Judging from the extraordinary success of the Cirque Dreams organization, the 21st century may be the brightest time yet in the long history of circus entertainment. The new-wave circus and theater company was founded in 1993 by Neil Goldberg, whose long list of production credit includes two Super Bowl halftime shows. Today, Goldberg maintains a giant production facility and training center in Pompano Beach, Florida, where he and his team conceive, cast, and direct more than a dozen touring shows a year, many of which travel internationally.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, May 8 and 9, the Granada will host Cirque Dreams: Pop Goes the Rock, a show that combines a wide range of circus acts with live popular music, an amazing set, and a dazzling light show. The story is about as simple as it gets — a jack-in-the-box appears onstage, a young boy jumps out, and the rest of the cast spends the next two hours trying to capture him and put him back in. This being Cirque Dreams, the chase is a highly inventive one involving contortionists, trapeze artists, twirling roller skaters, and even a quick-change artist. I spoke with Pop Goes the Rock’s music and casting director Jill Winters last week. Below, she offers three great reasons to get out next week to see the show. For tickets and info, call 899-2222 or visit granadasb.org.
1. Cirque Dreams Is Seriously Global: “I love YouTube,” said Winters, “because otherwise I might have to spend a lot more time flying to places like Mongolia looking for the best contortionists. But now, because of the widespread use of Internet video, I can pick and choose from the world’s best circus artists without leaving my office, and when I find them, we can fly them to Pompano.”
2. You Will Know the Music: “One of my favorite things about the show is just watching the audience react when the song changes. There are so many eras and styles represented that it’s like a decade-by-decade representation of America, and people really respond to the ones they remember the best.”
3. It’s Incredible: “There’s this one number involving two roller skaters,” said Winters, “and I don’t want to spoil it, but he’s spinning in circles, and she’s attached to him by a line and a small harness she wears around her neck. When she leaves the ground, it’s breathtaking.”