Wednesday August 23rd 2017

“Quidam” Cirque Du Soleil

Over the years, we have been witness to some wonderful “Cirque” experiences , in major auditoriums, at Navy Pier and in tents. The Sears Center in Hoffman Estates is a comfortable place to view one of these shows, unless you are on a floor seats, as the way the seats are set, you get full view of the stage area. The new Cirque show, “Quidam” is a little darker than those of the past, not just in the story line, but in the venue as well. The story is about a little girl, Zoe ( the enchanting and adorable Alessandra Gonzalez),.who is bored with her life. Her parents ignore her and even as a little girl, in her mind, her life has no meaning. That is a sad story-line for an evening of enchanting circus like feats, so she slides into an imaginary world, the world of Quidam. In this wonderful place, she meets characters who encourage her to free her soul.

As each performance is done, we see small changes in Mother and father and as the show progresses, they do find their daughter and all become alive again with feelings for each other. Our “ringmaster” for this production, John ( deftly handled by Mark Ward) is an eerie sort of clown/disc jockey/TV Host/teacher who leads us on a mysterious journey as he brings this family back together.

                                                                         

I found this Cirque to have to much story and not enough activity on stage. The acts were pretty typical- The German Wheel ( Cory Sylvester does a splendid job, reaching new heights) followed by Diabolos, the Chinese yo-yo, but these ladies take a different turn than what we are used to seeing. They are not doing it together, but instead, competing with each other in a sort of “can you top this” performance. This is one of the highlights of the first act. The clown car is a bit long and the audience member brought on stage appeared to feel the time on stage was far to great for her.

The aerial Contortion in silk and the john hoop were also far longer than needed. The skipping ropes was a clever new act with over 20 acrobats of all sizes skipping their ropes as well as their friend’s ropes and going from rope to rope. This act had a tranquil ending which might have served as the end of the act one, but no, they continued with another Hoops act , only aerial. While this was well done and graceful, it was also so-so and did not leave the imprint that the skipping ropes would have for the break, which was announced to be 10 minutes, but lasted almost 25 ( I guess they have to sell a certain amount of “stuff”)

The second act opened to a smaller audience as many people had left the venue.The missed the beautiful Spanish webs which under normal circumstances is a solo, but in this show a group ( five acrobats).The juggling that follows is unique in that it becomes a part of the story itself with Zoe watching every movement of the juggler (Patrick McGuire) who is her father. This is followed by the statue, then the clown cinema. By this time, the show was getting a bit long for many of the kids in the audience as it was near 9:30 as they did the Banquine ( the usual human pyramids, but with a few new twists) and then the fun of getting out of the parking lot, which was easier than getting in. I suggest that you make sure you get there a bit early as it took almost 25 minutes to get from Rte 59 and the entrance to the parking space ( $15 for parking by the way).

“Quidam” will stop in Hoffman Estates only through February 12th with performances onThursday,Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m.,Saturday during the day at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and on Sunday at noon and 5 p.m.

Tickets are priced from $35 ( adults) and $28 ( children 12 and under) with discounts for military, seniors and students.

The Sears Center is located in Hoffman Estates and you can order tickets by calling 1-888-SEARSTIX(732-7784) or online at www.cirquedusoleil.com/quidam

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