Theatre ReviewsTom Williams

Banana Shpeel – Cirque du Soleil

Directed by David Shinerbanana shpeel

Produced by Cirque du Soleil

At the Chicago Theatre

You would think for a top ticket price of $98 you’d get more than several long lame corny unfunny vaudeville comedy scenes mixed with dance numbers and several twirling acts? But Banana Shpeel is exactly that–being billed as “A theatrical mix of comedy and dance.”  Well, they got the dance part right–there are 4 or 5 high energy dance numbers including a manic tap number in act two danced to a techno-jazz orchestra. Unfortunately, much of the show is taken up with three unfunny and rather pathetic clowns that had a most tedious and ill conceived (boring) tired vaudeville act that had less than half the audience laughing. This low comedic routines were so bad that boos could be heard early on.

banana shpeel

banana shpeel

I’m not sure who is responsible were since their was no playbill only a $10 picture program. The show was created and directed by David Shiner. Ultimately, the usually reliable forks at Cirque Du Soleil are responsible for this plotless and pointless variety show. Upon leaving the Chicago Theatre, I could hear several groups of patrons stating loudly:  “What a lousy show, I feel I got ripped off.” This show needs a theme, funnier bits, and more charm. There is no one except irritating clowns to relate to.  If they plan on going to Broadway with this show, they’ll surly fail.

Not Recommended

Tom Williams

Banana Shpeel will continue through January 3, 2010 at the historical Chicago Theatre, located at 175 N. State Street. Performances are Wednesdays at 2 and 8 p.m., Thursdays at 8 p.m. (no performance on Christmas or New Year’s Eve), Fridays at 8 p.m. (no performance on Christmas and New Year’s Day), Saturdays at 12 noon, 4 and 8 p.m., Sundays at 1 and 5 p.m. Tickets range in price from $23-$98 and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

2 thoughts on “Banana Shpeel – Cirque du Soleil

  • David

    It’s a shame we didn’t see this review before booking; not a total waste of money, but close…

    Billing this a Cirque du Soliel is really quite misleading. There are 4 great acts in the show (totalling 15-20 minutes) but other than these the show has little going for it with the rest of the show being quite frankly awful.

  • Thank you for reading my review.
    I do not appreciate you saying that I lied. I never lied. I backed up every opinion that I stated with facts.
    I do not know what you read that made you think you can draw conclusions about me personally, but you are way off base.
    My job as a critic is to asses the quality and value of a production, not the effort that is put forth. Gorilla Tango Theatre is not community theatre. You are charging money for your performance. You have paid for promotional articles and to get critics to review your show. The public wants to know if D-Cup Diatribes is worth their time and money, and I do not believe it is.

    Timothy McGuire

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