Challenged from the get-go, thanks to a decision to base this Cirque-like show around a stage of water, thus prompting inevitable comparisons with O down the street, this production has received major revamps, both in staging and choreography. By and large, the choices—particularly to get revered avant-garde choreographer and MOMIX-genius Moses Pendleton to take over the choreography (thus increasing the presence of dance)—have been good ones, and this production is a worthy competitor to its rival. Set in a dramatic theater in the round, the “stage” at the center of the bowl-shaped room can be solid, a shallow pool, or deep enough to dive into from what seem like insane heights—proven in a gasp-inducing moment. Certainly the acrobatic, diving, aerial work, and ballroom dance is as good as what you’ll see in any Cirque show, but it is the moody atmospherics and visually arresting staging that really set the show apart. The wordless storyline concerns a woman considering love but needing to face her own demons and past as she wanders through a dreamscape of betrayal, passion, fear, and ultimately salvation. Provocative moments include a sultry tango performed in ankle deep water and a set piece involving performers descending from the rafters, limp and motionless until they hit the water and spring to life. The latter ends with some of them being jerked back up into the smoky ceiling, screaming as they go. It, like much of the rest of the show, is dark and a bit disconcerting at times, but in a good way, staying with you long after you leave the showroom. Glimpse behind-the-scenes action without ever leaving the theater with a VIP package that gives you your own theater box, bottle of Champagne and video screens of the underwater action as the show happens. Early planners can take $20 off their ticket prices if they purchase them more than 30 days in advance. Shows are held Friday through Tuesday at 7 and 9:30pm.
- Rick Garman