For all their unique magic, A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker are not the only stage shows that holiday fun and memories for the whole family. You will find a treat filled with wonder and surprise as circus acts meet live theater at the Gateway Playhouse’s production of Cirque le Masque Noel, playing now at the Patchogue Theatre through December 28.
The focus of the show is the daredevil acrobatics of the talented—and diverse—group of performers that have assembled for this production, but the story’s holiday ties make it the perfect seasonal show. A girl named Moira is dreaming when Santa Claus and the quirky, bubble-butt-and-gut character Weego come and take her, and along with the girl the audience goes through each thrilling act.
Weego makes a habit of interacting with the audience that is fun if you want some stage time. Mario Diamond as the mime Santa Claus is ingenious, and does a great scene about Silent Cinema while recruiting a few audience members to join in the hilarious fun.
In between each act there is a lively, cheesy-in-a-good-way holiday dance number that includes fascinating costume choices.
Acts that are particular crowd-pleasers include Lindsay Culbert-Olds on the aerial straps and duo trapeze act with Kia-Melinda Eastman. The small, petite women perform each difficult task with effortless ease, their movements feline and graceful, completely mesmerizing. The electric juggling brother duo of Maximiliano and Emiliano Fusco are wonderfully entertaining and captivating. The siblings are magic in front of a crowd, and even with a blip here and there, the audience loves them and cheers the loudest for their thrilling routine.
Ismet Duarte and Frank Diaz are another amazing pair. This hand-to-hand duo performs awe-inspiring acts of strength and focus. With Duarte as the base, Diaz balances himself atop him in various formations, drawing gasps from the audience at every turn.
Gediminas Pavlovicius’s routine, “Rolla Bolla,” is one also sure to be a favorite. Pavlovicius is a true daredevil, balancing himself on a piece of wood on top of thick iron pipes—the higher he goes, the more you’ll find yourself biting your nails and saying “no, not another one!” Delightfully charming, Pavlovicius knows how to work the audience and delivers a flawless spectacle.
There’s plenty more to be seen in Gateway’s “Cirque le Masque Noel,” a great holiday treat for the whole family, but unwrapping them all here would spoil the enchantment that can only fully unfold sitting right there as part of the magic.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit pacsc.org.