May 28 2011

Cirque du Soleil OVO in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Cirque du Soleil has set up its “Grand Chapiteau” in the parking lot just north of Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, and this afternoon my husband and I had our first Cirque du Soleil experience, compliments of Mall of America.

I’ll admit that I didn’t really know what to expect from a Cirque show.  I had seen photos of costumes and sets from previous shows, and I’d heard really good things about the performances, but I think I expected it to be some sort of Broadway-type play with really strange movement.  The “cirque” part of it had somehow missed me.

With that bit of apprehension, I watched the first moments carefully, waiting to see what this show actually was.  I soon learned that Cirque du Soleil is a circus on a very different scale than any other circus you’ve seen.  The costumes, the music, and set are intricate and beautiful and odd all at the same time.  And the performers are absolutely amazing.

There’s a loose storyline that involves a big egg and new love, but I won’t give any of that away.  Beyond that, Cirque du Soleil OVO is that part of a circus that involves humans, albeit humans dressed as insects in this case.  There are no tigers, no elephants, (and no peanuts sold at the concession stand).  There are, however, trapeze artists and Chinese acrobats and rope-flyers and people who show great agility and strength.

Throughout the show, the scenes and music change to highlight the various performances, all with the OVO theme woven through them.

At first I was not sure that this would be a performance I’d take my kids to, but as it progressed I found myself thinking, “The kids would love this!”  They enjoyed the Chinese acrobats we saw at the Medora Musical, and the rope performers were reminiscent of those we saw at Circus World Museum.  I would warn young children that there are a few spots with bright lights and then sudden darkness and that the beginning could be a bit scary; after the first few minutes, however, things calm down quite a bit.  The first act is constant motion, then after a 30-minute intermission things slow down a bit before the amazing frogs (my favorite) near the end of the show.

I would recommend arriving so that you’re seated at least 15 minutes before the show begins, as some of the creatures are on display in the aisles before the show starts.  Restrooms, concessions, and souvenirs are available before the show and during the 30-minute intermission.  The entire show runs for 2 hours, 30 minutes.

The downside of Cirque du Soleil is definitely the price.  Tickets begin at $45 for adults and $31.50 for kids for side-stage seats; those with a better-angle view list at $70/$49, and the best seats increase in price even more.  For those looking for a deal, you can get discount tickets through Goldstar * half-price tickets to theater, concerts, comedy and sports for $27-$42 for select performances (Tuesday and Wednesday evenings).

If you can’t afford a family outing to see the OVO show, Mall of America is hosting a special OVO Toddler Tuesday program that includes miniature circus-training sessions and photo ops with some of the characters on Tuesday, May 31, from 10 a.m. to noon.  Bring your little ones; like all Toddler Tuesday programs, it’s free.  And if you’re lucky (like me) to have kids who are already done with school for the year, the older kids are welcome to come as well.  (Toddler Tuesdays are also a good time to buy Nickelodeon Universe points; they’re on special during Toddler Tuesdays at $11.95 for a 25-point pass and can be saved for use on a different day.)

Cirque du Soleil OVO is playing in Minneapolis through June 19 and then will move on to Chicago, Calgary, and Seattle.

Have you been to a Cirque du Soleil show?  Did you take your kids?  What did you like about it?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

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3 comments so far

3 Comments to “Cirque du Soleil OVO in Minneapolis, Minnesota”

  1. Emily on 13 Jun 2011 at 9:55 am

    Hi! Thanks for the review. I have tickets for this Thursday and have a good idea of what to expect and it sounds like I will not be disappointed. Could you please describe the seating? Not the location and how well you could see but the actual seats? We have some people with back issues in my party we want to be prepared. Also an 8yo who should maybe have a booster? Thanks.

  2. minnemom on 13 Jun 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Emily, the seats are plastic with backs on them, similar to what you’d find at a baseball stadium. The pitch from row to row is decent; an 8-year-old might be all right, depending on the height of the person in front of him. The seat of the row in front of us was 3-4″ below my feet. Legroom was not great, but decent: better, I thought, than the State Theater which we were at somewhat recently.

    I hope this information is helpful.

    Linda

  3. Emily on 13 Jun 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Thanks– exactly what I wanted to know!!!!

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