Monday, April 20, 2009

Cirque du Soleil's Kooza

I've been a fan of Cirque du Soleil since my first show (Varekai) in 2006. Since then I've been to Corteo, Wintuk, Ka, and most recently Kooza (currently on Randall's Island in NY from April 16-June 7). I'm usually a harsh critic and not easily impressed, but Kooza was the best Cirque du Soleil show I have ever seen. I loved Varekai (since it took my Cirque virginity), Corteo was good, and Wintuk and Ka were just ok. Since I belong to the Cirque Club, I get first shot at tickets before they are released to the general public (I bought my tickets in October). Here's what I loved most about Kooza (without any spoilers):
  • There were a lot of "Are you kidding me?" moments. The thing that made me fall in love with Cirque was all of the "high wire" and risky acts where you're holding breath and wondering if the person is going to live or die.
  • There was a great degree of difficulty with each act (I was very happy that there were no jugglers or Olympic floor exercises like previous shows). I respect things that I wouldn't be able to do with unlimited practice (imagine me contorting or walking on a tight rope).
  • The music was really hip - it sounded like a cross between The Roots and Chris Tucker's character in The Fifth Element.
  • The host and clowns spoke clear English - the prior shows seemed to incorporate a "jibberish" made-up language.
  • The costumes and the stage were visually stunning - the production crew is worth every penny.
  • The skits and audience participation were pretty funny.
The show gets an "A" in my book (despite the $25 parking which almost made me drive into the East River). Take your significant other and keep in mind that it'll make the perfect Mother's Day gift - I'm going to get tickets for my mom and make her a lifelong fan.

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