GAZILLION BUBBLE SHOW: Review by Amy Wall Lerman
My husband and I took our son to see The Gazillion Bubble Show in New York City last week. If you haven’t heard of the show, you should definitely check it out. Created and performed all over the world by the Yang family, the show is pure delight for kids and adults alike. While tickets are not exactly cheap, the grins on your children’s faces may well be worth the price ($45-$65 – keeping in mind that the best seats for direct bubble-interaction are right in the front row).
Not knowing what to expect when we walked in, we found that all the seats have a great view of the stage, and pleased that ours were just 4 rows away from the bubble-making action. When we located our seats we noticed that to the right of the stage children were having their photos taken inside a giant bubble. We dropped our stuff and immediately headed over to watch.
When Evan started to climb the stairs to be next in line, I noticed the sign: “Me in a Bubble – $20.” It was too late to say no to Evan without a bubble-deprivation-inspired meltdown. I asked if we could take our own picture but was told no – I suppose that’s understandable even though $20 seemed a bit steep. When they brought our photo to our seats before the show started, Evan squealed at the site of himself inside an enormous bubble and when he wasn’t chosen to go on the stage with other child volunteers in the middle of the show, I was very grateful to have this photo as a consolation prize. Not to mention it was the object he took to school for “show and tell” the other day. Not too bad for $20, I’d say.
After what felt like and interminable amount of self-promotion and advertising before the show began, the stage lit up and the bubble-blowing commenced – a relief because my ADD child was beginning to squirm in his chair and ask, “Where are the bubbles?” I have to admit that at this point I was beginning to wonder about whether or not this would be an enjoyable show. I mean, why are they advertising to whom they’ve already sold? You have us, we’re here. The ones who need the ads are outside the theatre, not inside!
But when the show began, all these thoughts were lost in a world of magic. Melody Yang was the “bubble artist” for this show and at just 21 years old, she was a charming performer. The expressions on her face were initially her sole interaction with the audience and she proved herself a master of silent communication – evoking laughter and applause with a simple glance, smile, or wink. I often enjoyed watching her more than the bubble art she was creating which ranged from complex floral shapes multiple tiny bubbles inside enormous bubbles. She even danced between bubble “tubes” made by gigantic bubble wands.
Two television monitors on either side of the stage gave the audience different views of Ms. Yang’s artistry providing full visualization of her craft – an excellent idea on the part of the show’s creators/producers.
While I enjoyed the rather out of place laser light manipulation show/dance performed by Ms. Yang near the end of 80 minutes of bubble-fun, I also found it to be out of place and a little jarring. It felt again like it was more grandiose self-promotion with a cornered audience. I’m quite sure this was a way to demonstrate what’s next for the Yang family of performers. At least it was a fun interlude, but it’s not what I came to see.
I suppose in that sense I’m a theatre purist: Show me what I came to see and save the ads for Playbill.
Jaded New Yorker though I may be, I was mesmerized by the bubbles, engaged by the performance; enthralled by the lights; and thrilled at my son’s joyful ooh’s and ahh’s as he leapt out of his seat to grab at the glistening magic. Those bubbles bounced and bobbed by the thousands, amidst changing multi-colored lights, in all their bubblicious glory. I loved all that – almost as much as my 4 year old.
Who knew there could be so much joy in a roomful of soap?
The Gazillion Bubble Show is playing now at New World Stages Theatre in New York City. For tickets call Telecharge at: 212-239-6200 or visit www.telecharge.com.
Amy Wall Lerman, Editor of the Motherhood Later Than Sooner eZine, Baby Bloomer, is a television news producer and writer. She is the author of several books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Critical Reading and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Family Games. Her poetry has been published in an online literary journal and she maintains her own blog called Dodillydo. Amy lives in New Jersey with her husband and 4-year old son.