The opening night of Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo found me in the twelfth row of Le Grand Chapiteau, a frozen monkey with mouth agape, sitting in a stilled silence except for occasional bursts of laughter and sighs of amazement. Now I am not the silent and still type, AT ALL, and it takes a big experience like the Big Top to render me so. My heart however was pounding like a giant psychedelic clown was attacking a tympani with a rubber chicken, only stopping it’s mad march for moments of absolute antici……….pation as I waited in a trance-like state to see what the superhumans on stage might do next. Would they spin in a hoop like a living metallic-blue Vitruvian man simultaneously with five friends? Grab onto a chandelier and swing up into the sky in their skiivies? Slowly walk a mile-high tightrope, upside down? Float out over the audience for the most graceful crowd-surfing experience Seattle has ever seen? Join a languid parade of playful angels, Tuba players, and ballet dancers from the most bizarre dream EVER?
Physical and dramatic performing artists who are the very best in the world create the incredible spectacle that is the Cirque du Soleil; it is an acrobatic, gymnastic, dancing, theatrical, musical, comedic, sparkling, magical, childlike parade of sensory enlightenment, an epic French feast of ‘Wow!”, a near out-of-body celebration of the absurd and the beautiful. The amazingly talented and no doubt insanely hard-working athletes make every tumble and turn seem effortless and just an extension of their humanity, like you and I might tomorrow flip backwards from bed to bed in a pillow fight out of childhood fantasy.
Corteo is the show now playing at Marymoor Park in Redmond under a fat yellow and blue striped Grand Chapiteau or Big Top that has seemingly sprung from the colorful mind of a five year-old, a mind that we all once had. The character Corteo is a ghost-clown reliving his better years, and while he revisits his childhood antics and purity of perception, you follow along with him, just as entranced as he is by the once-lived escapades.
I absolutely cannot believe I that had never been to the Cirque du Soleil before. Why didn’t anyone ever shake me and give me a swift kick to the rear and say GET THEE TO THE CIRQUE DU SOLEIL? In a land where the likes of Avril Lavigne and Britney Spears qualify as ‘performing artists,’ the insatiable American consumers of entertainment dismiss terms like ‘eye-popping’ and ‘jaw-dropping’ because we have heard them describe everything from new flavors of yogurt to random celebutante #9’s fashion choice for the afternoon.
So let me shake you and light a fire under you, because at the Cirque du Soleil your eyes WILL pop, your jaw WILL drop, and your heart WILL pound, certain that either your senses are deceiving you OR that someone’s about to bite it, bigtime. The Cirque du Soleil is a thrilling and unique entertainment experience that can never truly be described, only lived.
So live it! Here are a few tips for making the trip to Redmond’s lovely Marymoor Park a bit easier:
- Allow PLENTY of time to get to your seat; traffic gets backed up and you will want a few extra minutes for buying balloons and cotton candy and running around the big top screaming and jumping…well, for hitting the gift shop, anyway.
- Parking is $15 payable in cash and cannot be avoided unless you hike in like a creature from Lake Washington lagoon.
- Take your mom! She will just LOVE it, you know she will, and Mother’s Day IS coming up, you know.
- Get a sneak peek of the action right here, and read Cedric’s take on the Cirque du Soleil.
CONSIDER YOUR FIRE LIT.