Sunday, November 3, 2013

Where To Be Merry: Totem @ Cirque du Soleil

The Merriment: Another Cirque du Soleil production

The Location: Southbay

The Vibes: Daring, intense

Good for: Nonstop entertainment, from start to finish

When-to-Go: Friday, October 11 to Sunday, November 10, 2013

With-Whom-to-Go: Dates, friends, etc.

The $ Factor: $$$ ($45+ per ticket); There are so many different ticket options to choose from, ranging from regular seats to group and corporate seats.

The 4-1-1: The Totem website has a great explanation of all of the scenes. Definitely worth reading before or after you see the show.

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a weeknight show for the Cirque du Soleil’s latest production, Totem, at The Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro. Having already seen two Cirque productions—Iris in 2011 and OVO in 2012—I was pretty sure that I knew what to expect: lots of daring, mind-boggling stunts that test the human ability to defy gravity, fatigue and body-bending capabilities.

And this time around, it was no different, but still so much fun to watch.

From the moment it begins, Totem grabs your attention, with “amphibians” jumping and exuding their strength and prowess on a giant “turtle.” According to its website, Totem is the story that is “a fascinating journey into the evolution of mankind.” And while I wouldn’t say that the plot precisely follows the chronological evolutionary timeline of man starting from amphibian to current smart phone junkie, it does pay nod to the various significant milestones throughout our history as humans on this earth, including contributions to science, and man’s desire to go beyond the boundaries of his home planet.

What sets Totem apart from other Cirque productions that I’ve seen is that the entire atmosphere is a little more subdued. Compared to the dazzling lights of the Hollywood & Highland Center for Iris or the striking beach background for OVO, the San Pedro port area is a lot calmer, darker and more silent. Though the atmosphere may not be as over the top, that’s not to take away from the visuals inside the chapiteau. Everything from the costumes to the lighting and the stage looked magnificent. Quite honestly, probably some of the best visuals I’ve seen. And these were some of the most daring acts that were pulled off without any sort of glitch. There was one roller skating act where a man skated on a tiny circular platform, spinning round and round and round, with a woman hanging from his neck, her body projected as a straight line in the air.

And, there were so many other acts like that, that pushed the envelop and left you wondering, “did they really just do that?!”

So yes, Totem is entertainment in its purest form. The next time you’re in the mood to be highly amused, turn off the television, get off the blogs and instead, head down to San Pedro to see Totem. But don’t wait too long; the last performance is Sunday, Nov. 10.

See you at the next show soon!

For more information:

 ** Roller skating photo taken from Totem website 

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