Theater Review - "Holidaze" makes Atlanta return

Neil Goldberg's Cirque Dreams production comes to the Fox

Neil Goldberg tells an interesting story of how he became the man behind what is largely a Christmas experience even though he was raised in the Orthodox Jewish faith. He recalls picking up discarded ornaments on his walk home from the school bus stop as a child, a habit which began a collection that has now risen to over 10,000 ornaments collected during his travels. Some of those ornaments have served as inspirations for the costumes and characters in his production, Cirque Dreams Holidaze.

The Holidaze show has been around in various incarnations for seven years and has previously passed through Atlanta, but Goldberg asserts that there are new acts every year to keep up with the advances in circus arts. "Unlike traditional holiday shows, with this show, you can never predict what you're going to see next," he says.

Some of the classic routines include a troop of jumproping reindeer ushering in Santa's sleigh and penguin characters balancing on cylinders. While Goldberg acknowledges that, "it's hard to talk about the holiday season in November and December without talking about Christmas," the show is not focused on any one holiday.

"It just reminds you of the season, gives you that fun chill in your body," he says. "Everyone, no matter what your religion, beliefs, or traditions, thinks of November through January as the most wonderful time of the year — as the song says."

It's an impressive technical undertaking, considering the show will only be in Atlanta for two performances. There are currently two complete touring productions of the show, and all of the sets go up in eight hours and come down in five, according to Goldberg, accomplishing the trick of being efficient while still with an eye on quality standards.

"Folks come to the theater and they are expecting to see the same quality they would see in New York," he says. "I want the audience to get as much of an all-encompassing experience as possible from beginning to end."

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