More Chicago coming soon! I need to get it down before I forget, but first I need to write about Saltimbanco. I went to see the show today. This is my sixth Cirque du Soleil show. I didn't buy my ticket until after I saw the troop in Discovery Green last Monday (pictures coming soon!). I was very hesitant about the fact that they were in the Toyota Center instead of the tent and I am kind of broke after Chicago. But watching them in Discovery Green I realized I could not miss a Cirque du Soleil show, especially one that I haven't seen before.
Let me talk about the show first. I of course loved it because I love Cirque. This isn't a showy and flashy as some of their other shows because it is one of their longest running shows. You can really see the street performer/traditional circus roots of what has now become Cirque du Soleil and for that reason it is quite entertaining. The music was wonderful as it always is. You get a good feel for the show from the trailer below.
Now let me talk about the arena. It's funny, I was writing very passionate excerpts of this section in my head while I was watching the show but I can't remember all those perfectly crafted phrases now. I was very frustrated with the show being held in the arena. I am sure that I went in ahead of time with a predisposition to that feeling and it was reinforced. I know why they are doing it. The blue and yellow tent that is so well recognized as a Cirque du Soleil icon takes a week to set up and more than two days to take down. The tour can only go to cities that have a population that can support the show for a long stay considering this set up time. Usually when it is in Houston it is here for at least a month. By adapting shows to work in arenas they will be able to take shows into smaller cities that would not normally have the chance to see Cirque du Soleil. All completely understandable. But the show loses something. There is such a wonderful atmosphere in the tent. You know you are going to see something special and it feels like you are in a different time and place. It really isolates you from the modern world in a way when you climb those wooden slats and see that old fashioned structure surrounding you. I'm sincerely going to miss it. They have only converted two shows, but I'm a realist. In the end it will be more financially viable for them to use arenas and arenas certainly haven't hurt them in Las Vegas where they have six different shows running in hotels there (I want to go!). When the show was starting an I was writing all these sentences in my head I teared up a little at what I feel is the passing of an era. I'm glad I got to see the shows in tents and experience that. The lights went down, the show went on and as it continued on I knew that I will deal with it. I will not hesitate again about seeing a Cirque show in an arena because in the end it is Cirque du Soleil.
BUT I do have one major arena gripe. People. People are my major problem with the show in the arena because when people go to an arena they act the same whether they are watching a basketball game, a rock concert or Cirque du Soleil. Now I know somewhere on this blog is one of those personality test results from one of the jillion test that I have taken that talks about how I have very high standards and expect everyone around me to conform to my standards. Yes, yes, yes, I know. I'm insufferable. But still! < begin rant > I know I'm fighting a losing battle on clothing, but people were in shorts and t-shirts. Shorts and t-shirts! When it was in the tent people dressed up because it was a special event. And I know they sold food in the tent, but I seem to only remember popcorn. All the stands were open including the beer stand so there were some people that imbibed quite a bit and it showed the longer the show went on. I sat further back than I normally do since I was broke from Chicago and maybe that was part of it. Not to sound like a snob (oh hell, I'm a snob and I embrace it) but people that spend a little more on their ticket tend to act a little better. Since we were in the place of games and rock concerts, people had full voiced conversations during the show. Full voiced! And the girl behind me was so tired or drunk that I had to listen to the full conversation about how she was going to throw up and the people telling her she was missing the show. People were still streaming in even after the show had been going about 20 minutes. 20 minutes! I don't know if this bad behavior is a Houston thing, an American thing, or just the way the world is now a days. I'm always going to be old fashioned and expect people to carry themselves with decorum and class. I think that is why I have a hard time relating to people. < /end rant >
Ok, I feel better now. Check out the video. Saltimbanco!