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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day 4 - Cirque du Soleil's "Ka"

Having seen Mystere last time in Vegas, we were excited to see another Vegas Cirque show. These were the only tickets we really booked in advance - because two were included with our room reservations. "O" was sold out when we booked, so we opted for "Ka" over "Love" (Dad feared Beatles songs would get on his nerves after half an hour).

We took a cab from our resort to the MGM Grand. We had to stand in a long line to get in the theater (we had been to this theater for F-ex [or something like that] which we were very disappointed with). After they opened the doors, we quickly made our way inside. We had to split up, since our seats were booked seperately. Mom and Dad took the seats further to the back, but in the middle, and Rachel and I had the seats closer to the front, but at an angle.

The theater consisted of elaborate walk-throughs - almost like a jungle gym. In place of the stage was a giant firepit that would explode every few minutes. I was fascinated with the set and excited to see how they would use their theater in the show.

Rachel and I showed our tickets to the host, an elf or something from the land of "Ka." He looked at them and says, "Aye don't know where that ez." Great. Then he grabs our tickets from us and says, "Nevermend - it's over nayer tha ferst peeylar." We follow his instructions, to be greeted by another odd Ka-folk. She looks at our tickets. "No, no... you er sposed to be over theer." Then the Ka-guy that helped us before comes up and starts fighting her, telling her we could get there either way. We just go the way she told us and find our seats.

Now, Mystere had pre-show actors to entertain the audience before the show. I suppose the Ka-folk greeters were their equivalent. Later, some Ka-folk came out from the ceiling and maze structure to chant and beat drums. It wasn't nearly as entertaining as the "child" and the guy that looked like Barry Manilow harassing the guests before Mystere.

They instructed us not to take pictures at any time during the show, but I figured the show hadn't started yet, so what the heck... I'll take a picture of the theater without flash.


Before the show was an amusing skit demonstrating what you should not do during the show. As the Ka person was instructing guests not to use cell phones or take pictures during the show, a "guest's" cell phone rang loudly, and the Ka person answered it then threw it in the firepit. The guest then took a picture of the Ka-person, and the camera was thrown in the firepit, as well. The Ka-person then shoved the guest in the firepit. Quite amusing.

The story was about a young girl and boy (brother and sister) who would soon get separated and how they grew up. Seemed simple enough, but we found it rather difficult to follow throughout the show.

The feature technology of the show was the moving stage - a large one that rotated and tilted. This was very versatile, as the characters could use it as a climbing wall, slide, ocean, beach, etc. When the set on the large stage was being changed, they slid out a smaller stage. This, however, was the extent of the set. The amazing jungle gym was hardly used at all.

The most entertaining part of the show was when three men spun in hamster wheels - that were attached to a main axel that they then spun as three. It was a great balancing act that was fun to watch. However, that was the extent of the entertaining performers.

We felt that Ka incorporated more technology than talent. When we think Cirque du Soleil, we imagine cortorsionists, tightropers, super strong guys, and balancing acts. The stage was multipurpose, but it didn't allow for traditional Cirque acts. The constant climbing and sliding soon got old.

We also believe that the plot limited the use of talent. With Mystere, there really was no plot, but it was completely entertaining and amazing to watch. But while watching Ka, we were trying to figure out who was who and what was happening. When you don't have to worry about understanding the plot, you can just enjoy what's going on.

Also, the ages of the performers proved to be distracting to my dear sister. She confessed that she spent the entire show trying to figure out whether the boy and girl were really kids or if they were just small adults. I'll admit.... I did the exact same thing! They use children in Disney's Cirque du Soleil show, La Nouba, so I figured they might use children in Ka. The performers were very small, so there was a good chance they were children. I also tried to figure out the nationalities... I'm quite positive that the girl was either Polish or Swedish. (If this show was more entertaining, I wouldn't have had the time to ponder on the ages or nationalities of the performers.)

In the end, we were quite disappointed with Ka - and we weren't the only ones. As we left the theater, I heard several other guests discussing how confusing the storyline was and how boring the acts were. Halfway through the show, I was bored and wondering when it would be over (and Rachel lost her patience much sooner than me). My mother thinks it must have something to do with the theater, considering it's the second disappointing show we've seen there.

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