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Cirque goes Steampunk!

By Patrick Hurley

Anyone who’s ever experienced Cirque Du Soleil can attest to the fact that the physical feats are the draw. We want to see incredibly, nearly impossible human ability. 17109_1830kurios_quebec-9922_MediumResolutionContortionists, jugglers, aerial gymnastics, and more. Cirque Du Soleil’s latest show Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities is all this and a whole lot more. It’s opens in Costa Mesa through November 29, and then moves to Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium December 10- February 7.

Playing under the Grand Chapiteau, built with a penchant for sensory overload, this highly stylized, ultra theatrical show blends the quirky world of sideshows with a steampunk vibe to great effect. The music alone is wonderfully entertaining, played live by a band that is visible the entire time.

Written and directed by Michel Laprise, this is a fantasy-ladened, genre bender that invites the audience into a reality where time has stopped. There is a large clock overhead that turns 11:11 at the start of the show, and stays there. So, suspended in animation, we, the audience bear witness to the dazzling feats of physical acuity that all of the incredible performers have to offer. It’s all about letting the imagination run wild.

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As so often is the case, the narrative for Cirque Du Soleil shows take a back seat to the acts themselves, but this was a rare occasion where the through-line of a story was actually transpiring through the acts. The “Upside Down World,” for example, was so brilliantly executed, and appropriate to the nature of this show, of the world that this show created, that it felt as if we were watching something truly magical.

There is also, as there usually is, a comedic character who comes out in-between acts to charm the audience. And this time, the gentleman who presented “The Invisible Circus” was hysterical. The circus itself may have gone on a bit too long, but it was entertaining for what it was.

All in all, Kurios ranks as one of the most stylish and entertaining Cirque Du Soleil shows in some time. And as the company’s 35th production, it is definitely proof that they are not slowing on brilliance or great ideas.

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For tickets: visit cirquedusoleil.com/kurios or call 1.877.9.Cirque (924-7783)

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