While the weather does not feel “summer”, we know that the coming of “Cirque Shanghai: Warriors”, now on the Pepsi Skyline stage at Navy Pier, that the summer is here! I must say the breeze on opening night was a bit more than expected after a wonderful Memorial day Holiday, but the show, despite being billed as “all new”, was audience pleasing for the 70 plus minutes of action and thrills!. Over the years, since first coming to it’s summer home, Cirque Shanghai has attracted many repeat audiences and each year the show improved. This is a concise and exacting show that keeps the audience on its toes and applauding from start to finish.
Yes, the show features some terrific acrobatics and to go along with its new sub-name- Warriors” they have added some military costumes, and some movements that are Kung Fu and Wu Shu allowing us to witness not only the usual “silks”, and the amazing “Wheel of Destiny” that for some reason appeared even larger ( and scarier) than in last year’s production. They of course continue the Imperial Thunder” China’s premier act where FIVE motorcycles cross each others paths in the steel globe as the final act of the show. Well many of the acts are very close top the past, it appears the acrobatics and artistry is more so than in years past and some of the old acts- chairs rising high, bicycles with one man and many women are gone, replaced by some new feats of acrobatics and strength.
Also changed is the hoops number. As “Warriors”, the men challenge walls and are now dressed as soldiers. The transitions from act to act are smooth as silk and except for some blinding lights, the lighting and sound are solid additions. The audience participation number is the balance on a cylinder with popping bowls from the board to his head and our audience member was a riot. He played the audience as if he was a member of the troupe. They sure know how to pick them, as each year, I have seen solid audience participation.
This year’s production will continue through September 1st with performances as follows:
Wednesdays 2, 6 and 8 p.m.
Thursdays at 2 and 8 p.m.
Fridays at 2, 7 and 9 p.m.
Saturdays at 2, 6 and 8 p.m.
Sundays at 2 and 4 p.m.
Don’t forget, Wednesday and Saturdays performances at 8 p.m. are followed by Navy Pier’s Fireworks spectacular.
Tickets range from $18.50 to $39.50 and are available at the box office, ( children 3-12 are $15.50) or by calling Ticketmaster or online at www.navypier.com.
There are also many special packages available with food, Ferris Wheel rides and others There are lots of activities at navy Pier and plenty of great dining spots. Parking is available in the garage and public transportation is easy to use. If you have been attending “Cirque Shanghai” shows in the past, you will enjoy this production, as it is very close to previous years. For my part, just watching the two main features, “Imperial Thunder” and “Wheel of destiny” is worth the trip and the price of admission. They are breath-taking experiences that will leave you speechless.
To see what others are saying, visit, www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “Cirque Shanghai: Warriors”