Saturday, September 10, 2011

'The Naked Circus' & 'Cirque Polynesian': Lots of sexy fun as two risque shows move into Resorts

One of the boldest, sexiest shows to hit the Shore this year is "Cirque Risque: The Naked Circus."

One of the boldest, sexiest shows to hit the Shore this year is "Cirque Risque: The Naked Circus."

The circus is back in town - but don't bring the kids.

"Cirque Polynesian" and "Cirque Risque: The Naked Circus," which played in tandem for much of the summer in a big top outside Resorts in Atlantic City, are once again burning up the Boardwalk.

The shows have been brought inside to the Superstar Theater for the rest of September. They're the boldest, hottest, sexiest shows to hit the Shore this year.

"Polynesian" may be a heavy PG-13 but "Risque" is a full-blown R and certainly not for children. The bubble-bathing blond alone, with nothing on but a few rhinestones, is an attention grabber. There's also the dude in a pistol-packing loincloth.

Appropriately, the show only runs late at night on weekends.

Whether either of these productions can truly be classified as circuses is a matter of opinion.

Fashioned after Cirque du Soleil, "Polynesian" is truer to the art form than "Risque," and actually attempts to tell a story.

A South Seas island chief challenges a young warrior to prove that he is worthy of his daughter's hand. There are rivals, of course, and lifts, twists, turns, flips and other familiar acrobatics on flying rings and steel boxes.

The stylized movements on a darkish stage are breathtaking. The narrative never loses its focus - whether it is being acted out by a mixed cast of Polynesians, Europeans and Hawaiians, or shouted out in sometimes terrifying Samoan and Tongan growls by the chief.

A gorgeous female cellist and the deafening beats from a painted drummer add to the pageantry.

But it is a giant fire eater who ­literally makes "Cirque ­Polynesian" roar. Not only does he "eat" fire, he covers his body with flames while twirling a pair of batons through his legs, around his arms and across his neck. The effect is amazing.

"Risque" is more burlesque than circus. The cast starts out as if they are about to break out into the "Big Spender" number from "Sweet Charity." Scantily dressed, if you can call it that, they turn some tricks while two of their troupe swing and dive dizzyingly down silk ropes.

There's also a performer who jump-starts a few Hula-Hoops from the floor to her neck. By the end she is twirling ­dozens of them as she bends over backward to become a human Slinky.

Not to be outdone by the male ­giant in "Cirque Polynesian," a petite woman turns herself into a walking fireball while swinging flaming bolos - a spectacular finale.
But, oh, that bath! There's nothing circus-y, here. Just a sudsy, scintillating, sultry, steamy, suggestive swirl that will make you feel bubbly all over.


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