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Sep 5, 2010
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RICHMOND
IMO, without question, the best thing the park ever did was Imaginique (especially in its first season, when they had impromptu street performances throughout the day and the bubbles at the entranceway). It was way better than the dozen or so "standards review" shows they've produced, and FAR superior to its successor show "Kinetix" (although that show did improve with time).

Here's the question: what happened to that show, and why did they dump it? I ask this mostly to park employees, but anyone with knowledge can help. I have heard that it was expensive, but HOW expensive was it really? I mean, BGT has a Neil Goldberg cirque show as I'm typing this, so the company overall obviously doesn't mind the cost.

Also, what are the odds anyone could convince them to bring something in the Imaginique vein back to the park?

For me, personally, the park is approx. 30% less awesome without Imaginique (and coupled with the 15% drop in awesomeness after the loss of Secrets of the Castle O'Sullivan, that's 45% less sweet). BRING IT BACK.
 
Apr 29, 2011
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BGW basically didn't want to pay for Neil Goldberg's services so they tried doing a similar show in-house and it (Kinetix) failed miserably. It totally lacked the artistry of Imaginique.

I really wish they would've kept Imaginique as that production had top notch acrobats (some even went on to perform with Cirque du Soleil) where Kinetix looked like they had acrobats that tried out for Cirque but didn't make the cut.

As far as BGT goes that park is open year round and draws a lot more people to the park. I also think Goldberg wanted a show down there in central Florida to try and compete with Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba at Downtown Disney. He may have cut BGT a deal on getting the show staged down there.
 

RocketChk

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Mar 26, 2011
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First-declaimer-I was obsessed with Imaginique. Seriously. Borderline pathetic. I was ridiculously attached to that that show like it was a person. I got picked once for the bells in the preshow, and was ready to die happy. I was beyond depressed when I found out it was leaving, and cried the whole last show. More than borderline pathetic, I think I qualified.

But I digress.

I have hours, upon hours, upon days of footage I shot of each and every show, that one day when I get the time (that was a joke) I need to put it all up on the ole youtube. I'm sure someone somewhere would appreciate it.

At the end of it's run, Busch actually had an additional three year option to continue it, if they chose to. And yes, BG thought they could replicate the same show for less money, which Kinetix wasn't a bad show, just didn't have the magic of Imaginique. It did come down to money, and it was a huge blow to the show's fans. Passing the RPT pains me to think what once went on in there, and I really think BG is making a huge mistake by letting it sit dark. If you went to any of the shows, unless it was raining, it was usually packed. The crowd response was always positive. I just don't get it.

Cirque Productions is headquartered out of FL and hence the BGT connection. Imaginique was created specifically for BGW and has never ran anywhere else in its form. Some of the music/acts can be found in Jungle Fantasy, and if it ever comes back to Chrysler Hall, I would highly recommend going.

As far as its downfall, I believe it was directly related to the car accident in 2004. The performers that were injured in that accident did not return to BG, except for Sasha, the aerialist. [Side note: He has gone on to create his own troupe, called the Cirque de la Symphonie based out of Athens, GA] If anyone was at the show after that night, it was like a balloon slowly deflating. You could just feel the magic slipping away. They tried to keep it going for the week or so left in that run, but it didn't recover.

You can read about the accident here: http://articles.dailypress.com/2004-08-11/news/0408110088_1_carr-acrobatic-show-performers

And here, about Maria's recovery: http://articles.dailypress.com/2004-09-28/news/0409280015_1_car-crash-neil-goldberg-s-cirque-arm

EDIT: Found the rest of the article. I have the original, but just moved and will scan in when I get settled and unpacked.

http://articles.dailypress.com/2004-09-28/news/0409280015_1_car-crash-neil-goldberg-s-cirque-arm/2

http://articles.dailypress.com/2004-09-28/news/0409280015_1_car-crash-neil-goldberg-s-cirque-arm/3


The revamp of the show was nice, and probably a needed refresher anyways following that year. Goldberg flooded the RPT with some of his best talent on his roster. I am still in contact with a few from this cast, most prominently Oleksiy who went on to Vegas and was in Cher's show a few years ago.

Upon the announcement of Kinetix, I was immediately unhappy. At that time, I would have rather seen no Imaginique there for a year or so, rather than bring in a cheap replacement. But the performers in that show for the first two years also came from a very skilled background (a handful of them came from WDW, the female aerialist Jennalee was Belle right before she came here and one of the guys was in a Tarzan stunt show. After Kinetix, they decided to form their own group and travel together but have since broken up. That group was led by the husband of one of the girls who was on the tissue on the side of the main aerialist in the middle).

Even in Kinetix's last year, I was satisfied with the product and was happy with the offering of a night time show. There is a void there that needs to be filled.
 
Sep 5, 2010
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RICHMOND
^ Great information! You hit it right on the head with the magic comments. That show had an air to it that elevated the whole park.
 
Apr 29, 2011
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RocketChk said:
First-declaimer-I was obsessed with Imaginique. Seriously. Borderline pathetic. I was ridiculously attached to that that show like it was a person. I got picked once for the bells in the preshow, and was ready to die happy. I was beyond depressed when I found out it was leaving, and cried the whole last show. More than borderline pathetic, I think I qualified.

You're not the only one. I met a lot of people who were really into the show. Even some of my friends were absolutely amazed by it and went to the park several times just to watch it.

For me, I thought it was a fantastic production for the park but I wasn't blown away by it for the simple fact that I'm a die-hard Cirque du Soleil fan and their shows are on a much higher level compared to Goldberg's work. A lot of the acts in Imaginique I had already seen in other previous Cirque du Soleil productions so when I saw the show I didn't really see anything new.

It is a shame that the park didn't keep it!

If you went to any of the shows, unless it was raining, it was usually packed.

I went to a couple shows that nearly filled the Royal Palace Theatre to capacity. People would even line up early for this show just to get a good seat. They eventually started to let people in early and sit an hour before showtime due to its popularity.

One of the girls that performed in the Trapeze act that opened the show for the first two years went on to briefly perform with Cirque du Soleil's Varekai. I can't remember her name but she was in a similar act called "Triple Trapeze" that used four girls and in another called "Body Skating." Here are videos of the acts she was in with Cirque.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9LeviW3Qbs
Triple Trapeze

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixVXj25feAU

As far as its downfall, I believe it was directly related to the car accident in 2004. The performers that were injured in that accident did not return to BG, except for Sasha, the aerialist.

WOW! That's awful. I never heard about that. Do you know if Maria fully recovered?
 
Jul 22, 2010
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La Nouba > *

I was much younger when IQ was around so I didn't fully appreciate it nowhere near as much as I would now. Stinks the show is gone.
 
Sep 5, 2010
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RICHMOND
ScoutN said:
La Nouba > *

I was much younger when IQ was around so I didn't fully appreciate it nowhere near as much as I would now. Stinks the show is gone.

La Nouba (and any of the Cirque Du Soleil shows, in general) has the advantage of superior staging, bankrolling and, let's be honest, talent. But context matters, and just saying A>B does not imply that B is bad, especially where A is not present.

The thing about the Imaginique show was that it was decidedly an experience. It felt different from the things you've seen a million times, and made the entire park seem more immersive because of it. Unless you're a coaster enthusiast, the entire selling point of theme parks (as Disney himself often noted) is that they provide unique experiences you can't have in the humdrum, normal world. Imaginique, in both sight and sound, was a dreamlike show that left people feeling like the had definitely experienced something different. Because of that, the rest of the day at the park seemed like more of an immersion into a world apart from the normal world, which is basically the ultimate goal of a theme park.

It was replaced with a far inferior show that followed all the conventions of theme park shows, with an attractive female and handsome male singing standards, accompanied by a "rockin" band. To this, they simply added some vaguely Cirque-inspired elements. The show was not terrible, but it was NORMAL, and lacked that imaginative spark and dream quality Imaginique brought to the park. Now, not even that remains.
 

RocketChk

Silver Donor
Mar 26, 2011
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Unagi said:
WOW! That's awful. I never heard about that. Do you know if Maria fully recovered?

Hey there, so sorry I missed this post. I don't know how it slipped past. I will try to find out, because it will pop into my head to ask and then I forget when I get the chance. I'd like to know myself.
 
Apr 29, 2011
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RocketChk said:
Hey there, so sorry I missed this post. I don't know how it slipped past. I will try to find out, because it will pop into my head to ask and then I forget when I get the chance. I'd like to know myself.

Thanks!

I really hope she fully recovered. She was an awesome performer!

And BTW, if you need to get any sort of "Cirque" fix, Cirque du Soleil's Quidam is playing the Hampton Coliseum the first week of December. In my opinion it's their best touring production. Tix aren't on sale yet but they will be very soon!
 
Dec 23, 2011
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imaginique was no doubt the best show ever, it went beyond regular theme park show standards. it was not corny, and it was mystic. it also was a true french circus style show that showed your average americans what a french circus really is like, even though i could never understand what was being sung, it was like an enchantment that sounded amazing. the show that came after, was a cheap american version of a french circus which truly sucked. it didn't have any of the mystic magic needed. it was your typical theme park spectacular show, which can be very corny.

i have been hoping for the return of imaginique for years, but to no avail. also, with the concerts being moved to the royal palace theater, i fear we will never see the return of any show of equal or greater awesomeness, unless the show is performed around the concerts.
 
Dec 21, 2011
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i have been hoping for the return of imaginique for years, but to no avail. also, with the concerts being moved to the royal palace theater, i fear we will never see the return of any show of equal or greater awesomeness, unless the show is performed around the concerts.
I can see them doing some like that.
 
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