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'TOTEM' lags in comparison to its predecessors

Sure there are leaps, tumbles, aerials and acrobatic feats that make you gasp, wondering how any human being can do that.

Sure there are leaps, tumbles, aerials and acrobatic feats that make you gasp, wondering how any human being can do that. And if what you're looking for is incredible athleticism, razzle dazzle and a big dance party finish that feels like a big musical theater moment, you'll love "TOTEM."

But if you've ever been blown away by the trampolines, high-flying trapeze work and incredibly synchronistic, nearly mind-blowing finish of a Cirque du Soleil production, you, too, might be a bit disappointed.

There are two separate Hoops Dancer pieces that feel more like filler than substance and a lengthy scene called "Manipulation" that's definitely short on showmanship and decidedly dull. The five unicyclists tossing bowls on each other's heads without using their hands could be shorter and definitely needs work on the precision of its execution. Cirque has set the bar pretty high for itself and needs to live up to its own impeccable standards.

"TOTEM" does boast the funniest Clown Act Cirque has ever brought to Boston. The nerdy skinny Italian who gets the hot girl, goes waterskiing and beats the muscle studs in a gun show easily gets the biggest, and most well-deserved, laughs of the night.

There's also an incredible display of foot juggling, amazing roller skating and some really fun special effects that bring a fresh face to the production.

But if you've ever seen the big finish of a Cirque production, you might be impressed, but hardly blown away by the Russian Bars. Though "TOTEM" is a story about the evolution of the species, it's also a production in dire need of a big bang.

'TOTEM'

Through July 22

Boston Marine

Industrial Park

$33 - $279, 800-745-3000

www.cirquedusoleil.com/totem

 
 
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