Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Presented in the beautifully restored El Portal Theater in North Hollywood, CA, Montage, provides employment for former Cirque du Soleil artists. Individually the acts were highly skilled and creatively costumed, but the show seemed to struggle with the concepts of continuity and character development. Maybe it's just me, but I am sooooo over the "tortured" aerial artsy acts. I know personally that working in the air is painful, but the audience doesn't need to be tormented to believe it is art. The sullen looks at the audience, the posture at the end of the acts that defies you to applaud, it just seems too contrived and overdone to me. Yes, we all have angst and desire, but whatever happened to playfulness and light hearted flirtiness? Ironic that "aerial" acts bring me "down". Opening with a bit of an upbeat storyline, the curtains opened to reveal the self-supporting aerial uprights set that was used throughout the show. Very simple yet effective and efficient. The ground acts, hand balancing, contortion and juggling were presented towards the front of the stage, and the jovial nature of the high speed juggler was a breath of fresh air. I guess that instead of rehashing Soliel style, I'd love to see this show evolve to reflect the individuality of the artists true selves I could glimpse peeking out. Whoa, I guess that's not asking too much is it? A lifetime as an artist, that's all. :)

Ok, so maybe I just wasn't in the mood for this type of show. I'll admit I'm cirque'd out.
Here's the LA times review.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Just be 'cause'. . .P.L.A.Y.

Oops, got behind and am finally getting around to posting this.
Mega nightclub owner hosts fundraiser.
Patrons donate gifts of toys for kids. Hot air balloon rides. Babes in bikinis atop elephant. More info and pics here.
Recession? What recession?

For all of $1.25 I hopped the Metro to meet Susie in N. Hollywood.
Clean, comfortable and on time it sure beat driving.

A camera inside the trailer reassures us that Susie is riding comfortably.

Next door neighbor welcomes Susie onto her front yard.
We agree not to charge for the tree trimming.

But first add your gift of a toy to the huge pile.

Greeted by loincloth clad dancers perched on rocks.
Animal interaction anyone?

Check out the view from above.

Susie says, "Hop on."

The latest gossip? I'm all ears.
Always helps to have a crack security team clear the way.
Especially when they help load out as well.
Thanks guys!
One of the pride, I hope.

Hey you! Get away from the trailer!
Oh, are you Howie?
Nice to meet you.

Go play.

Cirque Berzerk

The latest offering in the artsy, Burning Man inspired cirque style, Cirque Berzerk, was well produced for its first time out. Appearing at the Los Angeles State Historic Park in a newly purchased white tent the weekend of shows has sold out. Featuring dancers, aerialists, and lots of fire, the choreography was creative and well rehearsed, the aerialists strong and daring, (didn't make me nervous, always a plus) and the fire, well, smoky and attention getting. The retro surreal costuming enhanced the performance and played well to the adult loft-living crowd. Music was provided by a 3-piece live band joined by a vocalist and performers doubling on percussion and backup vocals. Great to see that independent artsy live entertainment is growing in LA.
Could it be that just as animals are disappearing from the planet and circuses, fire and heat are replacing them in both places as well. Hmmm. . . Art is a reflection of life is it not?