Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cirque du Soleil Kooza

This is the photo that got me a reprimand for taking pictures before the show even started!
On New Year's Eve, I went to see Cirque du Soleil's Kooza in downtown Miami. For those of you that have never been to this website, you may not know that I talk about many other topics besides beer; in fact, there will not even be a beer review with this!

Update 1/3/2011: So I met a cool chick named Ofelia that took some pictures of Kooza just a day after I was there. Apparently her iPhone came with an owner that could use the camera function; either that or she didn't have an usher watching like a rabid hawk! Either way, you will see 9MB of pics here with a special thank you. Be sure to click on them if they appear too small. Ofelia's pictures are so good that I put both of my crappy blurry ones at the bottom! End Update.

My goal here tonight is to write a review so spectacular that it matches the awesomeness of the actual show. Perhaps that's been done, as I've never read any Cirque review of any show ever, with the exception of simple praises by a few of my friends. I've been in the front row of two other Cirque Miami shows, but this time I was a little higher (that's what pot-head said) in the audience. My wife and I were in the middle section and they were awesome seats!

Now, let me give you half a dozen little tips. Don't ever park at this big top venue next to American Airlines Arena. Show up a few minutes early and pay less than half at Bayside. Our $5 Bayside tab was actually a rip off as we saw a closer $2 lot across the street, but at least it wasn't an Andrew Jackson! Next, do not buy beer or any food at this place. The dollar amount and quality will make you feel, well, taken advantage of. Have a little self control and drink before and after the show from the trunk of your car. Now, while this is pretty much an upscale crowd, do not stare at the asshole that is wearing red women's shoes and trying to look like one of the Cirque characters. Finally, and most importantly, DO be sure to use one of the portable heads. They are some of the most luxurious you will ever use outside of the Ritz!

Oh, hold up. You wanted to hear about the show? Well, I'm your guy. Check this out. I'm not going to name every act, just those I thought were particularly memorable.

Awesome from
Ofelia Captures The Contortionists
Let's start with a trio of petite flexy chicks I'll call "The Contortionists". These three girls were perhaps the bendiest puzzle pieces you've ever seen! OMG the things they did with their bodies! From splits beyond 180 degrees to spineless breaky bends and amazing feats of flexibility and stamina, this was such an awesome presentation. Completely in sync with each other in every way. Would love to make a sandwich with them.

The next act that really caught my attention before intermission was Unicycle Dance. In this event, one guy on a unicycle performed amazingly skilled maneuvers, and his dance partner showed amazing trust and skill with her acrobatic dance moves. No way this gets pulled off so eloquently with a lesser partner, though I think that's what Cirque wants you to think--how awesome Uni dude is (and he is). Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire? No freakin' way this couple doesn't come out on top of them. And remember, this dude is on a Unicycle. So romantic, too!

Ofelia's High Wire Acrobats
The final act before intermission featured four dudes on two high wires. They danced the tight rope, jumped up and down, clowned around a little, and one dude even slipped to an almost fateful demise onto the net that was set up by the crew below. He composed himself, kipped up, and rode one of the bikes to a triumphant victorious first act finale.

Next up. More people-watching during the 30 minute whatever. Remember, don't be a sucker for the $5 hot dog or $14 shot of vodka. Be careful of elitist ladies with purses on their shoulders backing into you and then getting pissed off when they knock said purse off of said shoulder during the bump caused by said ladies. When she (hypothetically) says "Jeez" just reply "What the fuck? You backed into me!" And she will go away, timidly. Trust me.

OK. You are back from intermission. You got a five minute warning that only a few assholes didn't make it back in time to meet. Did I mention that there is a Jester who is acting as host, and this guy can dance; he's got every ballet move ever invented. There is also what I am calling the Royalty Box, where some awesome singers and dancers hang out and sing and dance. Behind them, a live band. And the drummer opened the second half with a fucking awesome drum solo!

After the drummer guy was finished, the second half of the show got started in full acrobatic force. I wrote down short comments about four of those acts.

Ofelia Comes Through Again
As this double-wheeled ferris-type contraption dropped from the ceiling, two alien-dressed dudes slinked out, acting all tough. They kept up the attitude as the other characters, doubling as crew, anchored the apparatus to the floor. They proceeded to go round and round while their individual hamster wheels also turned, both inside and outside. They flew and bounced on top of the wheels, doing crazy acrobatics. Seriously, it was like live double Super Mario Bros. with Mario and Luigi dominating one of the Worlds. In the end, it turned out that these alien guys were tough after all. Good thing, considering their costumes.

Look at these dudes on top of their Hamster Wheels!
Ofelia Hula Hoops Chick. So Fast It's Blurry!
Next up, hula hoopssssssssssss chick. That's about one S for each she was twirling on one of her limbs by the end of the act, balancing on one leg. I really liked the way she could shimmy her body and bring one ring at a time from her calves to her hips to her chest then up to an outstretched arm. Very cool!

Ofelia's Chinese Chair Chief. Two Chairs to Go!
After some more comedy relief and audience involvement and "magic" tricks, out came a royal processional. There were 8 or 10 chairs surrounding a center throne. Guess what happened next? A dude I like to call Chinese Chair Chief started to build a castle of chairs, one on top of each other. After each level was built, he did some kind of incredible feat of strength at the top. One handed hand stands with such control as to not topple his creation. After perhaps three levels, they dropped a safety rope for him to clip onto his harness jock strap, and while I'm sure falling all the way down would have been worse, I'm predicting the ball crushing, life-saving wedgie would not have been too pleasant either. Best solution--don't fall! Two more levels, crazier graceful strongman poses, and a huge ovation. Even taking down the 30 foot obelisk made everyone nervous. In the end, also awesome!

Ofelia Captured the Ball Balancers! I Forgot!
Finally, we had some seesaw acrobats flipping around. I think one dude did like five flips before landing on a mattress that three other guys were moving around. A couple of people did double back flips while on stilts or pogo sticks. Crazy and just a tad dangerous, I'd say.

What else can I say? Great music, awesome costumes, and the light show was to die for. I loved how every aspect was timed perfectly. It was great to see the cast also be the crew, setting things up, tearing them down, and making everything seem to be part of the show.

Best part of New Year's Eve Kooza in Miami? The fact that I got the hell out of Dodge before the Usher concert next door at American Airlines Arena! No, just kidding. Well, there is actually some truth to it. I did get a little high, this time for real, on the way back to the parking garage. I guess those were concert fans. But in all, I had a great time with my wife and totally am a Cirque du Soleil groupie.

Now, I know a bunch of my local friends, online and off, went to this show. If you catch my review here, please take a moment to add your favorite part or something you found to be interesting. Perhaps it was the anti-camera psycho ushers? Whatever it was, I want to know. Thanks.

A Thrilling Ride Through Kooza: Rires Et Frissons [Cirque Du Soleil] DVD

Cirque Du Soleil Anniversary Collection (1984-2005)

Usher: Live - 8701 Evolution Tour

Two Girls on Stage
The Ringleader in the Audience


Mike LaMonica said...

Hi Rob-

This show was so great, I went twice. And with this review, revisited it again so thanks.

The bendy chicks were nuts! I did get yelled at myself for taking a picture like 15 minutes before the show...

You liked the unicycle dude more than I, but he and his partner were super impressive. And yes even JLOW would use those portable restrooms!

My favorite was the guys on the double-wheeled spinning Habitrail. It was the best Cirque I have seen in any city.

By the way, there are more than one jesters who hold court. I understand as there are many shows and they all can't do all of them. But the first guy was way better and funnier than the second. I hope you got the first court jester.

I drove by Bicentennial Park today on my way home from the beach and it was probably their second to last show. It was great to have them here and sad to see them go.


Beer Drinker Rob said...

Hi Mike.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Definitely a great show. I find it hard to say one was better than another, but my wife said she thought Corteo music was better. We also saw Varekei and she saw O in Vegas wo me.

I'm trying to figure out how to get an invite to the bendy chicks, like for a Phillies game or something.


Kathy said...

Hi Rob!

Great review! You had me cracking up!

I must say, now after chatting with you for a bit, I predicted I would see a mention regarding the bathrooms... And I was so right! They were pretty badass!

I should mention what happened to me at the beginning of the show: I didn't pay attention to the first 10 minutes because my tickets were duplicated and someone was already in my seat... but I was so lucky, the manager gave me the best seats in the house, ehem, the "director's seat"! It was insane. I was dead-center, with no one in front of me. I felt like they were performing only for me.

My two favorite were the couple on the unicycle. So sensual and romantic. That woman had some amazing moves, and I sugguest the guy wear shorts so he can show off his amazing legs. I can't imagine how much strength he has to pull that off! They had so much chemistry you couldn't help but wonder if they had something more going on backstage!

The other was the two wheeled contraption. Those guys rocked! It was so freaky to see them soaring up in the air like that. I was jealous they were getting paid to have so much fun!

Aside from the little ticket issue, I got to see most of the show and I loved it! Mystere is still my number one show though! Looking forward to seeing more!

Kathy :)

Beer Drinker Rob said...

Hey Kathy.

Well, it sounds like you caught the best parts from the best seat in the place.

I agree about Unicycle Duet and Crazy Mario Brothers Spinny dudes, both terrific.

Of course I mentioned the bathrooms, though I recall other shows had many more sets.

Here's to many more Cirque shows in Miami!

Ofelia said...

Hi Rob!
Thanks so much for posting my pictures in your review. Of course now your review is THAT much better, you know... LOL!!!
You made my day~

Beer Drinker Rob said...

Glad to make your day. And there is no doubt the review is better now!

You told me that they didn't have Unicycle Duet the day you went? Too bad; it was very good. But the dancing couple you mentioned was probably the replacement. Oh well.

Cirque Du Soleil Miami said...

Really Marvelous show i visited twice and every time enjoys it more then before.