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Broadway Review: “Slava’s Snowshow” at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (Through Sunday January 5, 2019)

Broadway Review: “Slava’s Snowshow” at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (Through Sunday January 5, 2019)
By Arrangement with Slava and Gwenael Allan
Created and Staged by Slava Polunin
Reviewed by Joseph Verlezza
Theatre Reviews Limited

There are plenty of holiday shows that enter the New York theatre scene to provide some special seasonal entertainment for tourists, locals and avid theater goers alike fulfilling a wide spectrum that will satisfy almost every fancy. The list includes traditional Christmas stories, mentalists, magic and illusion, high kicking Rockettes, the “Nutcracker” ballet and many concerts celebrating the season. Then, unlike anything else, there is “Slava’s Snowshow,” the amazing spectacle now playing at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. This is the brainchild of creator Slava Polunin who has used his imagination to bring his alter ego, the yellow clown character Asissai to the forefront along with some comical comrades, to produce the evenings theatrics. There is a sophistication to the work that will appeal to the intellectual and a fantastical element that surprises and delights the senses all done without uttering a word. The skillful physical movement and extreme facial expressions on the painted faces are enough to communicate even the slightest emotion. It is not complicated. It is a pure, simple, honest, human and organic language that is overflowing with affection.

It is a very large theatre but by some creative genius the performers manage to forge an intimacy with their audience, including them in their world. There is rain as the troupe climbs over the theatre seats twirling their bright green umbrellas which seemingly only keep the raindrops from falling on their heads. There are thousands of iridescent bubbles that cascade down and burst as they meet the stage floor. There is the moon, the train, smoke, explosions, oversized telephones and a sad and emotional farewell. As Act One ends with a little help from the audience, you are captured by their ingenuity, like a spider drawing you into their web.

The sound and lighting are impressive and just adds one more level to the incredible inventiveness of this production. This is not all broad humor but detailed and precise storytelling that relies on the elements formed by a collaboration of talents. Of course, it snows but is anyone ready for a blizzard? The finale is outlandish. It is something that you will never forget and if you do you may come across reminders popping up here and there for hours after you have left the theatre. Spend a couple of hours in Slava’s world of fantasy where you can laugh, smile and be in awe of the inspiration a little bit of clowning and a lot of artistry can convey.


Created by Slava Polunin, “Slava’s Snowshow” is presented in collaboration with Slava and Gwenael Allan. Production Management is by Tinc Productions and General Management is by KGM Theatrical.

“Slava’s Snowshow” runs at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (124 W 43rd Street) through Sunday January 5, 2019. For the full performance schedule and to purchase tickets, visit Running time is 1hour and 40 minutes with an intermission.

Photo: “Slava’s Snowshow “Little Houses in the Dark.” Credit: Andrea Lopez.
Permalink | Posted by David Roberts on Tuesday, December 17, 2019