Last night’s excursion to Cirque du Soleil-OVO

It starts with a forty- foot egg – mid-arena, anemically colored, eyebrow tilting – suggesting a chicken had a rough night.  Then, darkness descends.  Violins gather and a well-dressed Corona-drinking crowd settles in.  At least one lady is wearing fur and there is enough worsted wool to assume nearby sheep are upset.  In the shadows, chirping crickets and strangely antennaed creatures appear upon the porous stage and one gets the sense of being in a hive.  Cirque’s costumes imply a rainbow smacking into your retina.  Apparently language is forbidden because these insects communicate via subtle buzzing and jawing.  Imagine Charlie brown’s parents chewing tic-tacs and you get the idea.  Twelve percent of the crowd munches $7 popcorn with the sort of breathless enthusiasm of a post-midnight prom date.  A single orange light casts its glow upon a muscular spandex-surrounded lad as he begins to perform acrobatics your average thinking man might compare to unfolding a lawn chair with grace.  For the next two hours, I am under sensory assault.  Endless movement – boneless contortions – bleeding watercolors, visually stimulating tableaus, and precarious danglings that make one think Cirque may suffer an IQ shortage in the choreography department. Outside the main tent, Lexus stations its newest luxury wagon adjacent to a street mime, who, if you are lucky enough to be chosen for a spontaneous photo, flirts as aggressively with her hands as she does with her mimicry.  Gaping mouths and revelatory gasps provide the evening’s soundtrack. Cirque offers its own clothing line comprised of obscure designs in the full Crayola spectrum, often priced beyond your blue-collar working man’s daily salary and likely not manufactured by the Chinese acrobats now flaccidly flopping fifty-three feet above ogling onlookers.  Air inside the tent is not warm.  Cirque’s show is titled OVO and thematically, the ubiquitous un-hatched ovum provides a lot of questions.  Why does a chicken egg rest in the midst of an insect hive?  Why do most of the smaller eggs look more like large suppositories than ovum?  Which came first, the trapeze artist catcher, or the trapeze artist flipper? The high-wire fella wears a sort of black Spiderman suit and can perform a one-handed handstand upon a one-inch wire suspended thirty feet in the air.  If you’re looking to understand the Herculean difficulty of this task, imagine skiing Mammoth’s cornice while screaming the national anthem and urinating into a thimble and you’re getting close.  After a thirty-minute intermission where half the viewers relieve themselves inside Jackson-Pollacked Porta-potties, the rest of the crowd mingles about sipping French-named wines and reminiscing about Cirque’s magnificence.  English language is sparse here.  Halfway through the second act, eight frogs – it’s possible they were Geckos but without the whole cockney accent and annoying television ad campaign it was difficult to tell –sprung between a rock climbing wall and several trampolines in a torrid rebounding affair.  Their ability to stick and fall and twist and turn reminds me of my stomach after a night of bad sushi.  Cirque’s cinematic lighting recalls those 4th grade science room experiments with lasers and chalk dust.  Just east of me, a child is having it out with his cotton candy.  At one point, the shows clown – some sort of entomologist’s fantasy – attempts to find a mate for his blue, protuberance-laden creepy-crawly friend who is currently coveting a rather bulbous bee.  Employing various audience members in a rather grotesque eHarmony thing for bugs, the clown asks several spectators to flirt and dance and growl in hopes of attracting the desires of said friend.  One woman nearly wets her pants with laughter and embarrassment. The show ends with a banquet, the coupling of bee and blue creature, a Caribbean-influenced soundtrack and a standing ovation.  Post-event comments include “Wow, my brain hurts!” and “Gotta be honest, that beetle had a nice set of legs,” which left your correspondent more than a little disturbed and already on his cell phone to purchase tickets for Cirque’s show Iris, now playing at the Kodak.

By ccxander

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