VIDEO/PHOTOS: See Christmas ornaments come to life in 'Cirque Dreams Holidaze'

'Cirque Dreams Holidaze' runs Dec. 27-Jan. 1 at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. Tickets are $26, $36, $46 and $61. A 25% off military discount is available in person at the box office for all Active Duty, Reserve and Guard personnel with military ID. Call (239) 481-4849 or online at www.bbmannpah.com. Photo courtesy Cirque Productions

"Cirque Dreams Holidaze" runs Dec. 27-Jan. 1 at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. Tickets are $26, $36, $46 and $61. A 25% off military discount is available in person at the box office for all Active Duty, Reserve and Guard personnel with military ID. Call (239) 481-4849 or online at www.bbmannpah.com. Photo courtesy Cirque Productions

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What: Circus acrobats and performers interpret holiday traditions as Christmas ornaments come to life

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 27 - Jan. 1)

Where: Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, 13350 Edison Parkway, Fort Myers

Cost: $59, $44, $34, $12

Information: Call 481-4849 or go to bbmannpah.com

On the Web: Sign up to receive more theater news from the Stage Door blog via email.

When Cirque Dreams Holidaze climbs down the chimney at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall on Dec. 27, audiences will be treated to an entire Christmas tree of twirling, whirling circus delights - come to life. Neil Goldberg, creator of Cirque Dreams, describes the show.

"When audiences today hear the word 'Cirque' in the title of a show, they conjure in their mind acrobatic audacity," Goldberg said. "They're going to get all of that in Cirque Dreams Holidaze - but a lot more."

Goldberg feels that "Holidaze" is a more accessible and engaging experience for families to enjoy.

"It's very relatable," he said. "The show is based on the holiday season; it touches on the winter and the snow, ice skating and gingerbread cookies and holiday ornaments. All of the experiences within the two hours offers audiences something reminiscent from their life."

Cirque Dreams Holidaze takes the astonishing acrobatic feats of Cirque Dreams - and moves the setting to Christmastime. Audiences watch as a giant 30-foot steel Christmas tree unfolds to show gingerbread men, toy soldiers, soaring reindeer, spinning penguins, towering candy canes and more. Thirty performers in more than 300 costumes offer two hours of entertainment.

Goldberg talks excitedly about one of the signatures acts in Cirque Dreams Holidaze, which recreates the simple holiday baking experience. If you think acrobats and muffin pans don't mix - think again.

"One of the most exciting scenes in the show is where we actually reenact baking a gingerbread cookies and a gingerbread house," Goldberg said. "The entire stage at the end of the scene is transformed into a mammoth gingerbread house and all of the candies and all of the decorations are actual performers that are acrobats flipping through the air."

Breathless as he describes it, Goldberg said the scene will have audiences "on the edge of their seats."

There's also a bit of audience participation. Five regular folks are plucked from the crowd and march on stage to play handbells - much to the delight of the audience.

"It is ten minutes of hilarity, tears rolling down your face with the audience ringing the bells," Goldberg said. "Ultimately, they're led in unison in a beautiful holiday bell melody by a zany maestro conductor that really is one of the most fun numbers in the show.

Packed into the thrills and glamour, Goldberg hopes audiences do manage to unwrap a simple holiday message about spending time with the family, enjoying what's precious and appreciating the special things in life. And he's got a simple - yet profoundly visual - way to describe the show.

"Imagine looking through a kaleidoscope and turning it for two hours," Goldberg said. "Every one of those color chips is either a costume or a performer or some amazing acrobatic scene. That's what the show looks like."

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