Bubble show to captivate audiences with effects
BY KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent
A show that strives to inspire audience members to follow their dreams and embrace their inner child is coming to The Palace Theatre (21 West Otterman Street) in Greensburg. “B-The Underwater Bubble Show” is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Feb. 13.
Teresa Baughman, director of operations and programming at The Palace Theatre, said she’s never booked a show like this in her 23 years spent working at the non-profit venue.
“This is going to be a very different kind of show,” Baughman said. “We are going outside the box as we try to make our entertainment offerings as diverse as possible. This particular show is going to be a very fun, uplifting show. We’ll be in the dead of winter, and what people can expect is a very whimsical and colorful spectacle.”
The show’s protagonist is Mr. B., a creature of habits and monotonous routines. When he discovers a little aquarium inside his briefcase, Mr. B. enters a magical world called Bubblelandia. Bubblelandia is full of beautiful sea creatures, including seahorses, dragon fish, starfish, mermaids and more.
The show models itself after Cirque du Soleil, and even includes audience participation for those seated on the ground floor. As part of the show, audiences will be entertained by lasers, low-ground smoke, foam and bubbles (lots of bubbles). The performers will juggle, dance, mime and use bubbles of all sizes to enthrall and entertain.
“Bubbles are amazing,” said Dace Pecoli, co-creator of the show. She added that even the performers themselves can be surprised by the bubbles they create.
“B-The Underwater Bubble Show” takes inspiration from classic tales such as “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Peter Pan.” Pecoli described fairy tales as “journeys (wherein) the main character starts a process of modification.”
“At the end, we see always a transformation,” she said. “All fairy tales are structured in the same way. In our case, it is the journey of a businessman or, I could say, almost every human being ... always too busy ... forgetting the connection with real life.”
Pecoli emphasized that at the end of his journey, Mr. B. is transformed in a literal way for all to witness.
“Colors will start to appear back in his life,” she said, adding that this transformation will be on account of him “stopping for a while and daydreaming again.”
“Our hope is that all the adult audiences will receive our message and will understand that, sometimes, it is just necessary to take a break and enjoy real life in the company of friends or family, without the need to check social media and the web or to be at work.”
Mr. B., who moves through the show as a masked character, was created with the intention of making him as relatable as possible. The show, therefore, is suitable for audiences of all ages, but both Baughman and Pecoli recommended that parents bring children who are 4-years-old and up.
Director Enrico Pezzoli created the show with Pecoli, his spouse. Pecoli, a bubble artist herself, said her husband became passionate about magic and illusion during his childhood.
“He had his first magic show at age 13, and then he got fascinated by theatre,” Pecoli said.
Pezzoli studied all forms of theatre, including commedia dell'arte (an early form of professional theatre) and soon began mixing theatre with magic. He began adding bubbles to his shows in the 1990s.
Prior to meeting Pezzoli, Pecoli was involved in fashion design and elementary education. As a kindergarten teacher, Pecoli enjoyed incorporating the performing arts (music, magic and theatre) into her classes. She met Pezzoli in Germany while taking a circus arts workshop, and that’s when she, too, became interested in bubbles.
The couple began performing as a duo after creating a show that combined bubbles, magic and opera music. That show was titled “Bubble Opera,” and they performed it for audiences around the world until deciding in 2010 that it was time to turn it into something bigger: a full-scale production complete with a full cast representing countries such as Italy, Latvia, France, United Kingdom, Poland and Ukraine.
Self-proclaimed perfectionists, Pezzoli and Pecoli “invested a lot of time, money and effort” to create the best show they could, she said. To start, they sought out the most well-regarded performers in Latvia, plus a popular costume designer and a popular composer.
“With time, we changed the plot and added new acts but, most of all, we involved a writer to make a storyline that could work for everyone — adults and kids,” Pecoli said.
The show debuted in 2011 and, each year, they strive to make changes that will “make people as happy as possible.”
The first “B-The Underwater Bubble Show” performances beckoned more than 5,000 spectators, and Pezzoli and Pecoli have since taken the show to Switzerland, Kaliningrad, lndonesia, Russia, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. In 2016, the tour came to America for the first time. This year, it’s back again.
“Our main goal was to produce a show that could tour the world without any barriers, especially language,” Pezzoli wrote in a press release. “We involved many elements of theater that could work without speech, like mime, puppets, physical comedy and sand painting, while adding visual special effects. Even in parts of the world where the culture may be different from our own, the result is always the same, with everyone cheering and applauding.”
Tickets for “B-The Underwater Bubble Show” are on sale now and can be purchased by contacting The Palace Theatre Box Office at 724-836-8000 or visiting www.thepalacetheatre.org.
For more information about “B-The Underwater Bubble Show,” including live performance clips, visit www.underwaterbubbleshow.com.
“I don’t want this show to be characterized as just a children’s show,” Baughman said. “That’s why I encourage people to watch their videos online to get a taste of what this show is about. This show can be enjoyed by people of all ages ... and there’s always something great about the experience of seeing a live performance in a wonderful space with hundreds of other people.”