Cirque du Soleil's Kooza has left San Francisco bound for San Jose, so I feel a little more free posting about the show.
Warning Spoilers. If you haven't seen the show and are planning on seeing it stop here.
I'm hooked on Cirque. The athleticism, the artistry, the music, the pageantry, the creativity. Pretty much everything. While I have yet to make the trek to Las Vegas to see the resident shows there, when it comes here I now make a habit of seeing it twice. That way I see much more as the first time I'm just dazzled and the second time I see more detail.
However one has to accept that you will see more of the underpinnings of the show especially if you're paying attention.
Kooza is a wonderful show full of all of the stuff that I love like aerial acts. There's one called "Wheel of Death" that has a couple of rings rotating vertically on an axis looking like a couple of escapees trying to evade the police at a carnival, and it's thrilling. Another photo of it is here. There's another act called the Teeterboard which is vaulting from a seesaw that's marvelous also.
And as always the clowns are a kick and the reason that if you're going you need to be seated at least 15 minutes ahead as the clowns are often out in the audience 10 minutes before. If you get there late or just merely on time you risk a clown ushering you all over the place to everyone else's amusement.
But that is pretty much the only unpredictable part of Cirque and that is actually what I'm writing about. Similar to Dralion, Kooza made use of a volunteer from the audence who is a plant (someone from the show pretending to be an audience member). Unlike Dralion, they didn't own up to it. Also unlike Drallion, they used multiple audience plants. I counted 4 myself.
I'm still not sure what I think of this. In every case there seemed to be something essential that the audience member had to know in order not to freak out and ruin what the creators where trying to show. One in particular was downright risky and I could see the Cirque lawyers insisting that that not be an unsuspecting person. However it still feels weird. Like there was a deliberate deception that the creators found it necessary to do. It's like they don't trust me or something (to take it all a wee bit too personally.)
The other odd thing was that the main guy of the very talented Highwire act found it necessary to fake a partial fall in the exact same place both times I saw the show and I later got an usher admit that it's part of the act. It did increase the response from folks to see him redo the trick successfully but it felt a little cheap too.
But all in all I'd still see it again. Twice.