Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Paramour @ The Lyric Theater

Spectacle. Wonderment. Awe-inspiring. These are just a few words that come to mind when thinking of the legendary Cirque du Soleil, the contemporary circus group that focuses on theatricality and is the largest theatrical producer in the world. Having permanent shows in Las Vegas and Florida, Paramour is the group’s venture to take on the Big Apple. The show combines Cirque’s signature circus arts with original songs, dance, and film, to create a new and breathtaking night at the theatre.
Paramour is billed as “A Cirque du Soleil Musical”, being the first of the entertainment company’s productions to have a fully integrated book/story attached to it. The plot follows three main players- renowned film director AJ Golden played by Jeremy Kushnier (Footloose, Rent), Ruby Lewis as redheaded singer striving to be a star Indigo James, and aspiring young songwriter Joey Green played by Ryan Vona (Once). After AJ recruits Indigo to be his new leading lady and enlists Joey to write the perfect love song for his film the three set off on a journey through the Golden Age of Hollywood, deciding between love, art, and one another. The musical features several songs, performed beautifully, but the main attraction of course comes with the circus acts.
Featuring a cast of 40 wonderfully talented artists, the Cirque performers are the real stars of the show. Performing mesmerizing tricks and stunts such as trapeze, contortion, trampolines, juggling, tumbling, and much more, the ensemble steals every moment they set foot on stage. The circus sections are absolutely enthralling and transport you back in time- leaving the audience feeling amazed and filled with wonder and wondering “how is that even possible?”. The dance sequences are extremely enjoyable, as the full cast comes together to show off their specific talents- whether that is singing high notes, doing four back flips in the air, or tap dancing (even in roller skates!). The number “Love Triangle” provides a wonderful hybrid of Paramour’s features, while having the three actors expressing their feelings through song a mirror-set of acrobats provide the physical exemplification of these words through their incredible movements, as the woman travels between one man on the ground and another up high in the trapeze. Identical twin acrobats Andrew and Kevin Atherton, through their absolutely astounding aerial-straps routine, present one of the standouts of the show. The two soar through the air above the audience, contorting their bodies and managing incredible feats, providing the most captivating minutes of the night.
Paramour is an all around spectacle. Aside from the amazing acrobatic and aerial routines, the design is remarkable. Playing at the Lyric Theatre, the second largest Broadway house seating almost 2,000 people, the gorgeous house provides the perfect aesthetic for the Golden Age era of the ‘30s and ‘40s with magnificent sets that transform between film sets, speakeasies, and city rooftops. The film theme is illuminated throughout the show with its use of live video, multimedia projections, and amazing lighting and shadow work, creating an integrated and immersive experience. There is always somewhere to look, around, above, even in the aisles.  
Paramour on Broadway is so much more than a show, it is an experience. For those new to Cirque, it is a good entryway, providing a sense of story to hold onto in between the incredible circus artistry, which will fill you with a child-like sense of amazement. If you’re looking for a spectacular evening of entertainment, with glitz, glamour, and gigantic talent, then hop, flip, or fly on over to the Lyric Theatre for Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour.

Review By: April Sigler
Photos BY: Sara Krulwich

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