Nowhere in casino world is there as perfect a theater as the jewelbox Eldorado Showroom. There’s unobstructed viewing from any seat, more leg room than most other venues and an intimate atmosphere. And yet the theater is big enough to handle the crowds.
This year, after two years of storytelling (“Peter Pan,” “Aladdin”), the Eldorado has returned to the ice. “Ice Fantasy: Where Cirque Meets Ice” is a hybrid of skating and specialty acts. As for the cirque? Well, the word is used a lot these days – throw in an acrobat or two and some rig and your show is a cirque. Whether you’re a cirque worth seeing depends on the quality of the acts.
In this regard, “Ice Fantasy” does pretty well. Irina Usenko takes the childhood challenge of keeping one hula hoop in motion and multiplies it by many – so many that her body appears almost entirely engulfed by rings – as she flies across the ice. Melody Le Moal skates with flaming objects and gives an amazing aerial performance. And Ricardo Sosa is a stunning contortionist and hand balancer.
Clearly, the best act in this show is the Frozen Statues, a trio of Russian acrobats who slow-motion their way into entanglements and balancing feats that spark applause. The weakest is surprisingly a large troupe of dogs, the Cartoon Poodles.
Ryan Stillwell acts as emcee and principal comic, hitting his stride well into the show with some vocal effects and introducing “Dancing Without Stars on Ice,” a competition of three skaters, dominated by the funny (and very tall) Hynek Holecek in lift skates.
“Ice Fantasy” is directed by Jeb Rand and choreographed by Pasquale Camerlengo. It manages to be a pleasant show for the holidays without a single dedicated Christmas number.
That allows it to run longer than most holiday shows, in this case until Jan. 26. (7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Jan. 5; shows only Thursdays through Sundays Jan. 9-26; $27.45, $35.15, $40.65, $46.15; eldoradoreno.com).