Cirque’s new CORTEO

September 24, 2007

corteo.jpg

To celebrate Ronnie’s birthday, we accompanied her and her date to Cirque du Soleil’s latest show in Los Angeles, CORTEO. Roughly inspired by Commedia dell’arte, the show is full of breath taking sky acrobatics, juggling, silly clowns, and terrific music.

Being a musician in the Cirque ensemble is a real 21st century gig. It is LIVE, and has to go with the ebb and flow of the performance, most of the musicians play multiple instruments, and quite a few of them are on stage, either playing, walking, and sometimes part of the static scenery and sometimes part of the action. The synthesizer work is tasteful and beautifully mixed for such an odd acoustic (a mega-tent). The music is surprisingly well balance, and NOT overly loud,

The style of Cirque’s taste in music is distinctly Eurasion, but not very American–north, central, or south. The bones of Kurt Weill lurks throughout the music of Cirque shows. And I have to say that I hear strong influences of Manos Hadjidakis as well (“Never on Sunday” and thousands more songs. Hadjidakis, for my money, took Weill’s music to the next step, more so his music for theater, and not the “serious” works. The circus like oom pah pah.).

There is a strong “Micky Mousing” tendency (where the music mimics the action closely) in some of the Cirque’s music, and that old tradition, in their hands, is still fresh.

We finished before 7 and then drove to OPUS, a terrific restaurant near the Wiltern Theater, and had their mouth watering tasting menu ($10 per course, up to 9 courses).

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