'Cirque Holidaze' soars at Hanover.

AuthorDuckett, Richard

Byline: Richard Duckett

WORCESTER -- The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge talked of a "willing suspension of disbelief'' on the part of the reader to make a fantastical tale of fiction seem true.

The facts Friday night at The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts were that "Cirque Dreams Holidaze'' had performers willingly suspended in midair in a show that was beyond belief.

It wasn't just fantastic acts such as "Flying Angels'' but also balancers, jugglers, a stilt walker, twirlers, singers, dancers and a couple of quick-change artists, all in an amazing array of costumes, that made this "Holidaze'' a dazzling spectacle.

With his long-running "Cirque Dreams'' series, creator and director Neil Goldberg has stated that he aspires to blend aspects of the acrobatic and artistic European "cirque'' with a Broadway glitz and showmanship. With that, previous Cirque Dreams shows that have come to The Hanover Theatre ("Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy'' in 2009 and "Cirque Dreams: Illumination'' from 2010) and now "Cirque Dreams Holidaze'' have a lot of inherent class. "Cirque Dreams'' is bright but not loud; there are twirlers but no twerkers.

"Cirque Dreams Holidaze,'' which opened a five-performance run before an audience of close to 2,000 people Friday night, has the simple enough concept of holiday ornaments and seasonal trimmings such as candy and gingerbread cookies coming alive and performing on the stage.

"Once upon a dream, time awoke suddenly'' narrates a voice in a short introduction. On paper, you might think that there will have to be plenty of disbelief for this not to be a little too holiday sweet and corny. But in reality, the show is both infectiously upbeat and also actually very interesting to watch.

Goldberg and his team know their "cirque,'' so to speak, and take it to heart. While not as "out there'' as the French-Canadian Cirque du Soleil (which has also given us wonderful shows in Worcester) there are always plenty of wonderfully outlandish visual happenings even as performers negotiate walking on...

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