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Montreal Completement Cirque: Le Cabaret 2011 Les 7 Doigts de la Main; until July 23rd

Posted by Amie / July 14, 2011

Les 7 Doigts de la Main at Montreal Completement CirqueYes! Yes! Yes! Go! Go! Go! You can't see me but I'm pumping my arms in the air and cheering for how great this show was last night.

The circus company Les 7 Doigts de la Main have two offerings at this year's Montreal Completement Cirque Festival. There's the solo show, Patinoire and then there's the large group show Cabaret that I saw last night. The Cabaret is a series of circus acts linked together by an actual story! More than just draw-dropping physical feats, the cast has to actually act:

"Be a termite! You're a termite! You look up...Oh! A trapeze! Get the trapeze!!"

Lead by the "annoying stage director" (that's what the program says) who runs the first half of the show, you'll spend the first hour keeled over in laughter. If shows at Just for Laughs in the next few weeks make me laugh even half this much I'll be happy. The only downside: you have to speak French to follow the stage director's quips and a male ballerina bit in the second half. But even if you can't follow, this is a very entertaining show for all. It starts in English and is set as a rehearsal for a cabaret performance being put on by a circus/dance company - the classic story in a story premise, but with aerial silks, balance beam trampolines, and hilarious physical comedy upping the difficulty level.Montreal Completement Cirque - les 7 doigts de la main

This how by Les 7 Doigts de la Main is definitely Cirque du Soleil quality in terms of the acrobatics; I hate comparing this show and this company to Cirque du Soleil but that's kind of the circus standard, especially in Montreal. But there are no underpaid Mongolian ring jugglers, and the ticket price is way more affordable (whose cheapest obstructed view tickets is $62.50, though you pay for mind-bogglingly elaborate costumes, unique staging, and over-the-top makeup. 1930's flapper dresses and top hats a bit more affordable). Most importantly, there's an energy and a excitement in the faces of the performers, as though they haven't done this a million times for a million audiences.

Most of the circus artists are also required to perform on multiple apparatus, showing off their versatility, and the duets of jumping through rings and landing perfectly on a partner's back are just as impressive as the sensual hoop-swinging solo act of Alexandra Royer.

And you can't forget jazz vocalist/overly-criticized costume designer, Cyrille-Aimee, who could scat her way out of a sticky situation, and who, along with pianist Assaf Gleizner, holds the show together with impressive original jazz, rock, and pop numbers, along with two arrangements by Thierry Angers. It only feels like background music once when there's a long scene change in the second half. And if the Olympia wasn't such a big theatre, the audience would happily stick around at the end as the duet breaks into standards. I was, in fact, "beginning to see the (circus) light."

So, I repeat, go!!! If you've only got $30 to spend this summer on a festival show, this is where you should spend it.

Le Cabaret 2011
Montreal Completement Cirque
When: Until July 23rd
Where: The Olympia Theatre, 1004 Ste-Catherine E
How Much: Adults - $45, $31.50; Students: $25!!



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