September 06, 2016
I've seen several Cirque du Soleil shows, starting in the late 80s. I have loved each and every one of them, too. Last Saturday, Sonnyeboy came up from Baltimore and the three of us took off for Hershey to see OVO at the Giant Center. Normally we see Hershey Bears hockey games there, but not this time. As is our habit, we arrived at 6:30, about an hour early, just as the doors opened. Half of the arena had been blocked off, creating the performance space. A huge, illuminated egg sat dead center in the stage. We were about halfway up in the center section -- perfect seats!
I bought Sonnyeboy's ticket separately from ours because he was a late addition to the party. It was just a couple rows in back of ours. About 20 minutes before curtain, he came up to us and said, "Hey -- is this ticket for the 4:00 show?" I looked in horror at the ticket -- oh my God, it was! The rightful owners of his seat had come to claim their fair territory. I started to panic a little, but pulled myself together. We went out to the guest service window, where I was perfectly prepared to buy another ticket, if any were available. Of course, a big sign on the window proclaimed, "No ticket sales!" Yikes!
But the lovely woman in the booth listened to my sad tale and said, "Where are your seats?" I told her, and she said, "I'm going to try and get you as close together as I can." I gawped. What did that mean? About 30 seconds later, she handed us a new ticket and said, "Here you go!" The ticket was for the seat right next to Joe! So we ended up sitting together anyway! Now that's customer service. I am officially a fan of the Giant Center forever.
Anyway, the show started quietly, with several creatures emerging from the shadows -- a grasshopper, a spider, a dragonfly -- to warm up the audience. And then -- the show!
It was magnifique, of course. Cirque shows all have a theme and a storyline; every act is built around that theme. The acts are superb -- they take a skill and then up the level of expertise. So a foot juggling routine includes the acrobats being juggled as well as the props; the diablo master uses four spools; the slack wire artist rides a unicycle across the wire while doing a handstand and pedaling with his hands! It took my breath away, all of it. The aerial straps act was lovely and romantic; the cradle and trampoline acts were breathtaking. And the storyline, where a visiting fly and a resident ladybug meet, flirt, and fall in love, was sweet and funny.
What a wonderful night!