Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon Reviews - Theatre In Chicago - Play Reviews
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Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon
Navy Pier Skyline Stage

Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...Catch “Year of the Dragon,” the latest edition of Cirque Shanghai — the spectacle that has become a reliable rite of summer at Navy Pier’s open-air Skyline Stage (even if nighttime temperatures can feel downright wintry) — and you will find a rapid-fire 75-minute show that lives up to its astrological sign. In many ways this is the strongest production to arrive within the confines of the brilliant red and gold entry gate that frames the proscenium stage."
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Hedy Weiss



NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...Like any good stunt-based show, each act starts small and repeatedly one-ups itself until it seems that one more ball, one more stacked chair or one more rider on a single bike will be too much. Under the direction of Miao Miao Chen, the fast-paced transitions and smoothly immersive soundtrack helps ensure that the audience stays constantly engaged with this string of athletically mind-blowing bits. The outdoor tent seating gives the whole thing an appropriately carnival-like feel. For what it’s worth, 2012 is “The Year of the Dragon.”"
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Zach Freeman



Centerstage- Somewhat Recommended

"...Despite the fire-breathing implications of the title, this year's Cirque Shanghai show is less adventurous than previous editions. Sure, it's packed with wonderful performances, amazing acrobatics, brilliant balancing acts, and dazzling displays of fine and gross motor skills. And, yes, the most dangerous bits can knock your socks off. But nothing here really pops."

Jack Helbig



Stage and Cinema- Somewhat Recommended

"...It takes a rare courage to brave Chicago’s Navy Pier during the summer. A combination of lines and advertisements threaten to ensnare you and your wallet with just a simple misstep. And amongst all this, Chicagoans like myself will be confronted with the Kafka-esque fear of feeling like one of them—by “them,” I of course mean the tourists. This year’s edition of Cirque Shanghai: The Year of the Dragon does nothing to quench that fear, but actually exacerbates it with its over-the-top, overpriced (at twenty dollars), cheap-feeling spectacle, the type one would find in an amusement park. And in suit with its China theme, red silks dominate the stage for most of the show, as if that’s the only color they have in China. All of this is the backdrop for stunts performed with somewhat uncomfortable uniformity."
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Paul Kubicki



Chicago Stage Standard- Highly Recommended

"...The most awesome acts, of course, close the thrill show. The so-called Wheel of Destiny sports huge rotating wheels within which two daredevil gymnasts scamper merrily as they rapidly revolve—and happily manage to escape any destiny whatsoever. Finally comes the proverbial crowd-pleasing act that can’t be followed, the happily misnamed Globe of Death. However many times you see the troupe called Imperial Thunder, you wonder how this quintet ever perfected it without dying beforehand. It, of course, consists of a giant steel ball just big enough for one motorcycle to tear around its circumference—but before this dazzler is over there will be five motorcycles happily managing to miss each other by inches--or the act really would live down to its name."

Lawrence Bommer



Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...I have seen Cirque Shanghai’s shows since they started at Navy Pier and this one is the best ever! During the finale, the entire audience rose to its feet and the applause was near deafening- if you have seen previous productions, you will love this one even more, if you have never enjoyed the Cirque show at Navy Pier- now is definitely the time to plan it as part of your summer fun."
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Alan Bresloff