The acclaimed Broadway hit, Cirque Dreams-Jungle Fantasy opens Friday at Busch Gardens Tampa but we have a sneak peek of the “Ground breaking new show” coming to the park best known for coasters and animal exhibits. Today marked the beginning of passholder previews for that will spend about a year in the park.
The show replaces the critically acclaimed “Katonga” which was housed in the Moroccan Palace Theater for several years. It mixes acrobatics, juggling, contortion and music into an inspired tale of beauty and fun.
[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626525146343″]
Park President Jim Dean introduced the show, further confirming what the park had planned for the coming year with not only Cirque Dreams but also Cheetah Hunt, and the return of such favorites as the “Real Music” series, La Viva Musica, and of Bands, Brew and BBQ.
The show does one thing that the former “Katonga” doesn’t, it involves a lot of audience interaction by actually bringing members of the crowd on stage. After that it’s a familiar mix of juggling and acrobatics, all with the familiar “Cirque Du Soleil” flair that the company has been striving to imitate, including an acrobatic swing over the audience.
While it’s not really too much of a new idea, it does bring a lot of imagination into the performances with “Emus” strutting around the stage in colorful dance. The athleticism of the performers is simply amazing as they bend, jump, flip and sing across the stage. It was also mentioned that the performance will change throughout the run of the show, offering new experiences which is very likely seeing that the original production was over two hours and the theme park version clocks in just over 25 minutes.
Jungle Fantasy will have three shows daily beginning this Friday and running through 2011.