Cirque Musica brings holiday wishes to Keith Albee

Acrobats, singers and a wishkeeper lit up the Keith Albee stage to remind the Huntington community what the holidays are really about during “Cirque Musica presents Holiday Wishes” on Dec. 9.

Taking the audience on a trip to a new world where children wish to be left alone with their technology, the cirque show took the term “twists and turns” to a new level as aerialists hung from the ceiling, acrobalancers kept viewers on the edges of their seats and contortionists defied the laws of anatomy.

Jason Lawergren, a performer with Cirque Musica, said he believed the show is a great chance for people to be together, and he has been having a great time seeing people react to it.

“It’s really great,” Lawergren said. “It’s an exciting venue that merges music and acting, and sewing it all together with the acts has been really quite a dream come true.”

After the characters of the performance wish to be alone with their technology and end up trapped on a shooting star, they quickly realize how important it is to spend time with family. The three siblings then go on a mission to not only find each other, but also find a way back home.

In their quest to find home, each character witnessed the talents of various circus acts to help them on the journey. The performers sang, danced, flipped and twirled, keeping the audience off their personal technology with hopes that they were enjoying the memories being created before their eyes.

“The holidays are about being with family, being together and remembering those who have passed on traditions,” Lawergren said. “There’s a little story there, there’s a little message, there’s a little something for everybody I think. Put the phone down, put the tablet down, get out and see more things.”

Lawergren also said he was happy that theater education is still such a big part of some people’s lives because he thinks it is important for everyone in one way or another.

“If we had time, I would love to go to schools and talk about how important it is,” he said. “If you’re passionate about theater, do it. It’s great to see that theater education is still thriving. So important, I think, for the development.”

“Cirque Musica presents Holiday Wishes” was also accompanied by a live orchestra organized by Marshall University’s own Martin Saunders, a music professor and the director of jazz studies. The orchestra was made up of Marshall music professors, music professors from other colleges and universities and two of Marshall’s music seniors, Cody Henley and Steven Schumann.

Henley has been contracted by Saunders to play in similar gigs three times now and said the cirque show was his favorite so far, as he was able to play the clarinet, flute and tenor saxophone, even if he did not have a lot of time to practice.

“It was just really fun, the music was fun; there were really cool arrangements,” Henley said. “I got to play more than one instrument, and this was the first time I was able to do that on a major scale. We sat down here, we got one half hour rehearsal and then we ran everything.”

Henley also said he hoped the audience had fun, and from the looks of it, he believes they did.

“I hope they just had a fun time,” Henley said. “It looked like they enjoyed the show. That’s all I care about is just being able to entertain. They were interactive, I just hope they had a good time.”

Cirque Musica has been touring for about 10 years with a new theme each year and was part of the Marshall Artists Series this year. The Marshall Artists Series events will continue next semester with new plays and film festivals for the community to enjoy. More information about the events can be found online at the Marshall Artists Series website.

Sarah Ingram can be contacted at [email protected].