REVIEW: “A Magical Cirque Christmas” — Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Updated: Mar 25

Breathtakingly Beautiful and Surprisingly Romantic


The world’s greatest entertainers unite for a spell-binding and incredible holiday production – A MAGICAL CIRQUE CHRISTMAS! Experience the enchantment of Christmas at Segerstrom Center for the Arts as Magical Hostess Lucy Darling takes you through an evening of dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live. Get into the spirit of the season with this merry treat that’s perfect for the entire family!


Lucy Darling, the Mistress of Magic, is known the world over for her wit, her charm, and her exceptionally good hair; her shows are a wonderful mix of playful improvisational comedy, audience participation, hilarious witty writing, and impossible magical feats.


Ms. Darling is a ten-time award-winning entertainer featured in the Guinness Book of World Records (2014), Ripley’s Believe it or Not (2015) and the star of the Super Channel documentary “Carisa Hendrix: Girl on Fire,” which tells the true story of the struggle to create her 2016 Las Vegas magic show. Considered one of magic’s most exciting rising stars,

Ms. Darling was the recipient of the prestigious Allan Slaight award in 2019, and voted Stage Magician of the Year at the Magic Castle.


The legendary David Copperfield reportedly once called Lucy Darling “a true original.” Ms. Darling is joined by Postmodern Jukebox vocalist, Therese Curatolo, who will delight the crowd by singing Christmas classics in different period styles.


“A Magical Cirque Christmas” tells a holiday tale dealing with a character called Guardian of Time, whose job it is to manage the changing of the seasons with his giant magical clock. Yet, it appears the Guardian is feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders and is not really in the holiday mood this time around. Enter the cheery Christmas fairy sprite named Darling, who tries to help uplift the Guardian’s holiday spirits but instead accidently breaks the key off and ends up causing “time to go haywire.”


That sets the story on a time-traveling ride through different eras, jumping along the time spectrum with visits to the rollicking 1920s a la The Great Gatsby, the rock ’n roll 1950s, the Disco 1970s, and a classic Victorian London reminiscent of Charles Dickens. The journey is accompanied by beautiful holiday music from each period. To keep the clock ticking and save the season, Ms. Darling uses all her skills with jaw-dropping tricks and heart-stopping feats of illusion.


The daring circus acts in the show have been cast from all around the world and many have entertained TV audiences on iconic shows like "America’s Got Talent" and "The Late Show." Set with mysterious lighting, clouds of billowing smoke, astounding costumes and twinkling lights, the first act featured the aerial artistry of Sergei Kozakov and Anastasiia Niukina on the trapeze, who used Duo Straps to perform a ballet-inspired Duo Adagio that was both breathtakingly beautiful and surprisingly romantic.


They were followed by internationally acclaimed Oleksiy “Alex” Mruz in a precarious balancing act known as Rola Bola. Perched high atop the audience, Mruz’s act was edge-of-your-seat exciting. Other, equally exciting performances included daring diabolo juggling by Yusaku-Mochizuki, known as “Mochi,” astonishing contortion and hand balancing by Anastasiia Mazur, a Cyr wheel performance by hoopstress Rachel Salzman, outfitted in a sweet, candy-striped dress to perfectly complement her performance, and impossibly perfect juggling by Eduardo Garza.


Akin to a night at the circus and giving viewers the chance to see acts and feats they could never have witnessed otherwise, “A Magical Cirque Christmas” truly lives up to its name. Sure to be enjoyed by viewers of all ages, it was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.


Segerstrom Center for the Arts presents, “A Magical Cirque Christmas.” With running time at approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes with no intermission, performances are for one day only, December 26th and made possible by producers Simon Painter, Tim Lawson, and MagicSpace Entertainment. Tickets start at $39 with two shows available: 5:00pm and 8:00pm. For upcoming future shows to “A Magical Cirque Christmas,” please visit www.MagicalCirqueChristmas.com.


Chris Daniels

Arts & Entertainment Reviewer

The Show Report