Broadway Features and Reviews
Kooza Returns To Cirque du Soleil's Roots
By Emily Moore, Broadway Magazine
After two decades of performances starring over 1,000 artists wowing more than 90 million spectators in over 200 cities on five continents (whew), the incredible Cirque du Soleil has done it again with the breathtaking and beautiful Kooza. Colorful clowns, inconceivable stunts, and mind-blowing acrobatics all find harmony together this exhilarating tour de force.
Kooza, which opened in New York to a packed audience on April 16, is the story of a "The Innocent," an endearing little man in a clown suit who, in the opening number, breezes amiably onstage flying a kite. The real show begins when "The Innocent," when stumbling upon and opening a strange package, finds himself thrust into an imaginary world of bizarre characters and astonishing magic. From a hapless group of clowns who employ old-school slapstick routines to a trio of contortionists that bend into ways that were thought only previously capable by Gumby, The Innocent is awe-struck by the mysterious world he has uncovered.
Cirque du Soleil returns to its roots with Kooza, combining stunning acrobatics and the art of clowning -- two time-honored circus traditions. The ridiculous clowns prance through the crowd, teasing members of the audience, requesting volunteers, and basically wreaking havoc, using classic bold slapstick humor. At the other end of the spectrum however, are the incredibly brilliant and unbelievable stunts and acrobatics. Seamlessly executing double back flips and landing on stilts, calming strolling in place on a giant spinning wheel as it tumbles through the air, and balancing 23 feet in the air on the edge of a chair -- it's all in a day's work for these incredibly gifted artists.
Even though Cirque du Soleil is going back to the basics, it is still as fresh and exhilarating as ever. The set is magnificent in itself, with live musicians and singers revealed at the top of the show sitting high above the stage as the set undergoes an incredible transformation. Kooza is in every way possible -- from the set to the music to the performers -- big, bold, and beautiful. By employing timeless slapstick circus clowning and breathtaking stunts, Kooza is a sheer delight for the young child and, more importantly, the child within all of us.
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