In Neil Goldberg’s Fort Myers, Fla., home, there is a room devoted entirely to Christmas ornaments.
“There’s over 10,000 of them,” he said in a telephone interview from Austin, Texas. “People travel the world and pick up magnets and T-shirts. I find ornaments because I’m fascinated with them.”
That fascination melded with his role as the founder-director-producer of Cirque Dreams as he created “Holidaze,” which stops at the Adler Theatre in Davenport next weekend.
The set is a 30-foot-high Christmas tree. On the tree are performers dressed as ornaments, “dangling” from the branches.
Each ornament becomes an act in the 90-minute show.
“It’s celebrating the holiday season,” said Goldberg, a 58-year-old New Yorker. “We play on the snow, the winter and Christmas, and just the festivities — lights, colors, gift boxes, hurried shopping — things people can relate to.”
The music is numerous holiday songs mixed with current tunes, including rap and rock.
“We’ve mashed it up so it has a little bit of a ‘Glee’-esque feel to it,” Goldberg said.
The show is in its fourth season. Last year, it played an acclaimed run at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the same show is now on tour.
Goldberg, celebrating his 20th anniversary with Cirque Dreams, scours the world for performers and finds them thanks to assistance from the Ethiopian government and its circus program, the Mongolian School of Contortion and the Beijing Acrobatic Association.
Get the Weekender Newsletter
Plan your weekend with our hand-picked list of the Quad Cities' best bets for entertainment.
Thirty-two performers will be onstage next weekend, he said, in a total of 300 different costumes. There have been 16 varied shows through the years, he said, with five different shows now on tour. Two others, “Splashtastic” and “Cirque Dreams Rocks,” are set to debut next year. In 2014, “Cirque Dreams Broadway” will debut, as will what Goldberg conceives of as a 21st-century vaudeville show.
Goldberg first created Cirque shows in 1989 — about the same time Cirque du Soleil began gaining worldwide attention — as entertainment for Fortune 500 company conventions. An audience member from Bally’s casinos led to public dates that have been onstage for the past 20 years.
Back then, he said, no act could go longer than eight minutes. These days the limit is four minutes.
“I’m very sensitive to YouTube and reality television competitions. I think we all know our attention spans are shorter than they were 20 years ago,” he said. “Imagine looking into a kaleidoscope and turning it, but instead of little shapes and colors, you’re seeing acrobats and singers and musicians and costumes and people flipping and soaring through the air.
“It’s really quite a spectacle.”