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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Cirque du Soleil - Corteo

Saw the new Cirque du Soleil show, Corteo with my brother last week (thanks to him for arranging it all). I've seen several of their shows live now, but this one blew them all out of the water.

The motif for this show was 19th century Italy, and it follows a classical-style clown from his death to (I think) his rebirth. The opening sequence with the clown on his deathbed while the entire cast files through (and runs through, and are carried through, etc. etc) in various guises while angels fly overhead is a marvel, there was so much going on you'd have to see the show a couple of times to catch it all.

One of the great strengths of CdS is how they can make everything they do seem fresh and original. How do you spice up the usual aerial act? Have the ladies perform it from spinning chandeliers. The gymnastics routine? Make the trampolines into giant beds and have the performers be kids in a huge Italian family being put to bed. (Not that these acts weren't amazing in themselves, but the presentation gets them extra marks.)

Another thing I love is that the acts rarely exist in a vacuum. While routines are going on other cast members are watching and reacting from the sidelines, "horses" show up, people fall thru the trapdoor, chickens begin falling from the ceiling (a couple on parachutes) until its literally raining them.

And it was a long show for them as well. Starting a little after 8 PM and with a half-hour intermission, we didn't get out till 10:40 about. Catch it if you possibly can.

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I want Corteo to stay in Toronto an extra week. Or an extra month in Minneapolis. I could work with that too.

Thank you for the review - I'm sorry that I may not ever get to see it!

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