Paramour

‘PARAMOUR’: (left to right) Andrew & Kevin Atherton. © Cirque du Soleil Theatrical. Photo: Joan Marcus

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PARAMOUR
Composers Bob & Bill, Guy Dubuc and Marc Lessard
Lyrics and Co-composer Andreas Carlsson
Creative Guide & Creative Director Jean-Francois Bouchard
Associate Creative Director, Scene Director & Story by West Hyler
Directed & conceived by Philippe Decoufle
Associate Creative Director, Acrobatic Designer & Choreographer Shana Carroll
Choreography by Daphne Mauger
Lyric Theatre
213 West 42nd Street
(877-250-2929), ParamourBroadway.com

 

By David NouNou

There are two ways of viewing Paramour: as a musical or a Cirque du Soleil presentation, a New Yorker or a tourist, a really bad musical or an eye-popping family treat. In order to fully appreciate this mash-up musical, you have to choose which category you want to fall into. There is no right or wrong answer and there is absolutely no shame in choosing either category.

It was about half an hour into the show when I decided to give up making any sense of the plot of Paramour and just go with the flow that I was at Cirque du Soleil and appreciate the camp with the spectacle. For where else would you get (pay attention here, it gets complicated) the leading lady of Paramour Ruby Lewis, playing the leading lady Indigo, filming a scene portraying Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra with the astounding aerialists (Andrew and Kevin Atherton) flying above her, replete with the entire cast dressed as Romans as she enters Rome and then the scene morphs into another classic as Indigo, and the entire cast rearranging their costumes and resume filming the barn-raising number from Seven Brides For Seven Brothers? You can’t make this stuff up; you have to see it to believe it, and you thought you were getting a thrill seeing Hamilton.

Cirque du Soleil is a unique experience into itself. To box it into a musical format is foolish, for the show to be truly engaging has to soar and be free of any restrictions. It is supposedly set in the golden age of Hollywood; to me that meant the 1930s. Here it is the ’30s, the ’40s, and the ’50s all in one jumble. AJ, the Hollywood director (Jeremy Kushnier), needs a new singing leading lady. He finds her late one night in an L.A. bar. She is Indigo (Ruby Lewis), who has a pianist and song collaborator, Joey (Ryan Vona). You guessed, it a love triangle develops. AJ wants to make a film that immortalizes Indigo; let’s see if I get them all right. She has to be Greta Garbo in Mata Hari, Fay Wray in King Kong, Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca, Eva Marie Saint in North By Northwest, Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot and Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra. Tall order indeed. Throughout this ridiculous plot, we have to be thankful for the Cirque du Soleil Company; along with the Atherton Twins, there is a specialty dance in Act II called “Love Triangle.” Three dancers (Martin Charrat, Myriam Deraiche and Samuel William Charlton) do a trapeze ballet that is absolutely mesmerizing and breathtaking; poetry in motion.

In addition to all the Cirque spectacles on stage, there are myriads of projections that are even more distracting than the story; and a finale that is right out of “Batman,” the 1960s TV series with Adam West, where people are just bouncing off rooftops in zoot suits.

My advice to you if you decide to go to Paramour and want to enjoy it to its fullest is this: Don’t go as a New Yorker; pretend you’re a tourist who happened to be at Duffy Square and just got your tickets. Enjoy the lights and noise of Times Square, marvel at the magnificence of the Lyric Theatre, go to your seat, (and this is very important) don’t take it seriously, don’t try to make sense of the show; you’ll just give yourself a headache. Just relax, go with the flow, and enjoy the madcap, zany camp spectacle known as Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour.

 

Edited by Scott Harrah
Published June 3, 2016
Reviewed at press performance on June 2, 2016

Paramour1

‘PARAMOUR’: The cast. Photo: Richard Termine

Paramour

‘PARAMOUR’: (left to right) Martin Charrat, Myriam Deraiche & Samuel William Charlton. © Cirque du Soleil Theatrical. Photo: Joan Marcus

Paramour

‘PARAMOUR’: (left to right) Fletcher Blair Sanchez (background, in yellow jacket) & Joe McAdam. © Cirque du Soleil Theatrical. Photo: Joan Marcus

Paramour

‘PARAMOUR’: (left to right) Reed Kelly & Sarah Meahi. © Cirque du Soleil Theatrical. Photo: Richard Termine

'PARAMOUR': (left to right) Martin Charrat, Myriam Deraiche, Samuel WIlliam Charlton. Photo:

‘PARAMOUR’: (left to right) Martin Charrat, Myriam Deraiche, Samuel William Charlton. Photo: © Cirque du Soleil Theatrical. Photo: Joan Marcus

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