Last night I caught Traces, a hip, downtown version of Cirque du Soleil. Think streetwise twentysomethings, nonchalant cool, skateboards and basketballs, laid-back clothes, music reminiscent of Radiohead and Morcheeba, live camera feeds, piano and guitar, chalk lines and graffiti, and great-looking, deeply impressive performers who create a personal rapport with the audience. A more accessible, less otherworldly presentation than Cirque, and the better for it.
Oh, and did I mention the eye-popping acrobatics?
Previews? My Flavorpill preview is here.
Reviews? The Chicago Tribune gives it four out of four stars, Time Out Chicago gives it five out of five stars, and the Chicago Sun-Times says "highly recommended."
I rarely gush, but this show is terrific. It didn't just hold my interest; I was rapt, as was everyone else, by the dazzling displays of skill. It grabs you by the lapels and you can't look away. Plus it sounds great.
The choreography is lively, and also effective on a macro level: the big set pieces are nicely leavened with quieter musical, comedic and dance breaks, and everything keeps moving.
Check it out.
Traces plays Chicago through