Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spectacular Cirque "Holidaze" at Broward Center

A Spectacular “Holidaze” Show at Broward Center

By Skip Sheffield

“Cirque Dreams Holidaze” is a dazzling spectacle of sound, light and human feats of derring-do at the Broward Center for the Arts, onstage through Sunday Jan. 1.
This “Cirque” (French for circus) is not to be confused with the much larger, better-known Cirque du Soleil with headquarters in Montreal. Producer-director Neil Goldberg creates his shows right here in Florida in a large warehouse-studio in Pompano Beach. Like the French-Canadian company, Goldberg’s Cirque is a circus with no animals or animal tricks. It is a strictly human show with an international cast of 30 phenomenal acrobats, jugglers, balancing acts, trapeze artist, gymnasts, trick bicyclists, dancers, roller-skaters- you name it. This is a kitchen sink of diversity, wildly costumed and brilliantly lit, with a thunderous recorded musical accompaniment and live singers. In fact the music is a little too thunderous for those with sensitive ears.
It’s been a good ten years since I first met and interviewed Neil Goldberg. The show he produces now is vastly improved over what I saw a decade ago. There is only the barest thread of a plot. It’s Christmas Eve, and through some magic all the tree ornaments and toys spring to life. There are three main characters who sing and thread the acts together: Angel (Hannah Hammond), the Ice Queen (Traci Blair) and author Dickens (Jamarice Daughtry) all from the USA. Each of these singers is powerful in his or her way. I was especially impressed with Daughtry’s vocal range. I was less impressed with the original music by Jill Winters and David Scott, but it is lively, to say the least. There are several familiar cover tunes, including “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and a particularly lovely version of “O Holy Night.”
The cast includes performance artists from Brazil, China, Ethiopia, Latvia, Mexico, Russia, Spain and the Ukraine. Each act has a specialty and special moments guaranteed to make you gasp. If you enjoy toned bodies performing incredible tricks, this is a show for you regardless of the season.
Tickets are $29.25 to $69.25, and well worth it. Call 954-462-0222 or go to


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