Another mesmerizing show: Cirque du Soleil's 'Totem' in Camden, N.J.
Cirque du Soleil's 'Totem' dazzles audience as it traces the arc of life on Earth
The opening scene: As the audience enters, a huge turtle shell structure sits on the main floor, near a beach-like area.
Written by Betsy Price-The News Journal
June 1, 2013
Cirque du Soleil’s “Totem” returns to the mystical dazzle adored by fans of the spectacular productions.
Playing on the Camden, N.J., riverfront through June 30, “Totem” offers an acrobatic exploration of the evolution of man, from crawling out of the primordial ooze to embracing cellphones and flying.
The show jumps time periods and points of view from froglike creatures at the dawn of creation to a bikinied babe flirting with two Speedoed hunks on a beach to the best visual joke of the night – a suited man with a cellphone who is startled to find himself followed by a string of apes, imitating the famous “March of Progress” illustration.
Hoop dancer Eric Hernandez performs. A fair amount of 'Totem' references native cultures, many seemingly from North America.
COURTESY OF OSAIMAGES
“Totem,” which opened in Montreal in 2010, just won a Drama Desk Award in New York City for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Experience. You can see why from the moment you enter the blue-and-yellow-striped Grand Chapiteau next to Campbell’s Field.
A huge turtle shell – which the program says is a symbol of the start of life for many cultures – appears to sit in the middle of the stage, in front of a beach, complete with reedy sea grass and sounds of waves. Light plays across the shell, making it impossible to tell if it’s moving, growing, changing. As usual, characters from the show wander the aisles before it begins, talking to the audience and playing silly jokes.