Twas the Night Before Christmas, the classic story, told in a completely new and different way! We absolutely loved this show, it was lively and exciting, with great music and a fun storyline but all the thrills you expect from Cirque du Soleil! Check out my tips before you go and then the press release, because the one thing I didn’t get are pictures!
Know Before You Go
Purchase tickets online
Parking is $20 plus something, so just under $22. Card only.
Texas Trust CU Theater is a small theater so there really weren’t any bad seats. Try to stay in the center, and honestly for this show I think we were a little low. I walked to the back for perspective, and I think center up gives you a better view.
There were concessions available before the show, merchandise and some photo ops.
There’s not an intermission, so take the kids (and yourself) to restrooms before the show begins. Trust me, you’re not going to want to miss anything!
There were a ton of young children at the show, although I didn’t really notice them at first. About half-way through, I started hearing them more and more, (not distracting, I was just listening for the review) and at the last 1/4 of the show I saw some children and parents leaving. We attended the 7:30 show, which let out at 9pm, so it was late for them.
Click HERE to listen to the soundtrack. We did this a day or so before we went and in the car ride there, and I really enjoyed it.
‘Twas the Night Before… is Cirque du Soleil’s first Christmas show, based on the classic poem “A Visit from Saint Nicolas” by Clement Clarke Moore. Memorable lines from this cherished classic inspired Cirque’s story about a jaded young girl who rediscovers the magic of Christmas. A festive flurry of love and cheer created especially for families, ‘Twas the Night Before… features thrilling acrobatics, lovable characters – and a soundtrack including Christmas favorites re-invented by Cirque du Soleil.
In 2022, in a Cirque du Soleil first, ‘Twas the Night Before… will play two cities simultaneously during its four-city run, requiring two casts and two crews operating at the same time.
The show was conceived and is directed by Cirque du Soleil Senior Artistic Director James Hadley, a 25-year veteran of circus productions and live theater.
‘Twas the Night Before… runs from November 25 to December 11 in Boston and Dallas, and from December 15 to 26 in Detroit and Phoenix.
It’s Christmas Eve, and this year, things are different. For years, Isabella and her father have read “A Visit from Saint Nicolas” “Twas the Night Before Christmas” together. But this year Isabella feels like she’s outgrown the family tradition. But then the magic of the poem comes to life, and Isabella and her father are unexpectedly separated by a snowstorm that sends them on a fantastical journey.
In a winter wonderland inspired by the poem, they discover whimsical characters, acrobats, children and reindeer who reunite father and daughter in the spirit of Christmas.
MAKEUP AND HAIR
As with every Cirque du Soleil show, bringing colorful characters onstage requires the Makeup and Hair department to deliver its best. ‘Twas the Night Before… called for 13 makeup concepts to be designed and applied. This requires 25 pots of glitter and 60 cans of color hair spray to be used during the show’s run. 340 make-up brushes are used every night, and each artist will apply their makeup using between 11 to 24 different products. Makeup and hair also include wigs and hats: 10 wigs and eight hats with reindeer antlers, and 22 beanies/knitted wool hats (which Canadians proudly call “tuques.”)
Cirque du Soleil prides itself on its long-standing practice of carefully hand-crafting its costumes. The Santa Claus costume is completely handmade. 52 different costumes are used in the show, including eight reindeer costumes. These require 125 different fabrics and materials, and 2,000 sequins per costume. And, of course, because it’s a Christmas show, lots of pompoms.
CAST AND CREW
‘Twas the Night Before… requires less cast and crew than some of the company’s larger touring and permanent productions. There are 16 men and 10 women in each cast, from 14 different countries. The show requires a touring crew of 17 support staff.
‘Twas the Night Before… requires 800 man-hours to load in 100 tons of equipment, and 200 for the load out. If all the cables in the show were connected in one line, it would extend five miles.
Statistics reveal the extent of the acrobatic skills displayed in ‘Twas the Night Before…:
• The top speed reached in the Roller Skate number is 30 mph. It is performed on a platform 6 feet in diameter, weighing 250 pounds.
• Eight diabolos are used simultaneously in the Diabolo act, and they reach a speed of 20 turns per second.
• The Strap Duo act is performed 20 feet in the air.
• The artist performing the Hair Suspension act performs approximately 100 turns. At top speed, she spins at seven turns per second. Her hair can withstand 250 lbs. of pressure.
• In the Hoop Diving number, the highest hoop is set at 10 feet, and the smallest hoop is 18 inches in diameter.
PROPS AND STAGE DESIGN
Producing a Christmas show puts special requirements on the Props department. This show requires 12,200 linear feet of garland. The recycled and reused artificial snow used occupies a volume equal to 5,000 cubic feet (or five large dump trucks). The largest snowball measures three feet in diameter.
Jean-Phi Goncalves is the Composer and Musical Director of ‘Twas the Night Before… The show features 41 pieces of music throughout – 29 of them original. He also revisited 12 famous Christmas songs, including Jingles Bells, Silent Night, Deck the Halls, and more. The result is a unique blend of the kind of musical signature audiences expect from Cirque du Soleil with the familiar, celebrated tunes beloved by so many.
Isabella is a young girl who loves everything trendy and new. She’s reached an age where she’s no longer excited about the joy of Christmas. She takes her family for granted and has no patience for her father and his attempts to connect.
Isabella’s Dad is frustrated that his once close relationship with his daughter has been disrupted by smart phones and social media. He hopes the magic of Clement Moore’s famous poem will reawaken her passion for Christmas.
Jolly is a colourful and comedic free spirit who becomes Isabella’s guide. His kindness and humour are true beacons of the human spirit. Only at the very end is his identity revealed – he’s Santa Claus!
Les Tuques are filled with the energy, color and playful spirit of Christmas. They move our story along with high-energy urban dance, until we find out that they are actually Santa’s elves!
Ava is a spoiled starlet, always used to getting her own way. She shows no gratitude for all the attention and gifts she receives. However, when she decides to share a gift with Isabella, she’s overcome with the Christmas spirit and soars above the stage!
Each of the acts performed in ‘Twas the Night Before… is inspired by separate lines
from Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit from Saint Nicolas.”
An aerial performance about the poetic beauty of snow, inspired by:
“ As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky’’
ACROBATIC TABLE ACT
The high-energy and hilarious Acro Table act was inspired by this well-known passage:
“ The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads’’
Like all children on Christmas Eve, their anticipation for Santa’s arrival keeps them up as they perform a high energy and hilarious acrobatic act, making a ruckus on and off their bed, when suddenly, they’re interrupted by the sound of reindeer hooves on the roof which sends them straight back under the covers!
This act, in which a spoiled starlet named Ava discards her toys, finds its roots in this part of the poem:
“ A wink of her eye! A twist of her head! With a sleigh full of toys’’
WINTER WONDERLAND “When what to my wondering eyes did appear!”
In our show, there is a magical light that transforms our world into the scenes of a bright winter day.
“ Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!”
In this Winter Wonderland, a young couple skates on a frozen lake. Isabella watches as their increasing virtuosity and daring prove their trust in one another… and their love.
“ And laying her finger aside of her nose, and giving a nod, up the chimney she rose;”
Into twilight’s darkening sky, a twinkling silhouette rises from the earth. This mystical figure reminds Isabella of the present her father gave her and of her love of home.
Father and daughter re-united at last, he offers Isabella her Christmas gift once more. This time she sees it through very different eyes! Inspired by all she has seen on her journey, Isabella rediscovers the light of the Christmas spirit, embracing her gift in an act of joy and gratitude, encouraged by all those who have guided her along the way.
“ When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter!!”
A mischievous kid starts a snowball fight that grows and grows and OVERFLOWS into the audience!
Another act inspired by the description of Santa Claus in the poem:
“ His eyes – how they twinkled! His dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!’’
On a frosty winter night, four young boys appear in their sparkling puffy coats. They pass the Christmas spark between them with their glowing diabolos. Two audience members are brought up onstage to join the fun!
Alone in the moonlight, disheartened by his inability to find his daughter, Isabella’s father regains faith through the spirit of the poem expressed here:
“ The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, gave a lustre of midday to objects below’’
Reunited at last, Isabella’s father once again opens the book. Together, they read the lines that introduce Santa’s reindeer…. our hoop divers, whose playful energy seems to leap straight from the concluding section of the poem:
“ More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, and he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name; Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen! On Comet! On Cupid! On Donner! and Blitzen!’’
Santa’s team of reindeer literally jump through hoops to celebrate the reunion of Isabella and her dad. Each one shows off his ability to fly through the air when their name is called. Everyone is welcome at these ‘reindeer games’!
With Jolly revealed as Santa Claus, the cast gathers to wish everyone:
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
Cirque Twas the Night Before at Texas Trust CU Theater
1000 Lone Star Parkway, Grand Prairie
Click HERE to visit their website
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