Review by Barbara Mehlman and Geri Manus
7 Sep 2008
A gazillion is a really big number, bigger than a google for sure. No one can count up to a gazillion though one may try. But when a gazillion bubbles are showered upon an audience filled with adults who think "The Gazillion Bubble" show is just another bit of clever entertainment for little ones, the kid in everyone suddenly emerges and the only thing you'll find yourself exclaiming is, "There must be a gazillion bubbles in the air."
What an jaw-dropping sight, and what a curious kind of show to bring to the Theatre District. Other unusual offerings have come to Broadway, most recently "Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy," but such shows rarely last long, probably because that's not why theatergoers go to the theater. "Gazillion Bubbles," however, is in a small, off-Broadway house that's just the right size and place for a bubble show.
While you're probably trying to decide whether or not this is right for your youngsters, it is doubtful that you're thinking about the physics of a bubble, but that's part of what makes this show so appealing to adults.
A bubble is a sphere of soap film filled with air. It is a liquid, a gas, and any way you look at it, it is a fascinating creation. Bubbles are so fragile that even a single particle of dust can destroy them, and yet, Fan Yang, who created this amazing show, will show you all the things he can do with bubbles without popping them.
Using two glass pipes of approximately two- and four-inch diameter, Fan blows giant bubbles, then blows hundreds of bubbles inside the bubbles, and then blows smoke into the bubbles. He'll blow a bubble on top of a bubble, combine two separate bubbles, and then separate them, sending them off into the audience.
With wands larger then tennis racquets, Fan creates bubble tunnels that fit over the bodies of a seven-year-old boy and four standing adults. Having tested several different recipes of bubble solution, Fan produced, in 1997, a bubble so large -- 156 ft. in length with a surface area of 4000 sq. ft. -- that he now proudly boasts his entry in the Guinness Book of Records.
It is all a giddy sight. The addition of laser light brings out the multiple rainbows reflected on the surface of the bubbles, giving them a beauty rarely contemplated by busy adults. You know how it is -- give the kids a bottle of bubble liquid and say "go play," getting them out from underfoot while you take care of household business.
It was the same for Fan. And while he loved the magic of creating bubbles out in his yard, it was the rainbows that drew him to experiment with this medium, though he didn't think bubbles would become his life's work and a new field of artistry. But he has tamed these "wild" creations and made them into a 90-minute show, taking it around the world.
Bring the whole family to see this delightful show, which will be playing through the fall and winter holidays, and expect to spend money afterwards to buy the most original bubble-making toys you'll ever see. Save your program because Fan will autograph them at the souvenir stand.
(Barbara Mehlman & Geri Manus)