One of our family's don't-miss summer shows without a doubt is Cirque Shanghai. Now in its ninth consecutive summer season at the Pepsi Skyline Stage on Navy Pier, this year's show Cirque Shanghai: Warriors combines mind-boggling acrobatics with the martial prowess of Chinese Kung Fu and Wu Shu masters, making for a powerful display of Chinese culture and athleticism. Tickets go on sale today!
This is a show for kids of all ages, from 1 - 100. My daughter first experienced Cirque Shanghai at age 2: back then she enjoyed the bright colors, the twinkling stars, the "scary" dragon, and the "princesses" (seemingly dainty acrobats that hide not only incredible strength but also nerves of steel). Today, she, along with her 13-year-old brother, spend most of the show with their eyes wide open, in awe of the bike balancing, motorcycle maneuvering and hoop diving feats of this troupe of talented performers.
Chicago journalist Desiree Chen profiled the talented China-based Cirque Shanghai performers in an interesting Chicago Tribune article in 2006. Their daring feats will have you holding your breath for their lives. At last year's show, I felt like I should have reached out my arms to catch one of the performers as they expertly managed the incredible Group Chair Stack.
This summer's production has added a few new thrilling acts to the menu, including The Kinetic Poles, the powerful Water Meteor and the heart-pounding Pageant of Arms. Returning to the production from last year is the fate-tempting "Wheel of Destiny," and China's premier daredevil steel-globe motorcycle troupe, "Imperial Thunder".
If you're planning on seeing the Cirque and spending a full day of family fun on Navy Pier, consider opting for one of the special offer packages: The Navy Pier Fun Package includes an Emperor's Court "Cirque Shanghai: Warriors" ticket, a 40 min Skyline boat cruise, a Ferris Wheel voucher, a Pepsi Skyline Stage $5 concession voucher and a 20% off RIVA coupon for $43, with a children's version available for $28. In addition, the Navy Pier Nightlife package combines a "Cirque Shanghai: Warriors" Emperor's Court ticket, a Landshark Beer garden $10 voucher and a Hagen Daas double scoop cone/cup voucher for $36.50.
"Cirque Shanghai" will perform May 21 - September 1. Tickets are on sale today May 2 via Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com/shanghai. Tickets are $19.50- $39.50 for adults and $15.50 for children ages 3 to 12. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are also available by calling GroupTix at 773.327.3778 or visiting www.grouptix.net.