Monday, July 25, 2016

Broadway Theater Review: Cirque du Soleil's Paramour



Broadway Theater Gets a Big Top with Cirque du Soleil Musical
By Lauren Yarger
Looking for that perfect show to do with the kids over summer or winter break? The first Cirque du Soleil show, written specifically for Broadway, just might be the answer.


Paramour officially opens the 2016-2017 Broadway season at high-flying Spider-man’s home, the now newly named Lyric Theatre, for which the show’s creators design it, with a tale of a love triangle during Hollywood’s golden age.  Ruby Lewis stars as Indigo, an actress caught between her egotistical director Jeremy Kushnier and true love Joey (Ryan Vona) – and that is more of the plot than I usually can convey from other Cirque du Soleil shows which leave the audience gasping at the physical feats being performed but usually scratching their heads in puzzlement over what the story was about.

Like most Cirque shows, there is music (composed here by the team of Bob and Bill) and a bunch of circus and acrobatic acts interwoven between the tunes and the plot.

The cursory love story (will Ruby choose her career or true love?) moves along, sometimes in an overblown fashion, because of lots of set design by Jean Rabasse. An exception is a terrific trapeze act where their story is acted out. This plot is way better, by the way, than Cirque’s last attempt to play a New York theater a few seasons ago with the really terrible Banana Shpeel up at the Beacon in Harlem.

There are lots of other movement too from tap dancing (choreography by Daphné Mauger) and elaborate aerial acrobatics (Acrobatic Performance Design by Boris Verkhovsky, Flying Machine Design and Choreography by Raffaello D'Andrea/Verity Studios and others). A cast of 38 actors, dancers,  aerialists, acrobats, and circus arts performers with acts including aerial strap artists, Chinese pole, contortion, juggling, Russian beam, teeterboard, tumbling, trampoline and  trapeze dazzle both skill-wise and because of the colorful, glittery costumes designed by Philippe Guillotel 

The most breath-taking act is a high-flying strap act featuring twin brothers – all to the backdrop of the filming of Cleopatra. This is definitely the Big Top taking Broadway by storm. It brought its audience -- whooping, whistling and talking – with it, but it is great to see kids experiencing a show on Broadway.

If Broadway (and its ticket prices) isn't for you, you still can enjoy Cirque du Soleil in a couple of its Off-Broadway homes this summer. Toruk—The First Flight, inspired by the movie “Avatar” plays Sept. 7-11 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and form Sept. 15-18 at the Prudential Center in Newark.  Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities is a period fantasy about a world where everything is possible. It begins a run under the bog top on Randall’s Island Sept. 29.

Paramour runs through Feb. 19, 2017 at the Lyric Theatre, 213 West 42nd St., NYC. Performances are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 7:30 pm; Friday at 8 pm; Saturday at 3 and 8 pm; Sunday at 3 and 7 pm.  Tickets are $55- $145www.ParamourOnBroadway.com (877) 250-2929.

Credits: Creative Guidance and Direction by Jean-Francoise Bouchard; Direction and Concept  by Philippe Decouflé;  Associate Creative Direction by Pascale Henrot; Associate Creative Director, Scene Direction and Story by Wes Hyler; Associate Creative Direction, Scene Direction and Story by Scott Zeigler; Set Design by Jean Rabasse ; Costume Design by Philippe Guillotel ; Choreography by Daphné Mauger  ; Lighting Design by Patrice Besombes  ; Props Design by AnneSéguin Poirier ; Projection Design by Olivier Simola, Sound Design by John Shivers and Christophe WaksmannAssociate Creative Direction, Acrobatic Design and Choreography by Shana Caroll;  Composition by Bob and  Bill (Guy Dubuc and Marc Lessard); Lyrics and Composition by Andreas Carlsson; Acrobatic Performance Design by Boris Verkhovsky, Flying Machine Design and Choreography by Raffaello D'Andrea/Verity Studios,  Boris Verkhovsky, Rigging and Acrobatic Equipment Design by  Pierre Masse, Makeup Design by Nathalie Gagné , Hair Design by Josh Marquette; Music Direction and Conducting by Seth Stachowski.







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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/.

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle and the CT Press Club.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

Copyright

All material is copyright 2008- 2017 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact reflectionsinthelight@gmail.com

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Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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