My family and I don’t travel to New York City often from our Colorado home, but when we do, we always make a point to see at least one Broadway show. Over Thanksgiving week this year, we had the opportunity to check out Paramour, a Cirque du Soleil musical. Created specifically for the Broadway stage, the show blends a classic love story set in Los Angeles in Hollywood’s Golden Age with the acrobatic feats Cirque du Soleil shows are so well known for.
Now, if you head to New York City expecting to see the same types of magical backdrops and mystical set design found in the massive Las Vegas productions like Mystere or KA, you may be disappointed. The Lyric Theatre is actually one of the largest on Broadway (with nearly 1,900 seats); still, the venue doesn’t allow for quite the same “magic,” if you will, when it comes to the lighting and sound effects, pyrotechnics, or large-scale acts of Vegas. But that’s okay. This show’s storyline — in brief, a young singer from the Midwest is discovered by a big Hollywood movie director and a love triangle ensues — doesn’t require over-the-top stage sets.
Indeed, the show features many elements beloved in Broadway musicals: a timeless love story, live musicians, and professional actors in lead roles. (The female lead has a particularly remarkable voice.) And interspersed throughout the show are amazing trapeze, trampoline, and tumbling acts. Especially impressive are identical-twin aerial strap artists, a talented unicycle rider and his female partner, and two trapeze artists who also interact with an incredibly strong performer on the ground. (I’m not sure what the specific name is for this three-people-doing-really-neat-acrobatic-stuff-in-the-air-and-on-the-ground act, but trust me, it’s dramatic and exciting to watch.)
The love-story line may be for teens and adults, but I sat behind a child who may have been just about 6 years old. She was so excited to watch the “circus acts,” and clapped her hands in delight throughout the performance. Two matinees, Saturday at 3pm and Sunday at 2pm, are ideal for families; and the 7pm evening showtime makes it a not too late evening for kids (the show runs 2 hours and 15 minutes with one intermission).
If you’ve seen some of the classic and popular Broadway shows (Wicked, Chicago, Cats, Matilda) and/or don’t want to shell out ridiculous resale prices for Hamilton, put Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour on your list. Purchase tickets from Ticketmaster here, or you may be able to get same-day discounted tickets at TKTS booths throughout the city; when I was in Manhattan over Thanksgiving week I saw Paramour tickets listed on the display board in Times Square.
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I received complimentary tickets in exchange for a review of Paramour. Photos courtesy Cirque du Soleil.