Cirque Dreams combines the theatrics of circus acts like Cirque du Soleil and adapts them to a Broadway stage setting for Holidaze, opening Tues., Nov. 30 at the Cobb Energy Centre.
The show's oversize holiday decorations, toy soldiers, snowmen and other wintry wonders might have you thinking that Holidaze is just another overblown Christmas production. But if the company's exciting 2008 Jungle Fantasy performance was any indication, Holidaze will be worth a watch.
Cirque Dreams Director of Marketing Erik Alden, who spends a lot of time in Atlanta visiting his family, takes a moment to discuss how Holidaze differs from Jungle Fantasy and where he sees this production in the grand scheme of holiday shows.
How did you get involved with Cirque Dreams?
I graduated from college in Chicago with an arts, entertainment and media management degree, hoping to get involved with the arts somehow from a management standpoint. I worked on a number of Broadway shows in New York ... Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera. Another show that our company represented was Cirque Dreams and over a number of years that relationship just built up and I ended up going to work directly for them.
What's it like being part of this production?
I like to think of Cirque Dreams as more of a Broadway show than what you’ve come to expect from your typical European circus type of show. It certainly has those things, but it’s more like a Broadway show where the acrobatics become the choreography of the show, especially with Cirque Dreams Holidaze, where it’s a holiday show with acrobatics and amazing feats in the show.
This is only the third time Cirque Dreams has come to Atlanta, and the first time Holidaze has been here. How does this show compare to Jungle Fantasy and what can people expect?
This is our return after Jungle Fantasy at the Cobb Energy Centre. We did really well there last time and that’s actually where we began my other role in the company, which is a program called Run Away with Cirque Dreams. That’s where we try to find local talent to star in our show when it’s in town. This is where that actually launched, and since then we’ve probably done it in 30 different cities. We were able to put a 20-year-old from Atlanta in that show. But since then, we’ve found people from all over the country that have gone on to star in our show. It’s become this program to find young people and keep in touch with them over the years, see how their training’s going and give them a great opportunity.
Is Holidaze an original story or based on something we might already know?
With Holidaze, we’re able to draw on all those favorite holiday traditions that people have growing up. So there are holiday favorite songs like “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” in the show. Then the storyline is that these ornaments come to life off the tree. There’s this 30-foot Christmas tree in the middle of the stage that’s crystallized and all the ornaments are humans that come to life at night while people are sleeping. I feel like this show is much more of a musical than Jungle Fantasy was. We have three different singers in this show. With most of our shows in the past we’ve only had one singer. This is the largest cast we’ve ever had in our show with 32 performers, and it’s the most acts I’ve ever seen in any of our shows. I don’t know if I could sit through another Nutcracker and I think this type of show gives people the opportunity to go see something that’s not your grandmother’s Christmas show.
It kind of looks like The Nutcracker on steroids or acid.
Yeah, exactly. It’s pretty much like, instead of watching people twirl around on their tiptoes, we’re flying through the air and flipping all over the place. It’s definitely been blown up even more since last year. There are 30-foot gingerbread men blown up on the sides of the stage, giant candy canes — we’ll certainly fill up every inch of the Cobb Energy Centre stage.
Cirque Dreams Holidaze. 8 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 3, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 4, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770-916-2800. www.cirqueproductions.com. www.cobbenergycentre.com. $20-$70.50.
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Funny and interesting. Thanks.
"Stadium Love" - Metric