Broadway Features and Reviews
Did Broadway Critics Flip for Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy?
By Broadway Magazine Staff
Last night, the 2008-2009 Broadway season got started with the opening of Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy at the Broadway Theatre. Today, the critics weigh in with their thoughts on the production. This production does not come from Cirque du Soliel, and critics were quick to point that out in reviews. The response from critics was mildly mixed, neither overwhelmingly negative nor positive, with a few exceptions. Most critics concur that the show is family friendly, with moments of spectacle and unique charm. A sampling of opinions below:
"Tastefulness, obviously, is not among the pronounced assets of "Cirque Dreams". But the show's low-tech simplicity is endearing, and a nice contrast to the hydraulics-heavy Las Vegas extravaganzas of Cirque du Soleil."
– Charles Isherwood, New York Times
"Jungle Fantasy is not as pretentious as the worst of Cirque du Soleil, but it's not as sophisticated either; the key word here is 'busy'."
– David Rooney, Variety
"It's all harmless fun, and should prove catnip to the hordes of entertainment-starved family tourists who invade Manhattan every summer."
– Frank Scheck, New York Post
"All cirques are not created equal, but "Cirque Dreams" does provide a mild, family-friendly diversion."
– Phillip Boroff, Bloomberg
"The performances are the muscular equivalent of watching Einstein think, or Beethoven compose; which is to say that there is an essential genius of the kinesthetic variety on display at the Broadway Theatre."
– Christopher Moore, Broadway Magazine
"Yet for all the swift, well-practiced expertise obviously on display here, "Cirque Dreams" offers little that's novel or especially exciting."
– Michael Sommers, Star-Ledger Staff
"Adding laughs are emu-like creations in pink tights and rhythmic frogs. Goldberg keeps the action flowing and dynamic. There's always a lot to see."
– Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News
"Think of "Jungle Fantasy" as an all-natural way for kids to replicate Seth Rogen's mushroom-induced Cirque du Soleil freak-out in 'Knocked Up'."
– Eric Grode, New York Sun
"...while some of us may roll our eyeballs at this sort of entertainment, it's only fair to report that the woman next to me - who had two young children in tow - must have exclaimed "Oh, my God" nearly 20 times." – David Finkle, Theatremania
"The only enjoyable part of the show for us involved reading the non-Equity performers' crazy bios. Take Uranmandakh Amarsanaa, a graduate of the Mongolian State School of Contortion. Or Stefka Iordanova, master of the rare Bulgarian art of hair spinning."
– Matt Windman, am New York
"If you've ever wanted to see a Ukrainian frog juggler, a Bulgarian "hairialist" and a Mongolian contortionist lizard all in the same show, then you're in luck. "Jungle Fantasy" has arrived to satisfy all your circus cravings."
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