This month, Philadelphians will be able to head to the Miller Theater on the Kimmel Cultural Campus for a one-of-a-kind holiday experience. Cirque Dreams Holidaze comes from a partnership with the KCC and The Shubert Organization, and will be hitting the City of Brotherly Love from Dec. 26 to 31.
Described as “a brilliant and whimsical holiday spectacular” this particular Cirque show will feature Broadway-style production infused with contemporary circus arts, storybook characters, and holiday music favorites.
“It’s a Broadway-style production… it’s not just here’s the act, here’s lights, here’s the power. It has a musical theater kind vibe,” says Tiago Raul, one of the singers performing in ‘Holidaze’. “There’s a little bit of everything for the kids, for the adults, for anybody. That’s the magic behind the storyline, and the magic behind the way the circus acts interact with each other—it’s what really brings this show to life.”
Raul, who grew up in Philadelphia, connected with Cirque du Soleil after moving out to Los Angeles. The performer spent a lot of time on stage for the better part of his life before moving out West, and it was time spent with Cirque choreographers that landed him the singing role for ‘Holidaze.’
As a release states, ‘Cirque Dreams Holidaze’ features a world-renowned cast of performers accompanied by an ensemble of aerial circus acts, sleight-of-hand jugglers, fun-loving skippers, breath-catching acrobatics, and much more. An original music score includes new twists on seasonal favorites such as “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Carol of the Bells.”
“This show itself is Clara’s journey, and in Clara’s journey, she takes you through all of the acrobats, the trapeze, all of the aerialists, the steel jumpers and the rotor skaters,” continues Raul. “As the singers, we bring the traditional holiday songs and current holiday songs to life with the artists that are performing on stage. The team-up of the acrobats and the singers brings in the audience and just makes them feel like they’re connected with that song or that show.”
As Raul says, there are definitely a few different show-stopping moments, which is par for the course when it comes to seeing any Cirque du Soleil show. But what definitely defines this particular showcase are the added details of seasonal elements — like penguins, toy soldiers, and reindeer — and the backdrop of new sets, scenery, storylines and even costumes.
“The makeup, the costuming… We have layers and layers of stones, sequins, puffy sleeves—the costumes are just amazing,” Raul explains. “There’s a lot of work that goes in from the wardrobe department and the sets. It just looks super enchanted with how they come in and out, and the lighting just lights everything up. It took a long time to give you those lighting effects and give you that magic fantasy world.”
And of course, Philadelphians will see the unique styles of ‘Cirque Dreams’ unfold on stage, which Raul notes is “super specific.” It’s part of the reason why this brand and this name has become so famous. As the release cites, since 1993, millions of people have experienced ‘Cirque Dreams’ productions across the globe, which combines some of the world’s finest contemporary circus artists with dynamic choreography and whimsical storytelling.
“[Cirque] has performers from everywhere: There are people from Spain, there are people from Ethiopia, there are people from Canada and from all different parts of the world,” says Raul. “Just seeing how they all come together as artists, I’m just taking the experience [in.]”
Cirque Dreams Holidaze will be finishing off its holiday tour in the City of Brotherly Love, and Raul notes that he’s excited to take his castmates around town, especially during this time of the year.
“I haven’t been to Philadelphia for the holidays in a long time,” finishes Raul. “I’ve been building it up for my cast [saying] Philly is going to be the best city to come too, because the holidays in Philadelphia, they just know how to decorate, they know how to celebrate and they know how to bring that magic of the holidays to life. I’m just so, so excited to be there and to be able to experience it with my family and my friends and everyone who is coming to see the shows.”
Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999 or online at kimmelculturalcampus.org. In-person ticket sales can be conducted daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Academy of Music Box Office, located at 240 S. Broad St.