NEW YORK POST CIRQUE DREAMS: JUNGLE FANTASY REVIEW
SHOW OF CIRCUS ACTS HAS A FAMILIAR RING TO IT
by Frank Scheck
DON'T be fooled by the title: "Cirque Dreams Jungle Fan tasy" isn't a Cirque du Soleil extravaganza. Rather, it's the brainchild of Neal Goldberg and his South Florida-based Cirque Productions, which enjoyed an extensive national tour before kicking off its limited Broadway run last night.
That said, you'd be hard-pressed to tell them apart. Like its Canadian rival, this Cirque - while it lacks the imagination of Soleil - boasts dazzling circus acts in a highly theatrical presentation replete with elaborate scenery and wall-to-wall music.
Amid a jungle-like setting are wild "animals" - more than two dozen circus artists, many of them from Ukraine, Russia and Mongolia (what do they put in the water over there?). Dressed as lizards, butterflies, giraffes and frogs, they juggle, spin, balance and perform assorted other acrobatic feats.
Accompanying them is the by-now obligatory New Age-style musical score, most of it pre-recorded except for the overly frequent vocalizing of "Mother Nature" (Jill Diane) and the live violin playing of "Soultree" (Jared Burnett), a shirtless artist who clearly spends as much time doing abdominal crunches as he does practicing arpeggios.
The nominal story line involves a pair of athletic "Jungleboys" (Zachary Carroll, Glenn Rogers) who are introduced to the wonders of their setting.
It's all harmless fun, and should prove catnip to the hordes of entertainment-starved family tourists who invade Manhattan every summer.
CIRQUE DREAMS JUNGLE FANTASY
Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway; (212) 239-6200. Through Aug. 24.
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Show Run Time: 2 hours with 1 20 minute intermission
New York, NY 10019
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