Directed by David Shiner
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.
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.
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.