Cirque Eloize ID | Cadillac Palace Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Cirque Eloize ID Closing (Theater and Galleries) New Review (Theater and Comedy) The Short List (Theater)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through May 8 2011

The problem with proscenium circuses is the proscenium. It flattens out an experience we're used to having in 3D. Sitting in a tent, watching acrobats work above your head is inherently vivid: the vantage point tells you just how much is at stake. Watching the same thing happen on a Loop stage? From, say, row NN? Not so much. But Canada's Cirque Eloize has turned a potential liability into a virtue. Robert Massicotte's set--a cross between a climbing wall and an Advent calendar, with hidden doors, retractable ledges, and other surprises--capitalizes on our limited perspective to create the most spectacular moments in the show. A stunt biker bounces around on it, trampolinists fly up it, and a charming artist named Manda Rydman disappears into it during the only great contortion act I've ever seen. The rest of the show suffers from pacing issues, a jangly urban sound design, silly narrative conceits, and outdated caricatures of street types. But solid skills and that set save the day. --Tony Adler

Price: $20-$75

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