Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Just Kooza'ed On Myself!

Cirque Du Soleil's Kooza, which is in Atlanta through March 1, had me laughing so hard I nearly Kooza'ed on myself!   

I had the opportunity to experience Cirque Du Soleil's Kooza in Atlanta with my girlfriend.  Her opinion of the show was that it was "great", but I think a bit more analysis is warranted.  As an avid fan of Cirque Du Soleil I was extremely happy with the show and enjoyed the aerobatics, clowning, theatrics and music as always yet even for a Cirque veteran like me there were still a few surprises.  

I had heard that Kooza was a step back to the early days of Cirque Du Soleil when shows had less of a story line and more of an even flow of entertainment, but what I saw tonight left me with the impression that Kooza was created with the idea of pushing the limits of the circus arts to new limits while rekindling the focus on clowning.  If you have not seen the show stop reading now as what I am about to discuss may constitute a spoiler.

The opening of Kooza was very surprising for me.  Like most shows it started with clowns in the audience, but not just 3 to 6 like in other touring shows, with many of them all over big top from the time the doors opened until the curtain was drawn back unveiling the relatively modest set.  The set for Kooza is relatively unassuming by Cirque standards - the usual roman arena seating wrapping 260 degrees around the circular stage, a massive yet simple curtain used to conceal the delights that await and a large three level traveling tower called the "Bataclan".  The set serves the production well as it does not compete with the performance and instead serves to enable many of the gags and trickery that come in a Cirque production.

The acts were excellent and contained what I consider the most important aspect of any acrobatic performance - passion.  All of the performers seemed to find a bit of the circus performance gumption that was present when Cirque started years ago.  Not only did they get the crowd going by putting on a fabulous show, but they were verbose and played to the audience injecting the crowd with a fantastic energy.

The music was fitting to the moment and at times surprisingly intense and at others surprisingly mellow, but never what one could call mainstream.  The two singers are less present on the stage than I have seen in other shows, but their  presence is known when they take center stage on the Bataclan as they bellow out beautifully haunting lyrics.  

By the way - can someone tell me how to get a seat at Section 201, Row J, Seat 1?  Oh yeah...and the female "volunteer"  - she sure does seem to go to a lot of shows and get "volunteered" a lot. 

Go and see the show.  Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did.  

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