At Krannert we watched Cirque Flip, which had a blizzard theme. The scenes ranged from good to epic. They started out with a split platform, basically stilts with little flat bits for people to stand on and flip around. That was pretty good. They did a very impressive dance juggling fake snowballs with snow shovels. Juggling with tools is quite challenging. There was an aerial routine with people suspended from straps, very well done except that the guys manning the ratline to raise and lower the dancers were running back and forth on the stage, not behind a curtain, which was very distracting. They had a giant rectangular frame used in several scenes, one with guys inside using it for rebound juggling at a very high level of skill. Another time they turned it on the small end to make it taller, and had guys jumping off it onto a trampoline. That was a very impressive bit of physics-bending, since you're not supposed to recover all the energy you put into a bounce due to entropy, and sometimes they actually added energy so they were floating down onto the edge of the frame after a bounce. Toward the end they actually suspended the frame on its corner by a wire, and build a 3D people pyramid inside it.
Among the more impressive things is that they had a fairly wide range of body size and shape among the performers. They had two tiny women, a couple of tiny men as is typical of dancers. But they also had some medium-size men and two bigger, heavier guys. So in addition to being able to do regular lifts and low tosses with the tiny people, they could also do that with the medium people, and really daring stuff with the tiny ones. They were throwing people more than body-height in the air. As if that's not enough, one of their heavies was also a bounder on the trampoline -- the biggest guy I've ever seen on that equipment, doing crazy life-threatening things. The jugglers did other stuff too, and one of the girls also sang. Having all that diversity greatly increased the variety and complexity of what they could do as a group. Just in case, you know, someone says all dancers and gymnasts have to be tiny, no, that's bullshit. Adding more body types adds more power.
Where they really lost points was on the lighting. They had stage level lights shining out into the audience, which meant I had to block those with my hand and couldn't see most of several scenes. Rule #1 of stage lighting used to be Do Not Shine Lights in the Audience's Face. Lights should be directed downward at some angle. Rule #2, by the way, is Do Not Shine Lights in the Performer's Face. The only lateral beams that are really safe are those going crosswise. If you blind the audience, they can't see the show; if you blind the performers, they can't see what they're doing. These are Bad Things. But apparently the rules aren't taught anymore, because I see violations more and more often, things that used to get people flunked out of an assignment for that alone. >_< So now I apparently have to do theater teachers' job for them too. If you're making a show, don't blind people. If you're hiring a show or buying tickets, try to make sure it doesn't violate those important safety rules. There are plenty of other cool things to do with lighting that are safer and more enjoyable.
After the show, we stopped at Intermezzo and had a piece of opera cake. :D
We shopped around the mall, but didn't buy anything.
For supper, we tried out Red Robin. my_partner_doug