Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

The Arts


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Comments (0)     E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Review: Cirque du Soleil's 'Kooza' is more laughs and thrills than poetry and whimsy

Cirque du Soleil's show at Marymoor Park, "Kooza," is not one of the more whimsical and poetical of Cirque shows. It's meat and potatoes — or, rather, yuks and thrills. And that's plenty to hold the attention of circus-goers of all ages.

Seattle Times theater critic

PERFORMANCE REVIEW

Cirque du Soleil's 'Kooza'

Through July 11, Marymoor Park, Redmond; $31.50-$125 regular admission and $175-$250 VIP Tapis Rouge tickets (800-450-1480 or www.cirquedusoleil.com/kooza).

advertising

It was her first circus, and my 7-year old companion at Cirque du Soleil's "Kooza" was adamant.

She wanted animals, preferably a dog act. I explained that the world-famous Cirque du Soleil does astounding things with just humans, and a lot of people believe animals shouldn't be cooped up in a circus, anyway. She did not budge.

Would she come around, and succumb to chills and thrills of this latest Cirque spectacular, which just opened a run at Marymoor Park in Redmond?

The opening number with an elaborately dressed corps de Soleil, with painted faces, and the show's two guides — a seductive dancer-trickster in a rainbow-striped suit, and a wide-eyed little guy with a kite — certainly commanded her interest. And an astonishing contortion act, with three spaghetti-spined young women arranging themselves in impossible body sculptures, wowed her.

The fierce-looking, ponytailed trapeze artist, swinging on high by one hand and the tops of her feet, also impressed. And the couple doing feats on a unicycle reminded her of her big brother, who also likes to tool around on one wheel.

The clowns? Well, they are devious pratfallers, a little lewd and quite irresistible. Given that "Kooza" was written and directed by a swell, edgy funnyman (former Cirque du Soleil clown David Shine), these are not sweet, fuzzy jesters.

They are bawdy imps who, in the tradition of ancient farce, live to disturb the peace and annoy The King (a sort of head clown, who zaps ne'er-do-wells with a mock stun gun and is even more of an idiot than his subjects).

"Kooza" is, by the way, is not one of the more whimsical and poetical of Cirque shows. It's meat and potatoes — or, rather, yuks and thrills.

One big thrill for my friend: those brave guys who made us gasp as they rode bicycles, fenced and played leapfrog way up on the double high wire.

But this kid was a tough sell. She still wanted animals. Sure, sure, she oohed and ahhed at the Chinese gymnast balanced atop a tower of chairs. And having rocked a hula hoop herself, she appreciated the sight of a woman whirling multiple gleaming steel hoops.

That was pronounced "Freaky!" (a favorite accolade of the night). The other high term of praise ("Scary!") went to the Wheel of Death act, in which two acrobats in devil horns jog, leap, jump and fling themselves inside and on the rims of a contraption resembling a giant double hamster wheel in furious motion. This routine is like Sisyphus in hell, and it's a scorcher.

Yet in the end, what did my bright-eyed companion (who stayed wide-awake and alert through "Kooza's" entire 2 ½ hours) rank as her favorite bits?

She loved the live band with all the brass and the two world-beat divas. And those fencing aerialists.

But highest on her list was the dog. Well, actually, a large person (or two small ones?) in a very big, shaggy dog suit with a floppy red tongue. A dog that suddenly lifts its leg and relieves itself with a long stream of what we all hoped was water, aimed right at the audience.

She wanted a pooch. That one did the trick.

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

More The Arts

NEW - 7:00 PM
Get a kick out of Cole Porter? Marvin Hamlisch and Seattle Symphony have the program for you

Spectrum Dance Theater explores Africa in Donald Byrd's 'The Mother of Us All'

Performers sing for their supper, and to help a friend, at Lake Union Café

Shelf Talk | Medical Lectures + medical info: at your public library!

NEW - 7:04 PM
Toy-maker shifts gears into sculpting career

More The Arts headlines...

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.


Get home delivery today!

Video

Advertising

AP Video

Entertainment | Top Video | World | Offbeat Video | Sci-Tech

Marketplace

After a 25-year wait, he's got an S-Cargonew
(Linda Hughes / NWautos) OWNER: Todd Fitch, SeaTac OCCUPATION: School-bus mechanic CAR'S MAKE AND MODEL: 1989 Nissan S-Cargo "I LOVE MY CAR BECAUSE .....
Post a comment

Advertising