Cirque du Soleil Dralion

New Year’s Eve 2010 I went to see Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza in downtown Miami. A few days later I was trolling around on Twitter and met my friend Ofelia over some of her photos of the event. We have other things in common, but our love of Cirque du Soleil still rides high in the book.

So when we saw that the Circus was coming to Bank Atlantic Center a few months ago, we coordinated to go with our families on the same day, and as it turned out, she and her husband and son were even seated in the same section as my wife and me. Yes, of course we started the afternoon off with an awesome meal at the Grand Lux Cafe at Sawgrass Mills Mall. Guess what? All Hispanics aren’t fashionably late, despite what you might have heard. And the mega rain was truly an excuse this time, not needed.

Anyway, I know this is about the show, but let me give a thumbs up for the restaurant. The reservation for 4 I gave yesterday was an unplanned test when I showed with 5 today. Way to handle it perfectly! My BBQ Baby Back Ribs were spectacular. And that creative slaw, fries and corn bread you baked were fabulous. Everyone else loved their food too! Thank you for not bitching or rolling your eyes when I asked you to split the already un-split check. I will be back! And I digged the dressy gators out front of the restaurant.

Bank Atlantic Center. Premium parking is a rip! For $45 I’d arrive in a limo with a hooker the escort we saw some fat dude with. Well even the $20 basic parking was a rip-off, but it was raining hard. Thank God, NO RED. I’m a Flyers fan. Our friend’s son had to chug his Gatorade or dump it before passing security. Jeez. Oh, now I see why? Gatorades are $5 yet still better priced than the $9 Heineken pounders. I bought nothing inside. My wife decided she needed a $5 coffee, but OK, nothing.

The show started promptly, as usual, with the Clowns joking around with the audience. Pretty standard, comic relief, and lots of laughs. (Do they do that in other cities or just in Miami where inconsiderate people show up to a professional show 20-30 minutes late? This isn’t a little league game). They also of course picked out one unsuspecting dude from the audience to get picked on. Very good sport.

The first half of the show was a little slow to be honest. Obviously the skills were difficult for every event, but Cirque has a very high standard to reach for the guy who’s seen a lot of them. Other audience members agreed. I overheard at least 3 or 4 dudes in the enormous dude restroom line say the same thing. Best part was the trampoline act where two guys and two gals took turns flipping off the roof of a house, running up walls, narrowly missing each other, back and forth drama. All the while, a woman sang in the middle of them on a balcony. Great choreography, no collisions, really cool.

The juggler had a rough day today. He started off with some sweet moves, rolling the balls around his body. He did some kind of ball break-dance with his arms and hands, also very cool. He had an assistant giving balls from a rope high above him. What more could a guy want? But his finale, 8 balls, didn’t go awesomely. His first try was the best but he didn’t complete the routine. Three tries. Honestly, I felt the task was impossible, but then again I drink beer and cognac and don’t juggle.  Was a strong routine, regardless!

The first half also sported lots of double-people dragons, which I’m sure took enormous coordination. Big pole balancing guys. There was a guy in an egg that did some rotations around and around, but I think we were expecting fast and not precise muscle moves. And some chick a few rows behind me almost got in deep doo-doo for turning on her cell phone camera toward the end. Jeez, some people.

After intermission, I could feel the people asking for high-energy entries. I felt the second half started slow as well. While I think the lady twirling on the blue curtains was very talented and ballsy, the segment went way too long. But I thought the Yo-yo chicks were absolutely terrific throwing yo-yos into the air, catching them, and a zillion other really cool tricks. High energy, big smiles, and a really amazing performance. My wife and I thought that one was great!

Let’s talk about the clowns. They were entertaining. No doubt, despite their French chatter. And I loved their parody and mocking of all the other performers in one particular skit they did. Was great. Even the “audience member” that we chatted about earlier finally was identified as part of the cast, a clown, yep. And he was so believable at “Average Joe” too! But in the end, the clowns were too much of the show, seriously.

Other favorites from the second half included the “Diving Through Rings” acrobats, very entertaining. And the finale, the Jump Rope dudes, amazing coordination, strength and timing.

Everyone loved the music and the band was introduced during the show as well. Love that they had their “pit” below the house and you could see them and lights from there throughout the show. The singers were great as usual, no doubt about it.

Overall impression: I really enjoyed myself. There is nothing like Cirque du Soleil. There are many other shows I’ve seen that I loved, while this one was just comme ci, comme ça. Happy I went. Merci for reading.

 

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