Review | ‘A Magical Cirque Christmas’ at Santa Barbara’s Granada

It’s Hard to Resist the Seasonal Spirit and Holiday Fun for All Ages

'A Magical Cirque Christmas' was at the Granada on November 28. | Credit: Courtesy

The plot of the holiday-themed variety show A Magical Cirque Christmas revolves around a quest to help the Guardian of Time get into the holiday spirit and unleash the changing of the seasons with his giant magical clock. As the action begins, he’s not really feeling the festive spirit, but by the time this charming variety show on steroids ended, not only was the Guardian of Time feeling merry, but so were all of us in the audience. 

A large part of the charm of this music-, magic-, and comedy-infused cirque show is due to the captivating Carisa Hendrix, who stars as Lucy Darling, the mistress of ceremonies and one of the main characters. (Read my preview interview with her here.) “Why such a sad face?” she asks the Guardian of Time. “You look like you just bought Twitter or something.” And so our time-travel adventure begins.

A Magical Cirque Christmas is definitely designed for audiences of all ages, and it was fun to see multiple generations enjoying something together. The circus artists included a Lyra hoop acrobat, trapeze performers, jugglers, a gyroscope acrobat, a Rolla Bolla performer, a unicyclist, and my personal favorites who performed bicycle tricks and incredible feats with skateboards stacked five high on top of a tall trampoline.

There were a few technical difficulties along the way (not surprising with such an elaborate traveling show), which allowed Hendrix to show off her ad-lib skills. I’m not sure if she was a plant or just a very sweet kid in the audience, but when Hendrix asked an 11-year-old girl (who also assisted in a magic trick by being levitated on stage) what the “most magical gesture in the world” was and the girl responded with “It’s probably a hug,” I think it’s safe to say the entire audience found their holiday spirit. A Magical Cirque Christmas was indeed a lovely way to get into the groove of the holiday season.


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