Saturday, April 21, 2012

IRIS


Greg and I took a drive up to L.A. yesterday, leaving the kids with a babysitter, to see the Cirque du Soleil show IRIS. It's a fairly new show - opened less than a year ago, in the Kodak Theatre, which is renowned for being the home of the Academy Awards. This show is a tribute to cinema. We both loved it.

From the very beginning, I felt like Cirque was giving us the very best of what modern circus has to offer with this show. The cinema theme that continued throughout, with the amazing circus artistry just enriching it, illustrating it in ways that wouldn't have been possible otherwise. An example - at the beginning of Act 2, we are on an old-time movie set. Crazy costumes, cranky directors and clumsy stagehands abound. A terrific amount of nervous energy is there, and it starts to manifest itself in visually delightful ways - ladders that aren't cooperating and acrobatic stunts needed to move them, ropes and lights that people end up dangling from.

And then, at times, the most spectacular acts are given their own moment - such as the straps duo at the beginning, which is exquisite. It is all show business, and it is all connected.

If I have any complaint about the show, it would be that the Icarian acrobats and the contortionists felt a bit forced upon the theme.  But everything else - swinging trapeze, hand-balancing, even the 95% excellent use of video technology - made for a seamless and enthralling performance.  I even loved the clown and character bits, which played off the movie industry wonderfully.

After the show, we met up with a bunch of our Totem friends, and took a quick visit to the backstage. This is what it looks like underneath the Kodak Theatre. It was cool, by the way, to be sitting in seats watching this show that were probably occupied by Brangelina or Meryl Streep pretty recently. (we were right down front in the orchestra section - prime award-winner seats). Greg couldn't care less about this sort of thing so I had to just marvel at it privately.

It was a fantastic evening. We made sure to check out the Hollywood sign and the Walk of Fame, and mingle with all the other hordes of tourists out on Hollywood Boulevard. (my first time doing this, as far as I can remember). But the best part was experiencing the beautiful creation of IRIS.

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