Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Moins" Cirque

Cirque du Soleil: Zarkana

My feelings for Cirque du Soleil shows often mirror my feelings for green tea. Love the idea behind it, and want very much to love the thing itself, but I can only muster up a limited amount of pleasure from either.

Actually, I've enjoyed all the Cirque shows I've seen as I've watched them. What's not to love? They're gorgeously designed and the acrobatics are spectacular. But once you've seen a couple of installments and the format becomes familiar (I've seen five, including the current one, Zarkana, twice), the returns diminish, and what I saw evaporates from my memory.

That's because the plot and characters are only loosely defined ways to frame clowns and circus acts, and for me a little bit of those go a long way. And that's probably why I enjoyed the pared-down version of Zarkana that I saw a few days ago. It was cut from two and a half hours with an intermission last summer to 90 minutes with no intermission this summer. And I'm guessing this is the version that will take up residence in Las Vegas later this year. One thing that hasn't been shortened however is the price. How convenient!

Not that any theatrical experience should be priced on a per-minute basis, but if producers aren't spending as much money to present a show, they could passed the savings on to patrons. It's not as if Radio City Musical Hall was packed the night I saw it; the side orchestra sections were completely empty.