The Grand Chapiteau is in the parking lot of the United Center again, and that can only mean one thing for Chicago- Cirque Du Soleil is back in town with its newest production, “OVO”. Ovo means egg in Portuguese. The characters used in “Ovo” are the world of insects in fantastic costumes, as always. In fact, part of what makes the productions of the Cirque producers so special is the glitz and glamour of their shows, the tent with it’s snack center and souvenir shop ( how could any of this work without souvenirs), the set design and the marvelous talent they have assembled and continue to seek out. While there are many copy-cats who do a reasonable job of entertaining an audience, the people of “Cirque” do an extraordinary job ( for the most part) and this production, like cream, rises up to the top!
Director Deborah Colker, the first woman to tackle a “Cirque” production moves this show at a smart clip and even has her talented performers prepared for ad-libs should the need arise. And guess what? On opening night there was a glitch in bringing up the net for the flying act ( an amazingly talented Russian group) and the insects managed to keep us entertained while assisting the tech crew in getting the net unravelled. It was a solid cast making the most of a situation- almost as if it had been planned. Perhaps , knowing that these things can and do happen, Ms Colker has rehearsed options. If she did, Bravo! It kept the flow of the two hour plus show intact and made the audience even more aware of the fabulous teamwork that makes these shows as successful as they are.
All of our performers are in wonderful insect costumes and each of their acts has been made into an insect act as we watch insects work, eat, flutter, play, fight, fall in love ( or is it lust) and do what they do. The Egg was the starting point as we watch the wake of the community, hand balancing, Foot juggling, Aerial Silks done as in a cocoon was ready to release itself as a butterfly and in this production, it does, in fact two butterflies , who then do the strap/rope duet . There is a wild dance number done by Creatura, a sort of worm ( that looks like and moves like a furry colorful slinky) and the fabulous flying act. When changes are being made for the next act, our comic “bugs” take the stage and keep the flow going- no actual words are used, only sounds. This is why “Cirque” is so appealing. No matter your language, you will get the message of this production and see the events as they take place. The only flaw in this production is that the insects in the back do some movements during some wonderful acts that take the eye away from where it should be focused, But this is a small flaw that can easily be fixed.
After a thirty minute intermission ( by the way, the portable bathrooms are clean and bright so fear not) we come back to some wonderful contortion and then the fleas take to the nets with some wonderful movement. One of the major parts of this production is Spiderman, Li Wei doing his slackwireact. he is amazing and some of the moves he does on a wire that moves up and down ( while he is balancing) will have you holding your breath. Just watching this act and the finale, crickets wth wall climbingand trampoline bouncing like you have never seen before are worth the price of a ticket alone- but as I have been saying, you get a great deal more in this wonderful theatrical experience that gets close to being real theater.
As usual, audience memebrs do get used in this production. The scene where this applies is called secret love and it is adorable. We were lucky- our audience members REALLY participated. In fact, they appeared to LOVE IT! Once again, the folks at Cirque Du Soleil have brought a winner to Chicago. We have always been a two team town in baseball- now we are two tent town as well with the marvelous “Peter Pan” just a few miles away and now Cirwue Du Soleil in the parking lot of The United Center and will be there through August 21st with performances as follows:
Tuesday,Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m.,Friday and Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
NO performance on July 1 at 4 p.m.,an added performance on Thursday,July 21 at 4 p.m. and Tuesdays, July 19th and August 16th NO PERFORMANCES
Tickets are avlable on line at www.cirquedusoleil.com/ovo or by phone at 1-800-450-1480
They do offer a family pass ( starting from $150) which includes 2 adult and 2 children admissions.
There are parking lots, self as low as $15 and as high as $25 and public transportation will get you there with no problems.
If you are looking for pure entertainment for your family, you will be enchanted by this production of “OVA” by Cirque Du Soleil.