour as "seen on Broadway"? Am I wrong here?

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.

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2 Comments:

At 20 June, 2008, Blogger Vance said...

thats what I TOTALLY thought the first time I heard/saw it. In fact, even ModFab wrote it in a post as a Cirque du Soleil show so even the fabulous have been duped which I'm sure was their original intention.

 
At 20 June, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Vance, I'm sure the unsuspecting will be duped. But I'm doing my part to ensure that my readers are not.

 

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