Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy
This circus-like entertainment is mostly recommended for young theatergoers or adults who haven't seen this kind of show before.
The result is that if you have seen a Cirque du Soleil show, you've sort of seen this one. If you haven't, you might as well catch this outing, especially if you have kids who enjoy gazing wide-eyed from their seats for two relatively short and manageable acts.
To keep the audience's eyes popping, the show's set and costume designers have indeed worked their imaginations above and beyond the call of duty. Jon Craine's lush jungle-green set features huge painted trees with thick vines wrapping around them, while the costumes by Lenora Taylor and Santiago Rojo look as if the Missoni family and the Pucci clan were challenged to see who could produce the more garish fashion parade, and the result was a tie.
The show itself involves a central figure through whose popping eyes the audience is supposed to view the proceedings -- a strapping lad called the adventurer (Marcello Balestracci), who shows up on the stage all innocent and raring to go. He is guided around by a flower-tressed woman (Jill Diane) who's identified as Mother Nature and tootles a series of generic, New Agey songs (credited to Jill Winters) full of sentiments like "Nature will set you free -- your passion will set you far apart."
Otherwise, Cirque Dreams contains the usual assortment of contortionists, jugglers, aerialists, balancers, and people who spin themselves inside large metal wheels -- many of whom have marvelous names like Uranmandakh Amarsanaa, Iryna Dmytruk, and Buyankshishig Ganbaatar. They're all agile as seals frolicking in a pool, but press me for a favorite act, and I'd have to choose the expanding team, which included the mugging Adventurer, who jumped rainbow-hued ropes and then jumped ropes within ropes within ropes.