Tuesday, March 18, 2014

STAGE REVIEW: Peking Acrobats — Melbourne, FL (3.18.14)

Maxwell C. King Center
Melbourne, FL (3.18.14)

In its 28th incredible
year, this amazing
troupe from the
People's Republic of
China continues to
deliver a production
that's packed with
"WOW!" moments.

The joint literally was jumping as more than 1,000 enthusiastic elementary school-age students gathered at Melbourne, Florida's King Center for another must-see Theatre for Youth presentation. And this morning's showing of The Peking Acrobats proved to be one of the most spectacular productions of the season.

From crazy-looking dragons, vaulting from ramps and across the stage to synchronized female drummers, juggling with their feet to expert cyclists, death-defying gymnasts and even a human jump rope, The Peking Acrobats delivered all of the action-packed elements necessary to captivate kids of all ages — even a 50-year-old kid like me!

The costumes — magnificent. The special effects — dazzling. And the live musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments only added to the show's authentic curb appeal.

Count 'em — TEN performers balancing
on ONE teeny, tiny bicycle.
(I can't even balance my checkbook!)
Yet one serious question remained. How on earth did that contortionist not only manage to maneuver his way successfully into a cylinder half his size, but to also wiggle his way out — backwards? Mad skillz, to be sure.

Kudos to Theater for Youth Director Karen Wilson for bringing another world-class production to the King Center stage and for her continued commitment to community, culture and kids.

-Christopher Long
(March 2014)

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