Some of the acts included in Eilat’s circus-style show ‘WOW Splash 2’..
(photo credit: BOAZ SAMORAI)
A man dangles several feet above the stage – the only thing between him and at least a couple broken bones is...
his teeth. Clamped in his jaw is a leather mouthpiece, connected by a chain to another mouthpiece held between the teeth of a female acrobat dangling by her feet from a rope.
This wasn’t some form of medieval torture but rather all part of the glittery, glamorous and gleeful WOW Splash 2 show held almost every night in Eilat for tourists from around the globe. The 90-minute show features a variety of exciting performances including acrobats, dancers, trapeze artists, comedians and more.
The entire thing is curated and directed by Hanoch Rosenn, the famed Israeli pantomime artist and performer.
And while the WOW show has been around for 15 years, this time they’ve decided to make things a little splashier – with splashes of water, of course. For most of the show the stage was covered with water, due to a pool set right in the middle of the stage. The water impressively switched from deeper to shallower throughout the evening depending on the act involved.
“Everything is just so hot here,” Rosenn told a group of journalists in a recent interview. “It’s the hottest place in the world – and now there’s water!” he added. “The water takes us all to different places.”
In fact one of the first things you’ll notice – aside from the two fire hydrants sitting on the stage – is the waterproof or water-friendly footwear on most of the performers.
If you’re sitting in one of the first few rows, you might even feel a splash yourself! The show is fun, fast-paced and full of popular songs you’ll likely recognize. Each individual act is usually just a few minutes long, moving quickly on to the next exciting scene – with two notable exceptions. One is Elan Koszuk, a captivating mime comedian originally from the US, who uses just his body, a few props and a lot of audience participation to keep the crowd in stitches. And the other is Andreis Jacobs, a graceful, intense performer who had the audience holding their breath as he delicately and purposefully built a complex network of branches all based off of a single feather.
This new version of WOW launched just a couple months ago, and will be around for at least a year.
The performers come from around the world – Mongolia, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Ukraine, France, the UK and more. None of those in the show, in fact, are natives of Israel. They’re all experts in their field and have performed around the globe – including in some of the top acrobatic shows in the world.
“It used to be hard to bring people” to perform, said Rosenn, especially when the show was just getting off the ground. But today, a lot of those in the acrobatic world “have heard about it and want to come.”
And it certainly isn’t hard to get audience members to show up.
The 620-seat Isrotel Theater in Eilat’s Royal Garden hotel is sold out almost every night, with kids, adults and everyone in between.
The show is open to kids over age four, and, as Rosenn said, “is suitable for the whole family but geared for adults.”
Indeed, there aren’t really any spoken words in the show, which makes it perfect for an international crowd. Any of the slightly risqué jokes will go over kids’ heads. As you’d expect from acrobatics, the outfits are skimpy – in some cases just enough to keep Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev from an outburst. Of course, the women tend to be wearing a bit less than the male performers, who survived just fine without all that exposed skin.
The Isrotel hotel chain, which stages the show, is hoping to make it part of the experience for every visitor to Eilat. It even offers a discount for those staying in any Isrotel hotel – which includes eight separate locations in the coastal resort city.
Since its inception, WOW has been seen by more than two million viewers in more than 4,500 stagings of the show. This is its 13th incarnation.
The WOW Splash 2 show runs every night at 8:30 p.m. except Sundays.
Tickets are NIS 130 or NIS 95 for guests of any Isrotel hotel.
The writer was a guest of Isrotel.