There's a good reason for the "360" in the title of the action-packed show now running at the New Victory Theater: Between the BMX bikes, b-boying, and basketballs, there's a lot of spinning. Onyx Productions has brought a 70-minute show starring seven young fellas, each with serious skills, who make up the second half of the title in 360 Allstars. Heart-pumping music, dazzling lights and video, and incredibly talented athletes and musicians come together in an exciting, energetic show filled with feats that kids (and adults) have probably never seen before.
Gene Peterson directs this crew of talented performers on a stage designed to draw kids in: a playground basketball court with three huge video screens and two cool-looking musicians, Sam Perry (a "vocal loop" artist) and Peterson himself, also the show's percussionist. When Peterson turns on a camera attached to his hat, we get a glimpse of some of his fancy fingerwork as he plays the drums and the keyboard at the same time. And Perry's "vocal loop" performance (where he samples sounds and words, then combines them into a single song) holds the audience rapt. When he seamlessly matches his music with video projections of several different images of himself making each sound, his performance seems less like music and more like magic.
Oohs and aahs fill the theater when the compact but explosive B-Boy Leerock (Jared Graham) and the swaggering B-Boy Super G (Youssef El Toufali) take the stage and portray video-game avatars who leap, spin, and contort their bodies into incredible poses while engaging in a "b-boying" (breakdancing) battle. Then the muscular Rhys Miller mesmerizes the audience as he maneuvers an enormous hoop called a roue Cyr wheel, twirling himself like a figure skater. And with extraordinary agility and balance, BMX Flatlanding World Champion Peter Sore flips and twists with his bike as though he's engaged in some wild pas de deux.
The audience really gets bouncy when basketball freestyler Rashaun Daniels takes the stage. Most kids and adults have probably seen a basketball spun on a finger. But Daniels, in an act that would give the Harlem Globetrotters a run for their money, spins two on one finger. It's not an illusion; it's good old-fashioned skill. And just how many basketballs can he dribble at once? The surprise won't be ruined here, but get ready to listen to the kids chant "Push the red button" for a few days. Daniels' act really gets everyone excited.
Geoff Squires has done a great job designing the dynamic, almost pyrotechnic lighting that flashes across the stage and into the audience. Kids six and up won't be able to stay quiet during this eye-popping show — but then again they're not supposed to. These seven talented guys get everyone in on the action with clapping and chanting, and the music sets feet tapping. 360 Allstars packs in lots of family-friendly excitement into one show, and it'll certainly get kids wondering what kind of amazing things they can do too.
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