A Review of Slava's Snow Show

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Snow is predicted for Miami this July!  Slava Snow! Should Slava's Snow Show reach your city, this review may save you some dough on the snow.

Slava, or the organizers, have spent many marketing dollars promoting the show on radio announcements, web banners on numerous radio stations, newspapers and local Miami websites.

We hear the show was sold out in Madrid, London, Buenos Aires, and New York. The video promo clip features haunting, almost spellbinding music while the clown, Slava, dressed in a parachute-baggy, canary-yellow jumpsuit and ambulatory, fiery red hair and a bigger red nose, is pushing a big blue ball in slow motion with the sound of a tempest storm blowing at forceful speeds.

Written promo copy depict the show as "an awesome theatrical experience and a profoundly moving spectacle full of wondrous images, delightful comedy, haunting music and snow".

So What Exactly is the Slava Snow Show About

Well, the description of a cross between Cirque du Soleil clowning and Blug Man Group is a major hint. Ornate clowns telling a story with countenances masked in layers of makeup and quirky body language. This is classic mime. In a culture of bigger and faster, will Americans appreciate slow-action, story telling with minimal movement, action, and props? Here is one American's review.

Musical theater performances, operas, ballet, folklore dancing, modern dance, music concerts--each require a different type of appreciation for tempo (slow or fast), music (classical vs. rock), story telling, and physical talents. As a theater-goer and admirer of ballets and musical shows since I was thirteen, my acumen for interpreting these performances is well developed.

On the flipside, interpreting abstract artwork and opera spurs mental gymnastics to no fruitful avail. I recall with inner child delight, that the clown acts during the interludes of the Cirque de Soleil entertained with brief, funny stunts and skits. Slava's string of skits move artistically beyond the genre of comedy. They are comic tragedy and to the untrained attendee in the abstract or artform of pantomime, the skits were theatrical ambiguity. At least the first half of the program left the attendees scratching their heads.

Mime is slower in motion where every change in facial expression, hand movement, body language tells the story. Sitting close to the stage is key. Unfortunately our "prime orchestra seats" toward the back left me wishing for those one-handle theater binoculars. We were too far away. The highly coveted box seats were less desirable.

In a nutshell, this is a family show for children between the ages of 7-13, cleverly lasting only 75 minutes to hold a child's attention span. The skits are silos, independent of one another. The clear difference is the music. Dramatic, haunting almost spellbinding music. Candidly that was my favorite feature along with the live interaction with the audience.

Price is performance-steep, $55.00 plus a $10 service charge when ordering by phone or Internet. The good news, the price is the same for any seat--in this case don't get the box seats.

This theater-goer rates the show 3 out of 5 stars. Two points are knocked off for the brevity for an adult viewer (75 minutes), and my own inability to interpret the first two scenes. But as the show progressed, the story unfolded more clearly, my insecurities vanished, and gratification set in. Minutes before the show, my lasik vision allowed me to read the fine print program in a dark lit row and learn the show was mime. Expecting a mime performance saved Slava from an unsavory review.


1- If interpreting abstract art or movement is a natural skill, then this show is for you. If not, I suggest Googling for a Cliffnotes interpretation without giving away the best part. The music and "live interaction" are fantabulous and complete the experience.

2- If you live or work near downtown, purchasing tickets at the Arsht Center saves you the $10 service charge.

3- Get seats as close up front to the stage as possible. The facial expressions of the clown in a mime are one-third of the performance.

4- Do not bring children under the age of six or seven years old. They have a difficult time following the show and sitting quietly becomes mission impossible.

5- Bring a camera! While pictures are not permitted during most of the show, cameras and flash are encouraged for the grand finale when the "blue ball" appears.

There are a few interactions with the audience, and I don't mean volunteers from the audience dragged to their stage-fright death. No, the "interactions" here combine stage technology and artistry to a new level. I don't want to spoil the surprise.

After attending the second night of the debut, staff of the theater were hastily handing out $5 OFF coupons for attendees to share with friends and family. Could this be a sign of the slow acceptance by South Floridians? We'll soon see.

UPDATE July 4, 2017:

If you're ready to venture into the world of mime, visit http://www.arshtcenter.org/. Mention promo code SNOWINJULY when ordering tickets by phone or online to receive a $4.00 discount.

The grand finale will "blow you away", literally!!

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  1. Nice job on the review, very balanced.

    However, as a card carrying member of the mime/clown haters club, I won't be signing up for this particular show anytime soon. :-)

  2. Great review! I agree 100% and wish I had read this before actually attending the show. And while it was certainly not my favorite show I can appreciate the artistry and would recommend it to someone more interested in this sort of performance.

    I also agree, though, that the ending was fabulous!


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