Defunct Imaginique

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Sep 5, 2010
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RICHMOND
Let's talk about Imaginique.

The facts:
Imaginique was a cirque-style stage show held in Royal Palace Theatre. It was produced second-party by Neil Goldberg's Cirque Productions, a global touring cirque company. The show was a summer-only affair, running from the beginning of June through the end of August. There were few iterations of the show, usually changing a little bit season-to-season. It ran from 2002-2005, before it was replaced by Kinetix.

My take...also known as the REAL facts.
This show was awesome. In the first year, they went all out for the atmosphere of it, too. Special lighting effects and music at show time, plus random street performances around BGW throughout the day made this show really special. It was the perfect capper to a day in the park, especially if you caught the show that started at 10 (right after park close).

I really loved this show because it wasn't your typical cheesy one-act or standards revue or fireworks show. It was very European feeling, and it felt like something you couldn't see every day in a local community theatre or high school spring play or county fair.

The park hasn't been the same since it left, in my humble opinion (and also in reality).
 

Ben

Apr 12, 2012
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Virginia Beach, Virginia
RE: Imaginique

The thing is, I heard it had a huge budget per night, if it really cost millions of dollars per night, then it would be silly to keep it. I have trouble believing it was that expensive though, as it ran for 3 years. I never saw the show, but it sounds absolutely fabulous. I hope the park could bring back something like this, even if it was just a small up-charge on the ticket to make up for some of the cost, i'd be happy.
 
Sep 5, 2010
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RICHMOND
RE: Imaginique

I've been hoping they'd bring it back to...even if just for a shorter run every season, or for an upcharge.

You missed out not seeing it, dude. It was something else.
 
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Ben

Apr 12, 2012
1,750
860
113
Virginia Beach, Virginia
RE: Imaginique

I think being young made me miss out on a lot of good things at the park :(. No joke, I swear someone said it cost millions of dollars per night somewhere..
 

b.mac

Other Parks Inc.
May 14, 2011
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Someplace, Somewhere
RE: Imaginique

Smitty said:
I think being young made me miss out on a lot of good things at the park :(. No joke, I swear someone said it cost millions of dollars per night somewhere..
I'd like to beat that person with a stick for making things up.
 
Dec 23, 2011
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RE: Imaginique

We should rename that thread to Imaginique and every other issue to summer events.

In all reality though, I have expressed my concerns for this show. I felt it was the greatest show that the park has ever presented. If the park had initially kept with this same standard throughout every production and event held, I am sure we would have the best Entertainment Department any theme park could ever had. Sadly, the shows life span was for the foreseeable 3 years which is the average life span for most shows at the park, some shows do have a few exceptions.
I have been told and partially blame the shows budget on this life span. The show could have easily have lasted many more years like Monster Stomp, yet the park pulled it from its lineup with no proper reason as to why. Yes, I understand the budget for the show may not have been in the millions per say; however I still feel the budget was significantly large enough for the park to not want to continue its existence.
Those are my own personal feelings and thoughts based on viewing the show countless times. It was a rather large production and the largest the park has ever done, unless you count it as an event, then it falls somewhere above Illuminights. That is one of the reasons I consider this show to be abnormally expensive than most other theme park shows.
 
Mar 26, 2011
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RE: Imaginique (? to ?)

Y'all can't have an Imaginique thread and not invite me!? C'mon guys!

The show ended in 2005 with Kinetix taking over in 2006. Using the Wayback Machine and recalling Cirque Production's website from February 2004:

"In 2002 “Imaginique” was conceived and presented by Goldberg as an outdoor evening theme park entertainment experience for Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, VA. Due to Its great success, “Imaginique” is scheduled to continue performing there until replaced with the next entertainment brainchild of Neil Goldberg, which is already in development for the park to premier in 2006."

Interesting how it's claimed by other sources that the budget was the reason for shutting it down when there was a new experience already in the works to take over for Imaginique when it's time was up. As I have mentioned in other posts, the contract extension was for another three years past 2005.

Also, please enjoy this gif I made many years ago. If you plan on stealing it, please at least credit me. Cuz I made it. And stealing is bad. But enjoy!




This one is painfully small and I apologize. But just thought I'd share.



If this is the official Imaginque history thread, I will go a digging in my archives for stuff. There's plenty.

Jessica
 
Sep 5, 2010
979
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RICHMOND
How great was this thing? Seriously. Unbelievable.

Kinetix was a cheap imitation.

There has got to be something comparable that they could run for less money. A dinner theater. Something.
 
Reactions: Party Rocker
Sep 5, 2010
979
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RICHMOND
You know, I usually hate upcharge stuff (when it already costs $70 to get in in the first place), but if it meant getting a QUALITY french circus back into France, I'd be all for it.

Get Neil on the phone!
 
Dec 23, 2011
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What skill! What talent! That is just amazing and my idea of a perfect show. Just amazing, simply amazing and profound!
 
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Zachary

𝓡oyal 𝓜ango 𝓒réme Frappuccino Survivor
Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
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I dug up the original press release for the show. Thought some of you may find it interesting.

BUSCH GARDENS WILLIAMSBURG "DREAMS UP" NEW ATTRACTION THIS SUMMER

"Imaginique" Brings French-Style Circus to Adventure Park

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Dreamscape imagination blended with music, special effects and acrobatics transforms Busch Gardens Williamsburg as the European-themed park unveils Imaginique, this year's new attraction.

Imaginique descends upon the French hamlet of Aquitaine June 15 - Aug. 23, creating a whole new park after dark. The village transforms into a dream-like kaleidoscope of vibrant colors, music and non-stop entertainment. Mimes, magicians, jugglers and dancers entertain park guests each evening beginning at 7:30 p.m.

A large acrobatic swing becomes the center of one of three performance arenas in the French village, where an ensemble of gymnastic and bizarre artists performs. Two additional entertainment circles feature eight dancers performing unique vignettes and pole climbing feats.

The interactive performances lead up to Imaginique, a larger-than-life spectacular in the Royal Palace Theatre beginning at 9 p.m.

"Imaginique is a one-of-a-kind French circus experience," said Linda Cuddihy, vice president of entertainment for Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA.

"There will be continuous acrobatics, special effects and guest interaction that is unlike anything ever presented at Busch Gardens Williamsburg," added Cuddihy.

Many of Imaginique's artisans have performed in Neil Goldberg's Cirque Productions in Europe, Asia and throughout the United States. The production is influenced by European cabarets, variety shows and theatrical productions, but Americanized with Broadway theatrical flair. While guests take their seats, "Imaginaires," costumed performers known for their imaginative display of skill, interact with guests as they perform gymnastic feats and provide comic relief.

The 30-minute show includes "Trio Trapeze," a synchronized trapeze performance, an aerial parasail presentation called "Aerial Flight," a balance and motion act called "Cylindrical Duo," "Power of Three," a human strength display and a variety of awe-inspiring feats that will leave the audience breathless.

"Busch Gardens Williamsburg is transformed into a dream theatre -- an illusion within an illusion with the Imaginique experience," said Neil Goldberg, Imaginique's creator and director.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg's new French circus spectacular opens June 15 with shows nightly. Imaginique is included in the general admission price.

Voted the world's "Most Beautiful Theme Park" for nine consecutive years, Busch Gardens Williamsburg features more than 40 thrilling rides, shows and attractions. Renowned for world-class roller coasters including Alpengeist and Apollo's Chariot, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is an Anheuser-Busch Adventure Park. Other Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks include SeaWorld Adventure Parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio; Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay; Discovery Cove in Orlando; Sesame Place near Philadelphia; Adventure Island in Tampa Bay; and Water Country USA in Williamsburg. The nine parks entertain more than 20 million guests a year and employ more than 15,000.

—————————————

Acts of Imaginique-- Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Four extravagant acts of Imaginique make it the largest and most exciting show to ever be performed at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. "Trio Trapeze," "Aerial Flight," "Cylindrical Duo" and "Power of Three" will leave guests mesmerized.

Trip Trapeze
"Trio Trapeze" erupts on the stage as three artists unfold in unison to form an aerial collage in the sky. Accompanied by an orchestration, the trio demonstrates feats of skill, flair and fortitude. The performers manipulate the trapeze in a synchronized, ballet-like fashion. Below the trapeze artists, Imaginaires perform in acrobatic unison to the musical choreography of the "Trio Trapeze" entertainers. It will be the only act of its kind in the world.

Aerial Flight
As cool color overwhelms the stage, silky fabric unravels and falls to the ground. An artisan surrounds himself within the fabric and appears to magically transform the silk into parasails. The acrobat spirals within the fabric, repels and unwinds using graceful movements to enhance the show's surreal, dreamscape quality.

Cylindrical Duo
Adventurous performers use simple cylinders and platforms to create a momentous display of balance and rhythm. These artisans continue their quest to defy the laws of gravity as they stack their canted tower to nearly 12 feet tall.

Power of Three
As the show's dream-like journey progresses, a trio of sculpted human forms slowly transfigure into a collaborative display of powerful statues. Ensemble characters surround this amazing display of strength and awe-inspiring achievement. Power of Three is the finale of this entertainment experience.

In addition to the four acts, and throughout the performance, the audience is immersed in a musical symphony with ultraviolet special effects. Additional transition performances include four-legged stilt creatures, palatial puppetry, and 20 of the world's most talented artists performing acrobatic feats.
Found this too:
 

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