I recently stepped back into the Roaring Twenties during my time at REVIVE—an immersive experience that delivered astounding circus performances while guests wined and dined. The show had its final run this past weekend and, although I’m sorry to say it has ended for now, I wanted to share details and photos I took throughout the evening. It was a night filled with delightful libations, delectable food and dazzling entertainment.
The event debuted on June 18th and continued through July 24th, offering Angelenos an exciting summer outing to add to their calendars. It was held at the historic Vibiana, a former Roman Catholic cathedral in downtown Los Angeles, which dates back to 1876. The night kicked off in the lush courtyard where guests could enjoy cocktails and live performances. I love dark art and there were a few pieces on display that immediately caught my attention. In the center of the action was a magical mermaid sitting atop a rock, swaying to the music.
Before entering the venue, the MC gave the crowd a teaser of what to expect inside and playfully mentioned that while the building may have been a church at one time, the acts that were to transpire were going to be sinful and taboo. We all couldn’t help but laugh and cheer.
The hall was absolutely grand and beautiful. Besides the main stage at the front, there were multiple platforms where performers would also work their magic, and long tables were set up with a runway down the middle. A singer crooning classic tunes opened the show accompanied by ethereal aerialists swinging on hoops above onlookers. I must say the aerial performances were captivating to see, and the musical numbers were amazing, highlighting the allure of jazz.
There were many mesmerizing cirque feats, and I was astounded by the physical strength of the acrobats. They soared on trapezes, bent their bodies into hypnotic shapes and did daring acts. I looked on anxiously as one man stacked chairs into a tall pile, then climbed to the top. At another point, a couple came on stage and had, what looked like, a very long pogo stick. The man balanced it on his head while his partner ascended the object, balancing herself when she reached the utmost peak. I held my breath, afraid it was all going to collapse, but they both persevered with all limbs intact.
One of the many facets of the show I appreciated was the diversity of the ensemble. The troupe included artists representing the Black and indigenous communities, and people of color. The experience also embraced LGBTQIA+ pride, gender fluidity and female empowerment, all powerful and positive concepts that I’m pleased were supported and championed.
Now, the dining experience was an integral part of the night too. It included an appetizing four-course meal created by respected chef, Neal Fraser. I opted for the vegetarian selections and enjoyed marinated hearts of palm, smoked tofu with charred ragout and porcini jus, among other bites. Meat eaters were served dishes such as filet mignon with black truffle polenta and chicken liver mousse. The finale included a delicious chocolate cake for dessert.
As I mentioned, REVIVE has dropped its curtain and has no upcoming shows scheduled. However, it’s received plenty of praise, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the production returned in the future. I had a wonderful time and, although I didn’t attend until the eleventh hour, I’m grateful I had the opportunity to witness the spectacle.
For more information about the venue, event and to see more photos, visit the links below.