Crystal | Sears Centre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Crystal New Review (Theater and Comedy) The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Nov. 17-19 2017

Tremble, Kenneth Feld! First the Cirque du Soleil folks came for your Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and, sure enough, you had to close it down last May. Now they've produced this two-hour touring ice show to compete with your Disney on Ice. Named for its alienated young protagonist, Crystal adds a small platoon of figure skaters to Cirque's usual jaw-dropping acrobatics and confused storytelling. Highlights include Nobahar Dadui's Crystal and Jerome Sordillon's unnamed "suitor" in a pas de deux that thrillingly, not to say romantically unites the aerial and terrestrial planes. But an extreme skating bit keyed to pinball imagery comes as a complete non sequitur. Worse, the company risks alienating audience members by failing to emphasize that it's immature Crystal who characterizes other people as soulless automatons, not the show itself. Finally, Dadui's costume, patterned after parochial school uniforms, doesn't read as childlike. Inasmuch as Dadui is a full-grown woman, it reads as, well, kinky. —Tony Adler

Price: $30-$163

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