Style rules over substance in Wintuk , Cirque du Soleil’s holiday-themed show currently in performances in the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden. And for a show this athletic, entertaining and just plain shiny, that’s ok by me.
The very loose semblance of a plot involves a young boy who wants it to snow. Despite the bitter cold, there is no snow where he lives (there are, however, singing lamposts), and he goes searching for it. Along the way, he interacts with street performers who do perform various acrobatic feats like walking tightropes, balancing their bodies on amazing heights (Alexandre Monteiro) and performing dazzling juggling routines (Maria Choodu).
Eventually the boy and three companions – a cowardly man, a woman who narrates the show in song and a young girl who he has a crush on – journey to the north to continue searching for snow. The residents of that town perform even more shows for them in a style reminiscent of The Nutcracker . They also battle enormous snow monsters that are truly frightening. Each scene is entertaining in its own right, but Elena Lev’s graceful, musical hoops act is a standout, as is the acrobatic ballet duet between Kylee Maupoux and Anke van Engelshoven.
If you go to see Wintuk hoping for a story, you will be disappointed. But if you sit back and let the almost unearthly visuals wash over you, you will certainly be entertained.