Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mystère (The SOB Review)

Mystère (The SOB Review) - Mystère Theatre, Treasure Island, Las Vegas, NV


**1/2 (out of ****)

Now that I've seen all five of the famed Cirque du Soleil shows currently playing to packed houses in Las Vegas, it may surprise you to know that the longest-running of the bunch is the very last one I've seen. It also rates as the least among them.

Mystère has been playing for nearly 15 years at the Treasure Island Las Vegas. While it certainly possesses many of the key characteristics that now define the sensuously surreal circus based in Montreal, Mystère comes across merely as Cirque du Soleil 101. It shows its age, yet serves as a pretty primer for anyone not already acquainted with its robust selection of shows.

With its stern ringleader (Marek Haczkiewicz) and affable clown (Brian Dewhurst), this Cirque du Soleil spectacle certainly has the most circus-like feel of any of the company's Vegas selections. And thanks to the hilarious antics of Dewhurst and François DuPuis (as a larger than life baby) -- complete with audience participation -- it's one of the more roundly amusing offerings.

There are also two key trademark Cirque du Soleli performances that are unlike the other four Vegas shows. One is from Paul Bowler, who becomes one with a giant aerial cube in the air, twirling within it as it dangles high above the stage until he lands with it, only to spin the box in a dazzling, illuminating display. The other is downright -- or should I say upright? -- Busby Berkeleyesque as a half dozen performers captivate from above with their synchronized highwire bungees that's nothing short of jawdropping.

The rest is a healthy mix of amazing acrobatics, including two hair-denuded brothers maneuvering their bodies in a painful looking hand and body balancing act performed on a rotating dome. Is it mesmerizing? Sure, but if you've seen other Cirque du Soleil shows, you're likely to find this a retread.

Back in the day, I have no doubt that Mystère was groundbreaking. It undoubtedly helped set the standard by which Cirque du Soleil is judged today. And to the company's credit, they've continually built on each successive hit.

Yet, aside from the humor and a couple of the aforementioned high flying acts, to see it after each of its younger Vegas siblings is a bit of a letdown. Even many of its cast members appear to be getting soft around the middle, no doubt contributing to some of the reckless lack of precision I witnessed during Mystère's Korean plank trampoline routine.

There is just no comparison to the more superior and fantastic O, which uses death-cheating water trickery, or , a gravity-defying epic story -- both of these shows employ many similar acts that are significantly better and demonstrate the extraordinary evolution of Cirque du Soleil. And as I noted a couple days ago, each of those pales in comparison to the excellent, mindblowing production of The Beatles Love.

Given the pricey tickets, I can really only recommend you see this show if you haven't seen the others, and that's with the caveat that money is not an issue. After all, why would you want an old-school Sony Walkman if you could have an iPod for about the same price?

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for ticket information.
Related Stories:
The Beatles Love (The SOB Review) (September 11, 2007)
Flashback: Best of 2000-01 (May 23, 2006)

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1 Comments:

At 01 July, 2010, Blogger Audree said...

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Audree

Las Vegas Show Tickets

 

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