Review “Circolombia” (Chicago Shakespeare Theater): Heart-Racing Stunner

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents the North American debut of CIRCOLOMBIA.

Wow! The circus has come to Chicago! And the experience is a heart-racing stunner!

The Columbian circus troupe is performing for a limited engagement in Chicago Shakes’ The Yard. This new venue allows the troupe the space for its spectacular feats. The fifteen member crew includes singers, aerialists, acrobats, gymnasts, and dancers.

The mood is a combo of sexy and playful. The music has a Columbian sultry beat. The performers are casually dressed. They look to be wearing street clothes. They act like they are just hanging out onstage but then they go to work… And I’m left gasping and continually holding my hands in the ‘stop’ position.

The floor work has the gang throwing people across the stage. They do a handstand on top of another person flipping off and on to an additional performer. And that’s done in unison with another group of performers. Later, one guy continually jumps on a teeter totter to send his counterpart further in the air to do death-defying somersaults. The movements feel risky for both as the jumper jumps higher and is spotted for balance.

As nervous as I am for the ground crew, I am almost hysterical for the air show. This daredevil couple (Laura Lucia Lloreda Martinez and Cristian David Trivino Rincon) take turns spinning each other high above the stage. The stunts get more and more heart-pounding. At one point, she is holding on to him with her mouth. Crazy insane!

In another sequence, performers elegantly and effortlessly twirl on ropes. They use a connector or just a leg or arm to move up and down the ropes while swirling around. It’s probably as dangerous as the other numbers but the beauty of the movement allows my heart rate to slow down to a normal rhythm.

One sequence has both ground and air concerns. The guy has a large metal hoop balanced on his head. Inside the hoop, a gal performs various aerial stunts over a long period of time. Each stunt a little risker than the last. I worry for her falling but I’m also worried for the guy. He seems to start crouching under pressure as she is prolonging her dangling from the tippy-top. It is truly marveling.

CIRCOLUMBIA is a one-of-a-kind spectacle! These pictures and my words don’t capture it. It needs to be experienced to be believed! Get a ticket soon!

Running Time: Sixty minutes with no intermission

At Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier

Directed by Felicity Simpson 

Musical direction by Ryan Wilmot

Choreography by Carlos Neto

Thru Nov 4th 

Tickets at chicagoshakes.com

For more information and reviews on Chicago theatre, visit Theater in Chicago

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