Review: ‘The Gazillion Bubble Show’ at New World Stages

Tiny bubbles, huge bubbles, round bubbles, square bubbles, long bubbles, clear bubbles, white bubbles, floating bubbles, bouncing bubbles, stacked bubbles, bubbles within bubbles, rainbow-colored bubbles, and bubbles in every color of the rainbow; bubbles, bubbles, bubbles, bubbles, bubbles, bubbles, and more bubbles. I might not have named a whole gazillion, but there were at least that many in The Gazillion Bubble Show!

Deni Yang. Photo courtesy of the production.

Now playing in its twelfth year Off-Broadway at New World Stages, the soapy extravaganza is the brainchild of Fan Yang, a sixteen-time Guinness World Record holder for his “incredibubble” skills. Each performance of the international sensation, which has appeared in venues and on TV stations throughout the US and around the world, features a member of the Yang family – Fan’s son Deni (who wowed the crowd in the show I attended), daughter Melody, wife Ana, brother Jano, or the Master of Bubbles himself – presenting an astonishing spectacle of bubble artistry and science that is sure to amaze the whole family.

Employing a wide array of bubble-making wands, hoops, and loops, bubble-blowing tubes of bamboo and glass, a secret-formula bubble solution, and a water atomizer, Deni fashioned mind-blowing variations on the theme with his expert hands, fingers, and breath. His titular creations flooded the stage and the house, as the captivated audience was immersed in the transitory masterpieces and some young volunteers joined him in the aisles to be decked in the bubble hats he made or onstage to be enveloped in the life-size bubbles he materialized around them. No one of any age could resist reaching for the glistening spheres and hazy rings, as they drifted by and momentarily popped, leaving everyone awash in remnants of the soapy marvels.

The awesome feats were augmented by bubble-making machines and fans, colorful lighting, fog effects, a musical soundscape, voiceovers, and video projections on monitors at both sides of the stage (the contents of which were sometimes beyond the comprehension of the youngest viewers, but offered interesting facts about the composition of bubbles, philosophical ponderings about their magical qualities, and the professional development of Deni since childhood, as a protégé of his father) and large-scale live-feed videos on a background screen that magnified his performance in real time.

Deni Yang. Photo courtesy of the production.

Following the series of bubble-based segments, the novelty act concluded with the grand finale of a “Bubble Laser – FX” sequence, in which beams of colored light, radiating from the floor, ceiling, side walls, and background, were seemingly twirled, moved, and manipulated with spot-on precision by Deni in dark glasses. The stunning laser show was then inundated with the biggest barrage of bubbles yet, for a glorious display that left everyone wide-eyed, open-mouthed, and dazzled by the overwhelming beauty and mystery of it all.

If you’re in the market for some all-ages family-friendly entertainment to enjoy with the kids, there are a gazillion reasons to head over to New World Stages for The Gazillion Bubble Show. It will not only engage their imaginations, delight their eyes, and boggle their minds (as well as yours!), it will also introduce them to the pleasures of live theater while restoring a sense of childlike wonderment in you.

Running Time: Approximately one hour, without intermission.

The Gazillion Bubble Show plays an open-ended run, at New World Stages, Stage 2 – 340 West 50th Street, NYC. For tickets, call (212) 239-6200, or purchase them online.