Last night my husband and I had the pleasure of going to see a Cirque du Soleil show here in Pittsburgh at the Peterson Events Center.
We had previously seen one Cirque show, in Vegas, but it was their "non-traditional" show (Ka). That show did not have all the usual Cirque performers and instead has a storyline that the show followed closely.
So we really weren't sure what to expect of a "typical" Cirque show. Especially a touring show. We were given the tickets by the public relations agency working with the show, so it was a special treat.
We weren't disappointed. It was amazing.
Saltimbanco is the "signature" Cirque show, debuting in Canada in 1992. This is its last run before retiring forever.
Saltimbanco -from the Italian "saltare in banco", which literally means "to jump on a bench"-explores the urban experience in all its myriad forms: the people who live there, their idiosyncrasies and likenesses, families and groups, the hustle and bustle of the street and the towering heights of skyscrapers.
I tend to be very bad at figuring out what things are supposed to represent, but that ability wasn't necessary. It was perfectly ok to just sit and enjoy each act. And the acts were spectacular. I don't think there was one that we didn't like. In fact, when trying to come up with our favorite, we couldn't narrow it down to less than a handful.
If you've never seen a Cirque show before, you simply must treat yourself to one. And this is an excellent one. The show provided a constant parade of death defying, comedic and awe inspiring acts including an amazing juggler, trapeze artists, mime and Cirque's signature "swinging from ropes" acts.
I can't help but be completely and utterly in awe of the performers. Let's put it this way, I pulled a muscle bringing groceries in the other day. And these people can climb up a pole and swing around two stories off the ground with the strength of one arm. It's a testament to the human body and what it can do. I sat mesmerized by them, inspired every minute.
And the show had comedy. A lot of comedy. I wasn't expecting that. It was laugh-out-loud-funny throughout several acts. The mime performer and accompanying audience member had us rolling in our seats.
The live music (a signature of Cirque shows) was excellent as well. It was a lot like we were at a great concert with these amazing strong people thrown in for entertainment. ;) The music ranged from rock-n-roll to Enya'esque ballads. During the trapeze act, the combination of the soulful, Irish sounding music was entrancing. Beautiful.
While I can't compare this show to other standard Cirque touring shows, I can say that it was fantastic. The quality of performers and acts together with the music was perfect.
And it's family friendly as well. I found myself thinking through most of the show that I'd wish I'd brought the kids. I think there is enough action that they wouldn't have been bored, and the comedy was right on their level (including some potty jokes). They would have loved it. Next time a show comes to town, I will definitely be buying tickets for the entire family.
Saltimbanco is in Pittsburgh from October 18-21 only.
For tickets, visit http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/saltimbanco/tickets/pittsburgh.aspx