There’s something wonderfully whimsical about a bunch of ornaments coming to life in a spectacular stunt-filled variety show that makes gingerbread men leap, penguins balance atop cylinders, angels soar above the stage, a sway line soldier step in time and more. Cirque Dreams Holidaze opened at Broward Center for the Performing Arts Dec. 26 and runs through Dec. 30. The show was created and directed by Neil Goldberg. I had the pleasure of interviewing Goldberg a few years back.
When Goldberg was a little boy growing up in New York, he was raised an Orthodox Jew but used to collect tinsel and ornaments on his way home from Hebrew Day School. His collection of holiday ornaments has now grown to more than 20,000 and it has become the inspiration behind his elaborate show, Cirque Dreams Holidaze, which is on its tenth anniversary national tour.
“It wasn’t a religious thing for me,” Goldberg says. “It was about art. I have ornaments from all over the world from The Great Wall of China to Africa. Then I thought ‘Wouldn’t it be great if these ornaments came to life in a show as costumes?’”
The show includes a cast of 30 performers from America, Russia, China, Ukraine, Ethiopia and all over the world and combines a dazzling spectacle of more than 300 costume changes. Reindeer soar through the air, 30-foot toy soldiers come to life and gingerbread men become acrobats. Every costume is constructed at Goldberg’s 30,000 square-foot Dream Studios production complex in Pompano Beach.
“I dreamed up this whole thing. The show is like turning a kaleidoscope for two hours. Each turn is a different costume,” Goldberg says. “I walk through life and observe everything and see what motivates people and what makes people happy.”
Goldberg also insists this isn’t your typical holiday show and audiences of all ages should prepare to find “something in it for everyone to enjoy.”
“It’s a real imaginative spectacle as opposed to a generic holiday show with carols,” Goldberg says. “Santa makes an appearance in this show that just knocks your socks off. Audiences are engaged from beginning to end. It’s about snow, penguins, gingerbread and fun.”
Tickets, which are priced $29.50 – $123, are still available for this incredible show at Browardcenter.org.