Feb. 06, 2013 - Issue #903: Moment by moment
Whether you buy into astrology or think it's all a bunch of hoo-ha, it's still fun to compare your own personality traits to those that are supposedly predetermined by the heavens.
Firefly Theatre's newest show does more than just give you a set of adjectives to mull over—it delivers vivid visual interpretations of each sign of the Zodiac. The program describes Zodiac Arrest as a "circus-vaudeville variety concept" with a twist. That's about as concise an explanation as you can get: the show is a highly entertaining grab bag of various artistic disciplines, focused heavily on Firefly's signature aerial work along with clowning, magic and a highly inventive physical dance retelling the story of Theseus and Ariadne.
The overarching theme uniting each act is the signs of the Zodiac: each performance is introduced by either Annie Dugan or Kristi Hansen delivering a quick spiel about the next sign being presented whilst wearing an appropriately themed outfit.
Though the momentum seemed a little languid throughout the first act, this turned out to be a slow burn that really paid off in the second half, particularly with the acts that were reprised: Billy Kidd's second magic act (a classic straitjacket escape) was made hilarious by her banter with a very good-natured audience member, and the reprisal of Cosipor and Suttirags' clown routine delivered much more laughs the second time around.
What remained constant throughout the show, however, was the excellence of the aerial routines. Each one was wonderfully imaginative and creative, presenting a range of different styles: it began simple, with Kadri Hansen on an aerial sling, and grew increasingly more complex. The finale was fascinating and intricate, featuring Dugan, Lisa Feehan and Michalene Giesbrecht on aerial silks.
Of particular note was the perfectly executed rhythmic contortion by Mackenzie Baert and Caitlin Marchak, as well as the hauntingly beautiful performance by Feehan in an aerial cargo net, accompanied by Jason Kodie on a pianocycle (which is exactly what it sounds like) playing a French-English cover of "Mad World."
I could continue to describe the many virtues of this show, but suffice to say that no matter your sign (or your opinion on astrology) Zodiac Arrest will show you something that will appeal to your inner nature—whatever it might be.
Until Sun, Feb 10 (8 pm)
TransAlta Arts Barns
(Westbury Theatre), $22 – $28 vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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