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Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Published: Thursday, 10/25/2012

Chinese troupe sets amazing physical feats to music

BY JULIE NJAIM
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Direct from Beijing, the National Circus of the People's Republic of China, performing "Cirque Chinois," was founded in 1953, making it one of the longest running and most distinguished circus troupes in China. Direct from Beijing, the National Circus of the People's Republic of China, performing "Cirque Chinois," was founded in 1953, making it one of the longest running and most distinguished circus troupes in China.
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The world-famous National Circus of the People's Republic of China makes its Toledo debut Sunday when it presents Cirque Chinois at the Valentine Theatre.

"It's a beautiful presentation of physical dexterity and balance set to music," said Matt Lentz, Valentine director of marketing and public relations.

The National Circus, established in 1953, has traveled to more than 80 countries with its daring acts of physicality and won more than 20 gold and silver medals in international competitions. The troupe is credited with influencing Cirque du Soleil and is the most distinguished circus troupe in China.

Like Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Chinois demonstrates amazing and seemingly impossible acts in this human circus. Its unique acts include the Grand Flying Trapeze, Group Contortion, Straw Hats Juggling, and Girls' Balance with Bowls.

Unlike Soleil, Chinois does not follow a story line, Lentz said. "This is more a series of circus acts. The costumes, the contortions, the whole cultural aspect of the show, the physical dexterity -- people are literally flying all over the stage. It goes from beautiful Asian music to some pop-synthesized stuff."

This circus is in keeping with the Valentine's goal to bring to stage a diverse season that appeals to a broad spectrum, he said.

The Valentine offers Student Rush, $10 tickets for high school and college students with valid identification, for most of its productions. Students show up at the theater 30 minutes before a performance. If seats are available, they can purchase tickets at the discounted rate.

"Cirque Chinois" will be performed at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Valentine Theatre, 400 N. Superior St. Ticket prices range from $39 to $50. Information: 419-242-2787 or valentinetheatre.com.

'Deadites' Rejoice

Evil Dead The Musical is back by popular demand, opening this weekend in the Valentine Theatre's Studio A Theatre.

One of the 12 performances is already sold out for this cult classic that "Deadites" look forward to each year. Splattering blood and laughs abound when a group of college students accidentally unleashes an evil force that tries to turn them into demons. The musical is based on the Evil Dead film series.

"Evil Dead The Musical," recommended for ages 16 and older, will be performed at 7 and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 10 at the Valentine Theatre in Studio A Theatre, 410 Adams St. Tickets are $20. Student Rush tickets are $5, available with valid student identification if the show is not sold out 30 minutes prior to the performance. Information: 419-242-2787 or valentinetheatre.com.

Alien Attack

The Toledo Repertoire Theatre is turning back the clock to 1938 this weekend as it presents War of the Worlds.

"It's kind of amazing; over a million people did panic when this was on the air," said director Kate Argow.

The 10th Street stage will be transformed into a radio studio as the characters re-create the program that wreaked panic among the nation when listeners believed Martians were invading the Earth in Howard Koch's adaptation of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds novel.

"We hope the audience will feel they are watching the radio program as it was in 1938. It was actually Halloween Eve. We want to give the aura of that production," Argow said. "It's an interesting show because it seems to speak to people in a way that really draws people in. I've had people contact me who really wanted us to do this show because it refers to their childhood or their grandparents' childhood."

The cast of nine play multiple roles. Among them are Joe Capacini as Orson Welles; Matthew Gretzinger as Phillips, the reporter; J. D. McIntyre as the Announcer; and Ken Wieland, as the Stranger.

"War of the Worlds" will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, 16 10th St. Tickets are $14.75. Information: 419-243-9277 or toledorep.org.

Comedy and music

The Stranahan Theater will offer a musical revue today and a comedy extravaganza Friday when In the Mood and the Royal Comedy Tour each take the stage.

In the Mood, a 1940s musical revue, will feature the music of Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, The Andrew Sisters, and many more taking the audience on a two-hour journey back to the post-war celebration. Singers and dancers will be accompanied by String of Pearls, an internationally awarded big band orchestra.

The Royal Comedy Tour will include biting comedy by Sommore, Mark Curry, Bruce Bruce, and Earthquake. This show is recommended for adult audiences.

"In the Mood" will be performed at 3 p.m. today in the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. Ticket prices range from $30 to $40. Royal Comedy Tour will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday. Ticket prices range from $40.50 to $49.50. Information: 419-381-8851 or stranahantheater.com.

Send theater items at least two weeks in advance to jnjaim@theblade.com.



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