Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cinematic Surrealism Brought to Life

Today we take some time discussing Cirque du 's show Iris. Eric and I are huge fans of the company and try not to miss a show.  Iris is Hollywood's resident Cirque show at The Dolby Theater. To those in the surrounding counties of Los Angeles I ask, "If you haven't seen it, why not?"

 Iris set out to be a show that captivates audiences as they travel through a cinematic experience. Both Eric and I love movies so we were drawn to it. The production company has accomplished their goal and am sad to report few have seen it! Nor have many heard the specially composed score by Danny Elfman.

The tag line of the show "A Journey Through the World of Cinema" might put people off. Maybe to some the tag line conveys a type film timeline? What Eric and I experienced was a showcase of movie magic taking place in our reality. The lights dim and Cirque's whimsical interpretation of the MGM lion roar is shown on a screen. Suddenly the audience is taken to a place where shadows come to life, light is deceiving, performers step out of film strips, illusions are real life, and action ensues.

Trip to watch for my birthday!

Apart from the thought provoking imagery, the music draws you into the show. Danny Elfman, famous for his scores of Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands, and Nightmare Before Christmas, wrote a soundtrack that struck a cord with me. Through their showmanship it's evident that the score inspires the performers too. A full orchestra was recorded in a studio. The 8 piece, in theater band comprised of Cello, Violin, Piano, wind instruments, and Percussion plays along with the audio track. Cirque installs it's own sound system for the show and removes it when they clear out for the Academy Awards.

A new incarnation of the show will open on September 14, 2012. While keeping most of the acts, The show has recently been shortened. Ten to twenty of the cast members have been let go. When Iris opens up again it will be a 90 minute production. This might be better for audiences as that is how it is done at other resident shows. Even in Las Vegas The Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian was shortened to 90 minutes.

"What needed to be fixed," you might ask? In my opinion art is what one makes of it. But, this is also a business that needs to sell tickets and fill The Dolby Theater. A shorter show with less performers, and keeping the same prices could help the show stay afloat. If anything, the pricing needs to be "re-mapped" according to where one sits. Maybe the third tier center shouldn't have to pay top dollar?

We also had a backstage tour after we saw the show.

I'm rooting for this show for a selfish reason. It's a Cirque du Soleil show that is in my top 3 of the Cirque presentations and it's local. Eric and I have seen the show twice! We watched in December of 2011 and for my birthday this past July. They have frequent specials via their e-mail newsletter to Cirque Club members (free to join). I have also used the Goldstar website for discount tickets because I love a good deal!

There are positive opinions on Yelp reviews too! The only complaints are that people don't want to pay for parking. LA parking is always an issue, but that's separate from the show. Support the arts and check out Iris! It will make a great evening. I know that at some point Eric and I will watch the new 90 minute version.

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