'Twas the Night Before...: Cirque du Soleil's acrobatic twist on a beloved Christmas classic

Cirque du Soleil has always been known for its creativity and, for its first-ever Christmas production, the stage comes alive with the spirit of the holidays in a brand new, exciting way, taking the audience along for a thrill ride like none other.

The production opened November 29 at the Chicago Theatre, a perfect venue for all of the excitement and grand visuals this family-friendly, 75 minute production offers.

It’s a story about the wonder of sharing and friendship told through the lens of Cirque with breath-taking acrobatics performed by artists from around the world, sparkly set designs, audience participation, spectacular choreography, Christmas standards arranged in cool new ways and so much more.

The show begins even before the curtain comes up as gaily costumed performers “play” in the crowd, climbing onto seats, taking selfies and generally engaging in delightful mischief.

The production revolves around Isabella, played on opening night by the perfectly cast Michele Clark. Isabella is a curious girl who’s become jaded by the hoopla surrounding Christmas. She’s too busy listening to music on her headphones and taking selfies (sound familiar?) to fully appreciate her father, played by the multi-talented Alexis Vigneault, who wants to read her the classic poem.

Soon, she is whisked to a topsy-turvy world where lovable characters perform incredible acrobatic feats all in accordance with the original poem surrounded by festive set designs, creative costuming and a brilliant light show–all you would hope for from a Christmas classic, albeit one ramped up Cirque-style.

I won’t give all the fun away, but suffice it to say, we absolutely loved it. I’m a die-hard traditionalist when it comes to Christmas so, when it first began, I wasn’t so sure about this modern twist. But, by the end, I was clapping and rooting for all of the adorable characters, mesmerized by the talents I’d just seen and the inspired visuals.

This holiday winter wonderland created by Cirque will warm the hearts of every fan of Christmas.

Playing now at the Chicago Theatre through December 8. For tickets/more info, click here or call or call Ticketmaster, 1.800.745.3000. (The production moves to the Hulu Theater at NYC’s Madison Square Garden from Dec. 9-29).

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