Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cirque du Soleil: IRIS at the Kodak Theatre - Fantastic Fantasy in Reel-ity

Acrobatic feats with special effects live camera feed in
the background are what make this show stand out!
I’ve been a long-time Cirque du Soleil fan, but always seem to miss the touring shows. Now that IRIS – the Los Angeles resident Cirque du Soleil show at the Kodak theatre – is in town, I jumped at the chance to see it. This time, I brought a friend, and newbie to Cirque du Soleil shows, and we had a blast.

There’s a funny thing about watching shows in theatres. I tend to stay real quiet so that I don’t miss a thing, but watching IRIS, I found it hard not to control the oohs, aahs and gasps that came out of me! Soon I was clapping with the whole audience at every amazing feat. It is Cirque du Soleil after all.

Yet it is so much more. The theme of cinema bends from shadow-play to performers reacting to film on a screen (a small reminder of late nights at the Rocky Horror Picture Show) to live cameras on stage filming at different angles. The story weaves through genres as a young boy, trying to find his girl, gets lost in the (as many Angelenos know) ever-so-complicated world of movie-making, blurring the border of fantasy and reality.

Praxinoscope skirt!
The acrobatic feats alone are fantastic enough, but the eye is also delighted with costumes created from film equipment: old-fashioned flash hats, praxinoscope skirts, and even a whip made out of film strips! The music, produced by Danny Elfman, while having hints of Corpse Bride and other Halloween favorites of mine, was not overly spooky, but set an intimate mood – doubled by the intricate sets and the Kodak theatre itself where any seat is a good seat (I saw it twice!).

The location is great! Right off the Metro Red Line the Hollywood and Highland station, the Kodak theatre is set within the shops, cafés and restaurants of Hollywood and Highland. It’s a perfect place for a dinner and a show! And what a show at that! I don’t think I’ve had so much fun since my very first (and now second favorite?) Cirque du Soleil show, Alegría.

The second act has a fantastic
Noir theme!
I can’t stop raving about IRIS. I’ve told all my friends and family, and I’m planning to see it again for a third time. The show is running for a while (so far until mid-January), but don’t wait until it’s too late because you’ll probably want to see it again!

-Tiina Vuorenmaa

1 comment:

Jennifer George said...

I've not seen Iris yet. The last Cirque du Soleil show I saw was Alegria, but it was an experience!