Show Review by Susan Coronel: Something at New Victory Theatre


On Friday, March 31, my nearly six-year-old daughter and I attended the first performance of the U.S. premiere of Something, a contemporary cirque show from Milan, Italy, now running at the New Victory Theater in Midtown. I wasn’t sure what to expect. We’ve seen our share of circuses- the Big Apple Circus and several Cirque du Soleil shows, with mixed success. By the end of the one-hour performance, we were pleasantly surprised by the quirkiness, the choreographic skill and acrobatic prowess of the seven-member troupe Liberi Di…Physical Theatre.

Two words that come to mind to describe the 13 vignettes that comprise Something are inventive and playful. Ordinary activities become infused with the surreal and the delightful. In one vignette, poker players deal their cards upside down with their feet. In another, a performer reads a book while doing a variety of contortions and handstands. There are bouquets of floating balloons and rainbows; a performer in red bandana who interacts with a giant red ball while tossing around a red apple; a trio of female air-guitarists who interact with a long twisted curtain, and twin acrobats in silver suits suspended from a moving hoop.

The New Victory Theater recommends Something for ages 6 and up. Although my daughter appreciated the inventiveness of the scenes and the acrobatic and high energy dance acts, some of the humor went over her ahead, and the slower scenes left her feeling a bit restless. However, I heard lots of chuckles in the audience to accompany my own throughout the one-hour performance from school aged children, and I’d imagine it was from the children in at least the 7-9 year old range. I think the show is more suited for children at least in the mid to upper elementary range because a few elements could be confusing to a younger child, but of course it’s up to the parents’ discretion and comfort level to decide what’s appropriate. A handful of times in the show, a muscular male performer appears with nothing except a black tutu, met with excitement, embarrassment and giggles by the troupe, and there is a scene toward the end of the performance when member of the troupe kiss, first a man and a woman and then a man with a man.

If you are expecting anything resembling a traditional circus or even a grand Cirque du Soleil-type spectacle, Something is not it. But if you and your child appreciate slapstick comedy, modern dance and acrobatic feats set to original music, with lots of costume changes and props, Something is definitely “something” worth seeing during the April break.

Liberi Di…Physical Theatre, founded in 2007, has become one of the leading acrobatic theater companies in Europe. The company’s four founders performed in the acrobatic dance piece “Olympic Spirit” during the Opening Ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, and performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015 to rave reviews.

Choreography: Liberi Di.. Physical Theatre

Cast: Davide Agostini, Mauro Ardenti, Elisa Bazzocchi, Valentina Marino, Francesca Mottola, Antonio Parisi, Eleni Quartana, Bledar Radonshiqi, Marco Ticli

Director: Davide Agostini

Lighting Designer: Andrea Mostachetti

Stage Managers: Stefano Pribaz, Guilia Piolanti

 

You can catch Something at the New Victory Theater (209 W. 42nd St.) through April 16. There are performances on Saturday, April 8 at 2 or 7 p.m., Sunday, April 9 at 5 p.m., Wednesday, April 12 and Thursday, April 13 at 2 p.m., Friday, April 14 at 2 or 7 p.m., Saturday, April 15 at 2 or 7 p.m., and on Sunday, April 16 at 12 p.m. or 5 p.m. Full price tickets are $16-$38, and $10-$25 for New Victory members. Tickets are available online at NewVictory.org or by phone at 646.223.3010.

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