We were really impressed with the Cirque show we had seen in Vegas at the Wynn a couple of months ago. Her parents were interested in going to see Crystal as well, so we figured we could make it a double date. The four of us went out to dinner (Mexican food of course) and then headed over to the venue to find out seats for the show.
I've said this before, but "The Dow" is really a great venue. There is only seating capacity for about 7500 people and the seats themselves are a bit more spacious than some other venues. Despite its size, the Dow tends to draw some decently big name acts as well as hosting the local IHL(International Hockey League) hockey team.
They actually changed up the layout for this event and only used half of the arena. Despite the reduced number of available seats, there were still quite a few empty. Maybe it is because it was a school night or perhaps because the show is so new.
We didn't see anyone handing out programs, so we simply took our seats not knowing what to expect or what the "backstory" of the show was.
Prior to the show starting they had individuals out on the ice skating around doing various things. It was basically supposed to give you the feel that you were in a park watching people go about their Winter time festivities. There was a four piece quartet (violin, accordion, guitar, clarinet) walking around the outside of the "park" playing music. Finally, there was a comedic figure walking around with a bucket of snowballs getting into snowball fights with the audience.
The best we could tell (and you can refer back to their web page for this), the story revolves around Crystal, a young lady who doesn't feel she fits in. She takes off one day to go skating in the park and falls through the ice. You can see the "cracks" starting to form around her in the picture above. They used the ice as a projection screen to great effect throughout most of the show.
As I was saying, she falls through the ice to the land of her imagination shown above. In her imagination, she experiences many things that many of us do, going to school, going to work, playing outside, falling in love, etc. Each of these scenarios she imagines is brought to life by the various performers.
Above are a couple more pictures of how they used the ice as a projection surface. You can also see from the pictures just how empty the arena was. To be fair this was the first of five shows they are doing over the next three or four days, so perhaps the other ones will get more attendance.
There was of course a hockey segment where the performers leaped and jumped through the air using ramps and hockey sticks as props. At one point Crystal came out wearing a jersey of the local team the arena hosts and everyone went crazy cheering.
If I had to be critical of anything, there just wasn't a ton of the Cirque style acrobatics we were expecting. Again, according to the site, this is their first ice show and no doubt they will adjust things in the future if they continue to have more. @mrsbozz and I agreed that it really felt more like ice dancing ala Ice Capades with a handful of Cirque style acrobatic feats thrown in.
Here are a couple of them:
Here are a few more of a guy balancing on top of an ever growing stack of chairs:
Honestly, the safety harness made it a little less dramatic than it actually was, but I totally understand why it is necessary. Needless to say the physical agility and strength of these performers is simply mind boggling.
There were a handful of numbers where it was simply people shoving props around the ice to music. None of the characters actually talked or sang, it was all done via narrator as I think most Cirque shows are.
This was another great example of how they used the ice as a projection screen to announce the end of the show. It was followed up by a large ice dancing number that included the whole cast.
Overall, I was most impressed with the musicians and a handful of the performers. Looking back, I probably should have waited until closer to the show to get our tickets. Given how empty the arena was, I think I could have gotten a better price and probably better seats. In my opinion the show we saw really wasn't worth the $52 per ticket we paid (the most expensive tickets I saw were $120 per seat).
If it happens to come to your town, I am not saying skip it, but just be sure you know what you are getting into. It is a decent two and a half hours of entertainment with twenty minutes of that being an intermission. It is also family friendly, so you don't have to worry about any of the content being too "adult" for your kids.
I think it is probably hard to compete with some of the Cirque shows in Vegas that have special arenas prepared specifically for that show. If Vegas isn't close to home, Crystal can offer a passable experience assuming you don't overspend on the tickets.
All pictures are mine, flash photography and video recording were not allowed so I used "Night Sight" on my Pixel 2 XL phone.