Show Review: Varakai (Cirque du Soleil)

Took some friends to see the Cirque du Soleil show, Varakai, last night. While the acrobatics were amazing, as should be expected from a Cirque show, the story wasn’t clear to any of us and the presentation was choppy. During intermission, we looked up the show on IMDb.com to learn that what I thought was a fallen angel was actually Icarus, falling into the mystical realm of Varakai after his wings melted. Hmm. I had my doubts. Especially since another character seemed to taunt Icarus with his wings throughout the rest of the show.

Icarus’s opening performance, an aerial swing in netting, was unusual and fascinating. Out of all the performances for the evening, I enjoyed his the best. Second best, the duel male aerial acrobats. The comedy skits were out of place in this fantasy realm of Varakai. Neither did they fit the fantastical world Icarus had fallen into, nor did they fit the Romany theme of the costumes, show, and music.

I can’t help but compare Varakai to Zumanity, the latter being sassy and sensual, funny and breath-taking, and yes, funny too, all on the same adults-only, dark and sexy theme. I’ve seen Zumanity twice, and I’d go again. I don’t regret going to Varakai, but I wouldn’t attend a second showing, let alone a third.

Should another Cirque show travel to our area, I’d go. Yes, I would, without a doubt. As for Varakai? I’d recommend it for a virgin Cirque audience, and perhaps more appropriate for those with children in tow, but for someone who’s seen more intense Cirque shows, I’d say pass on this one.

 

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