Review: Cirque du Soleil's "Alegria"

February 12, 2010
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When a show features breathtaking aerial work, haunting music, laugh-out-loud clown antic, and a silent Act 1 closer that is remarkable in its grace, impeccable in its execution and as purely perfect as anything I've seen on stage in a long time, is it too much to ask for it to also have a satisfying second act?

It sounds greedy, I know. But despite all of the acrobatic miracles on display, the second half of Cirque du Soleil's "Alegria" (visiting Conseco Fieldhouse for the weekend) is a letdown.

Don't get me wrong: The performers still achieve things that mortals by all rights shouldn't be able to do. It's just that the evocative threads laid out in the first act stop developing. It feels like a different director, significantly less brilliant writer and director took over.

Knowing that going in may help you appreciate the magic that takes place in the first half, where flight is the theme on which dozens of variations occur.

On an aviary-ish set, bird-like creatures have trouble flying and, instead, stand in wonder at the humans who are able to perform remarkable feats with bungee cords, trampolines and trapeze. A pair of clowns compete and collaborate with various forms of transportation, including paper airplanes. And, in that closer I mentioned, a sad-sack with a large suitcase is offered a magical chance to reconnect with his past--and discovers that memories aren't easy to tear up and throw away.

I won't tell you more, in part because I don't want to ruin the piece. And because, at its incredible best, Cirque du Soleil defies words.

Your thoughts?


  • Franco Dragone
    Cirque du Soleil has gone downhill since Franco Dragone left and went out on his own. Dragone's work with La Reve at the Wynn in Las Vegas is more what one expects from the old Cirque du Soleil.
    • Dragone directed Alegria
      so unsure what you're trying to say. This show is more than a decade old... So by saying La Reve is more in line with the old Cirque is to say that La Reve is in line with the old (1999) Alegria....
    • Alegria
      I was disappointed last night. While I agree the first act was wonderful, I kept expecting more. This was not the Cirq I've come to expect. Having seen three other Cirq shows, all rating an A+, I'd give this show a B- or C+.
    • cirque fan
      yes, I was disappointed. I've seen Allegria before and what was missing from the Indy performance was the finale, the aerial act with many performers tumbling and swinging off two bars. The fire dance was great, but not finale worthy.
    • totally agree
      Saw the show Saturday night. This was the fourth Cirque we've seen. We left feeling like there was no big finish. Disappointed with second act.
    • wanting more
      I seen the show last night and was expecting act 2 to be incredible. It wasn't. I thought the clown acts were way too long and there wasn't enough performances in the later part. When looking at reviews, where was the black singer and the other acts I was expecting? Anyone know which singer was performing last night? I can't get the song out of my head. B+++
    • very disappointed
      I was very disappointed in the whole show. I've seen 5 cirque shows, and this by far is not up to the standard of a cirque performance. I thought the clowns were just so annoying after awhile. I would not recommend that anyone waste there money on this performance.
    • Let Down
      I wish I had read these reviews before I went to today's show. I have to say I was dissapointed. While some acts were very good, such as the two female contortionists that were incredible, every other act was the unfunny clowns. After seeing Cirque Du Eloize Nomad some years ago by mistake thinking it was Cirque du Solei, and coming away totally blown away, I was expecting the same thing here with the Alegria show, but there was no comparison. Where was the finale? THe only cresendo they built was with the music. The Eloize show had a Grand Finale with a white screen, backlight, and incredible yoga type routine, all whilst it was raining on the stage. I am sorry but this show was just not that good! The choreography badly needed help, and I felt a lot of what the performers did was not that hard for them, with exceptions few. It was like a movie that was too long. I seemed to be the only one in the audience that was at many times BORED!
    • Not Worth It!!
      I saw Alewgria at the beau rivage in 1999!
      My friend & I went to see it Fri. afternoon at the GulfCoast Coliseum in Biloxi Ms.
      Although parts of the show were good, there was no comparison to the one I saw in 1999!!
      In 1999 the show was totally Amazing, it left you breathless as you watched the performance. I agree, there was to much clowning around!
      I would not pay the money I did to see it again..
      The show needs some help, to bring it back to how it was!!

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