Thursday, March 17, 2011

La Nouba at Downtown Disney

Cirque Du Soleil's "La Nouba" may be a mature show at its Downtown Disney location in Orlando, Fla., but it packs an incredible punch for visitors from 2 to 92.
A 6 p.m. weeknight show at the white-spired, 1,671-seat theater during the March spring break was packed, and from the start there wasn't a disapproving peep from young children or entertainment-saturated adults who -- let's face it -- have probably been to Disney World and possibly Universal and/or Sea World in recent days and still found "La Nouba" amazing.
I saw one industry follower speculate about Cirque's future at Disney, with the assumption that Disney visitors have probably all seen "La Nouba" already. I doubt that, not at prices of $60 to $125 a ticket for the 90-minute show. The good news is you don't need to get up-close in the orchestra to enjoy this one; with the breathtakingly high staging area, the show is best enjoyed at least half-way up the seating area.
The show consists of some clowning (and I'm not a fan of clowns, so luckily it's limited), leading to amazing feats of acrobatics, trampoline-assisted feats, highwire walking, trapeze work, juggling and more -- all set to dramatic, jazzy and rocking LIVE music and painted in loud colors.
It's a happy assault on the senses that doesn't let up.
The obvious joke about "La Nouba" is: It's a little weak on plot. In other words, I haven't a clue what it all means or was trying to say. But it's so artistic (people flying assisted by red ribbons, fog-shrouded risers hoisting up performers, etc.) that you may be inspired to divine your own plot or two.
Disney first signed on with Cirque du Soleil in 1996, and since then Cirque has grown into a billion-dollar operation that, for instance, brings a traveling show to Boston on the waterfront next to Anthony's Pier 4. So you may see one of its show's elsewhere. Just be assured that if you're visiting Orlando, you'll see a world-class show at the Disney complex (free to park and walk around, of course). It's awe-inspiring, but you're going to drop some more serious bucks down for the privilege.

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