One minute, audience members will see a circus performer swinging her body through a lyra or hoop, suspended high above the arena, during an aerial act.
The next, they will hear Broadway veteran Samantha Duval singing her heart out, backed up by a live symphony orchestra.
A little while later, they will soak in dancers performing selections from “The Nutcracker” and “Swan Lake” and vocalists singing contemporary holiday songs and old favourites like “Oh, Holy Night” and “Silent Night”.
That’s how producer Steve Cook describes some of the things the audience will experience when “Wonderland” kicks off its North American tour in Charlottetown next week.
“The show is a cirque-style theatrical production. And we’re doing it through circus acts, stories, singers and dancers. It’s going to be exciting,” says Cook, of the show that comes to the Eastlink Centre on Saturday, Nov. 15, 7 p.m.
What’s also exciting about it is that this is the first time the show has ever come to Charlottetown.
“We’re hoping it will become a tradition with P.E.I. families.”
Presented by Cirque Music Holiday, it’s billed as a “night of memories” for all ages.
“We’re telling the story of Wonderland, of how a princess comes to Wonderland and what she finds there. That’s the tale we’re telling. And we’re doing it through various acts.”
Woven into the storyline are aerialists, acrobats, contortionists, traditional circus acts and “some very dangerous tricks”.
Take, for instance, the Wheel of Death, a large, revolving circus apparatus with wheels on either end. In the stunt, artists perform tricks both inside and outside the wheel while maintaining balance and grace as the wheels turn.
“It’s exciting to see because it’s done 30 feet the air,” says Cook.
But what’s really exciting is seeing the different pieces of the extravaganza being put together on P.E.I.
In fact, he and the other creative team arrive in Charlottetown today. The cast, crew and performers will fly in Saturday.
“We literally have 70-80 people coming in from all over the world to perform in this show. It’s going to be very big,” says Cook, during a telephone interview from Texas.
Well-known names include the Espanas, a seven-generation circus family directed by Noe Espana, Alexander Rovang, a symphony conductor from New York City, and others.
“We will have two units of the show rehearsing in Charlottetown. Then one of them will head to the United States, while the other one heads out across the country….It will probably seem like we’re taking over the Charlottetown for couple of days,” says the producer, with a hearty laugh.
Cook is hoping the city will support the show and residents will come and check out the spectacular performance.
“That’s because this show will go on to play everywhere from Calgary and Vancouver to Los Angeles and everywhere in between. So, people here can say they saw it first.”
Cirque Musica fast facts
Tickets for “Wonderland” are available at the Eastlink Centre box office, by calling 902-629-6625 or by going to Eastlinkcentrepei.com.
Produced by TCG Entertainment, Cirque Musica has multiple productions touring the world.
They include “Cirque Musica Symphonic”, “Cirque Musica Holiday”, “Wonderland”, “Crescendo” and “Heroes & Villains”.
A Cirque Musica production takes audiences on a musical journey to a faraway land of dazzling beauty and mystery.