We had reviewers out last night for the openings of both Cirque Dreams Illumination and A Tuna Christmas, and they’re already back with some reviews of the shows!
I’m not a Texan. I first saw A Tuna Christmas 12 years ago, before I moved from New York to Austin, and remember being impressed with the bond between the two actors and the audience; Sears and Williams were telling them who they were. I saw the same broad smiles of satisfaction tonight at the opening; this is us, this is who we (Texans)are. The two have polished this thing till it glows darkly now; the characters seem sadder, madder, almost totally off the wall. The first act finale with Pearl and Dixie singing “Yellow Rose of Texas” softly while killing blue jays in the yard is completely wild and bizarre. Joe Sears’ big feckless men seem to be under constant assault from Jaston Williams’ skinny screaming ladies; R.R. Snavely’s blank look as he walks off onto a UFO is priceless. The Tasty Creme ladies, beyond compare. Joe Bob Lipsey, who directs the Xmas play and may be gay, Didi Snavely, smoking madly and singing hoarsely, a work of genius. You’ll love it all.
Cirque Dreams features men and women at the height of their physical prowess. It is simply amazing what a focused mind and body can accomplish. You will witness feats of strength, balance, and daring, and your jaw will drop in amazement. Luckily, some humor is thrown in: the clown appears several times to break the tension of sitting at the edge of your seat, as you wonder if the performers will actually succeed in their endeavors, or come crashing down. This Cirque seemed a bit more “busy” than others I’ve seen, with performers repeatedly crossing the stage while others are performing their death-defying feats. I enjoyed having the background singer sing in English, so that the lyrics were more understandable than the French that they used to sing in. This Cirque also follows a theme of being very pedestrian, so the performers are dressed like police officers, workmen, stop signs and so on. Come and enjoy fun for the entire family.