I can’t travel back in time but if I did the Roaring Twenties is definitely a time I’d love to be in. If you’re a fan of the 20’s you will love the Cirque Mechanics’ show 42 FT – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels, currently playing at The New Victory Theater.
The show is essentially a circus recreated to resemble an old-fashioned circus performance from the 1920’s, complete with music, costumes, wigs and, most importantly, acts. Since we’re in the 21st century some of the acts have been changed – live animals are no longer used. For example, instead of a performer juggling on top of a galloping horse we see a woman juggling on top of a bike that’s shaped like a horse. The lion tamer “tames” imaginary lions and does impressive acrobatics. Luckily we’re at a time where people can really do some amazing things when it comes to body contortions so we get to see some acrobatics that would never have been seen if we were in the real 1920’s.
The show also has a plot: a young man wonders into a circus and watches the acts. Impressed, he surprises the performers with his very own death-defying act in the end. The staging is very clever and the stage “turns” to show the front stage of the circus, as well at the “backstage” . This is where we get to see the “behind the scenes”, including the visitor’s comic relief acts, which mostly involve some very clever pantomime. The show, thus, is a complete performance: you have the acrobatic acts themselves, as well as a back story, which adds depth and context to the show.
I took my seven-year-old son to see the show and both he and I were blown away by the physical abilities of the performers, especially the stongman. My personal favorite act was the last one: the Russian Swing. This is the first time The New Victory Theater has a Russian Swing on its stage.
The show is 1 hour and 40 minutes with a 20-minute intermission and is recommended for kids ages 5 and up. Be sure to arrive a little early for fun circus-themed activities in the downstairs area.
When: Through January 5th, 2020
Where: The New Victory Theater
209 West 42nd Street, Between 7 &8 Avenues, NYC
Price: $22 and up
To Purchase Tickets click here. To purchase by phone call (646) 223-3010. Box office is open Sunday & Monday 11am-5pm; Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-7pm
Photos by Maike Schultz
I was not compensated for this post. I received tickets.
Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman is a freelance writer and has written for several blogs, including The Huffington Post. She has been living in the New York City area for nineteen years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature as well as a Law Degree. Maytal is a stay-at-home mom to three kids, ages 12, 10 and 7.