The acts aren’t new, and some aren’t as breath taking or death defying as those in other Cirque productions, but these seem more polished and appear to require more skill and endurance from the performers. The costumes from Liz Vandat are some of the best yet, amazingly vibrant and insect-like, even if you can’t quite identify all of the creatures. I love the winged legs on the dragonfly.
This tale, written, choreographed and directed by Deborah Colker, Cirque’s first female to helm a production, is a journey into the land of bugs and features a cast of 54 artists from 16 countries acting out the life of insects as they eat, play and even look for love. The insect world design is by Gringo Cardia, who also handles props, with lighting and sound design by Eric Champoux and Jonathan Deans. Guy Lalliberte and Gilles Ste-Croix are artistic guides.
The aerial silk “Cocoon” number, featuring Marjorie Nantel’s transformation from cocoon into moth, and the sensuous high rope act “Butterflies” with Maxim Kozlov and Inna Mayorova as lovers are like beautiful ballets in air. Fred Gerard designs the acrobatic equipment and rigging while Phillippe Auberlin is acrobatic performance designer.
Those are just a few of the highlights in the production, which also offers high flying and slack wire acts as well a funny Lady Bug (Michelle Matlock LeBlanc), a clown, Flipo (Joseph Collard), who toys with members of the audience, a Foreigner bug (Francois-Guillaume), who attracts the attentions of the Lady Bug, and nine on-stage musicians dressed like cockroaches (music is composed and directed by Berna Ceppas).
It’s totally kid friendly and there were lots of them giggling happily the day I attended. The mysterious egg (ovo means egg in Portuguese) takes various shapes throughout the tale and is the star of the closing number, but not in the way you might expect.
Some tips to make OVO more enjoyable:
- The seats are VERY tiny. If you are a person of larger size, you might want to look into purchasing an aisle seat.
- Leave a little extra time to get out to the island. Options include
• the New York Water Taxi leaving from East 35th and East 90th streets
• the x80 express bus with non-stop service to the island from the 125th street Metro North train station
• taking the RFK Bridge over the East River.
- There is a 30-minute intermission
OVO plays a limited engagement at Randall's Island Park through June 6. For tickets and information, click here or call 800-450-1480. Performance schedule: Tuesdays through Thursdays at 8 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 4 and 8 pm and Sundays at 1 and 5 pm.
The show will tour this summer and fall to Hartford, Boston, Washington DC and Atlanta. Find information on the tour here http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/ovo/tickets.aspx.
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