Cirque du Soleil at Marymoor Park is a fantastic, mind-bending evening

March 31, 2017

Heading into any Cirque show is like hopping into a spaceship that travels into the part of your brain usually reserved for the best and weirdest mid sleep dreams. It's an adventure.

Luzia opens tonight under a massive white tent in Marymoor Park, and they let us sneak in a night early. From the entrance, we were welcomed by a stilted mariachi and sugar skull face painted greeters to set this mood of border town Mexico.

This spoke to me personally having spent a decade going to college and hosting a radio show just north of the Mexican-American border in Arizona. The spoken Spanish, the costumes, the music all spoke perfectly to that part of my heart.

The beauty of any Cirque show lives in the layers. While a man is 30 feet in the air performing charismatic gymnastics, it's easy to become distracted by the smiles, antics or beauty of the supporting characters. Even while a woman performed high flying aerial flips and twists that have me worried she'll fall at any time, I couldn't help but look at the ridiculously simple and fun cactus costumed gentlemen in the background. WHAT ARE YOU TWO EVEN DOING?

Photo by Gregr

The stage, a rotating treadmill at times and spinning rain gutter at others, kept transforming. As other shows have also done, this one wowed me more with its subtlety and simplicity.

I've never knowingly seen a cast of world touring contortionists, acrobats, and circus weirdos feature someone from Seattle. Kelly McDonald’s body was thrown through the air, spinning, bending, and being redirected by what looks like the simplest of touches from her co-performers - that simplicity a sign of the shear strength, talent, and rehearsal. When Kelly’s act came to a close, the crowd erupted shouting her name, and though she may have tried to hide it, we all saw a smile break through.

Photo by Gregr

The highlight of the entire performance, though, was the clown. His skydive to open the show, a never successful hunt for water (even when he found some), and the best: a crowd engagement gag featuring a lifeguard outfit, an inflatable ball, and non-stop blowing of his referee whistle commanding the audience to participate; it rivals the moving capability of the finest musicians, speakers, or radio hosts. He was my star.

The night wasn't all wonder and amazement, sadly. By now, you've likely seen stories or heard reports of a bit of misfortune when a swinging performer missed a mark or cue (it's unclear) flying through the air only to land with a heavy *thump* and remain motionless. Something had gone wrong. Being media night, KING5’s Ted Land captured a bit of the serious moments that followed:

A statement followed, thankfully, announcing the performer was ok:

She'll be sore today, but hopefully her confidence is regained or the piece dismissed from tonight's show.

What a fantastic evening and once again mind-bending show. The performance continues under the tenting at Marymoor well into May. I'm very grateful that the fine folks Alexa and Ashley from the performance invited us to see it ahead of time! I'm going to try and attend again so I can pick up on more of the small nuance that is otherwise missed.

Before the show starts, this little robot does some gardening, too!

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