Thursday, September 28, 2006
Last night we left our daughter with the sitter and went to see their new show down at the Staples Center. We didn’t even know they were in town until our friends, Steve and Rick, went to the big “star-studded” (well, “D” and “E” level -people from Reality Shows and Kato Katlin) premiere last week. Usually Cirque du Soleil shows are advertised a lot more and we plan months in advance, this one wasn’t. Or maybe the ads were on TV (we rarely watch TV these days).
What made this show really weird was that it was inside the arena, and not in the usual “chic” tent setup in the parking lot. One thing about Sports arena’s, they’re definitely not classy places. It smelled like stale beer and they sold nasty Hot Dogs, Nacho’s with fluorescent yellow cheese and $11.75 bottles of domestic beer (Domestic! Would you believe? That should be illegal).
Anyhow, inside, the stage was setup like a catwalk right in the middle of the audience, with two big boxes on each side. And they used lots of amazing projections and scrims (thin see-through material) with performers behind them most of the time. Visually the show was amazing (like ‘eye-crack’)! I really like Cirque’s use of colors, costumes, eerie music, and “freakshow” human performers. Although this one had less acrobats and contortionists, it was more about the incredible projections and dancers. Ironically, this shows chorographer is one of the judges from “So you think you can Dance” (the wife loves that show).
Some things did bother me though, for instance the African modern dancer in a thong (why? I don’t need to see the guy’s ass - but some French chorographer thinks I do), the opening act singer Nitza, whose opening songs were very good, but then turned all weird with some latin/pop/club sound. Oh, and they didn’t have the audience clowns (street performers, that you avoid) before the show – which is a Cirque du Soleil staple. Although they made up for that by throwing large white beach ball balloons out into the audience at the end.
Another observation was that there were a lot of small kids (toddler-aged) that were brought to the show. The sound was so loud there was no way of hearing them. I think we’re going to wait awhile before bringing our daughter to one (maybe until she’s at least in 1st grade and can sit still.)
Overall I liked the show. After every Cirque du Soleil I always just say something to my wife like “Wow! That was really freakin’ weird. But in a cool way”. Or “Canadians are more French that I thought.”
I can honestly say this, Cirque du Soleil is definitely good at surprises, because every show we’ve been to, we just don’t know what to expect.