“Traces”: Acrobats Prove Any Dream is Possible

Providing riffs on everything from “Survivor” to Ginger Rogers’ films,  the seven member touring circus of 7 Fingers provide punk rock intensity along with classical grace in the nonlinear, ‘Blue Man Group’ style “Traces.”

In between feats of flipping, human cannon balling and high wire theatrics, this troupe, with inevitable comparisons to Cirque du Soleil, reveals amusing background history about themselves, in staccato monologues, proving that they were all once excitable children with big schemes. Thankfully, parents everywhere can take this as a call to arms for their own offspring. These performers commit themselves to the seemingly impossible and brilliantly succeed–a lesson, once again, that no dream is unachievable.

Highlights of the show include Florian Zumkehr (the show’s handsome, longhaired rock star equivalent) balancing, hand-stand style, on a strategic pyramid of chairs and an act where the troupe’s sole female, Valerie Benoit-Charbonneau, demonstrates that reading a novel on a rainy day can turn into a high flying adventure.  These eclectic wanderers bring sweat, heart and glory to their urban, junk yard bred stage by mixing the old with the new, as well. In the show’s most positive number, the seven whirl with Fred Astaire aplomb, using bedazzled skateboards as their tools, with not a single tap shoe in sight.

This family friendly show (although some of the Coldplay specific background tunes do include barely decipherable profanity) runs through the early winter at the new Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut) in Chicago. Tickets (running $50 – $71.50) and can be purchased by calling 1-800-775-2000 or at www.broadwayinchicago.com.  More detailed information about the 7 Fingers troupe can be gathered at www.7fingers.com, as well.

Taking your teens/tweens to the show? The Purple Pig is nearby and got a great review from Julie Chernoff.