Friday, September 28, 2007

Cirque du Soleil's KOOZA - Review - Or Why I Seriously Need To Go To The Gym More Often

Cirque du Soleil's Koozå (KOOZA) - Le Grande Chapiteau at the Port Lands Toronto - until Oct. 21. San Francisco, San Jose and tour to follow.

As everyone knows by know, Montreal based Cirque du Soleil has taken over the circus industry by reinventing it to a completely theatrical level. It infuses gorgeous costumes, beautiful original music, dazzling lighting and sets, and cryptically surreal storylines over what is essentially, a bunch of circus acts. But oh, what a circus it is!

Over the years, as Cirque du Soleil grew from a troupe of street performers into the multi-million dollar industry that is has become (with currently 6 touring shows, 2 arena shows, 5 shows in Las Vegas, 1 at Walt Disneyworld, and Wintuk opening on Nov. 1st in New York City), acts grew, the surrealism flourished and everyone expected, and got used to the spectacle.

Now, Cirque pulls back with Koozå and goes back to basics, a re-boot of sorts for them, going back to explore the basic acts of the circus that they had originally started off from when they were just street performers in Montreal. The costumes and surrealism might be simpler than that of the Cirque's of late, but the show is still no less dazzling.

The website describes this show as this: "KOOZA tells the story of The Innocent, a melancholy loner in search of his place in the world.

KOOZA is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil: It combines two circus traditions – acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The show highlights the physical demands of human performance in all its splendor and fragility, presented in a colorful mélange that emphasizes bold slapstick humor.

The Innocent's journey brings him into contact with a panoply of comic characters such as the King, the Trickster, the Pickpocket, and the Obnoxious Tourist and his Bad Dog.

The basic acts of circustry (is that a word?) are these: Balancing on Chairs, Charivari, Contortion, Highwire, Juggling, Solo Trapeze, Teeterboard, Unicycle Duo, Wheel of Death. You've seen all these acts before, from movies, to images, to maybe the Ringling Bros. Circus, and while in our cynical seen-everything-world, one can dismiss each act as been-there-seen-it before, I challenge you not to watch without your mouth dropping open. In Koozå, Cirque lays bare each act, letting each performance really take centre stage and my reaction to each act was basically this: Oh cool, oh, this act. Wait a minute. HOW DID THEY DO THAT? (mouth drops open). Repeat with each following act.

From the contortionists (seriously, I need to go to the gym and stretch it a bit more), to the Highwire act (need to stop drinking), the Unicycle Duo (I can't even spin a person off my shoulders while I'm standing let alone on a unicycle!), the Wheel of Death (seriously, looks like SO much fun, if not life threatening), and even the Juggling was amazing (I can't even do 3, let alone 7 things, I can barely juggle life). Oh yeah, and the clowns were funny too. Now I only wonder if those "volunteers" they picked were actually real people or not (particularly the two ladies, one that went missing, the other on the "chair")... my friends think they are.

Anyways, now I revived my inkling to go see the other Cirque shows (particularly KA in Vegas which I hear is AMAZING).

It was definitely worth missing a night of TV for (even Thursday night TV! And remember I actually think TV is IMPORTANT).

More Photos after the jump:

All pictures from the Cirque Du Soleil Website except the first photo.

More After the Jump...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

In Real News Today

In real news today, Josie something or another was voted off Dancing with the Stars last night (bye bye Alec) and Bravo finally announced Project Runway 4 will debut Wed. November 14th! WOO! Ah, the sounds of screaming, yelling and bitching in a studio reminds me of my own university days. Good times good times!

Seems like there's a few contestants that went to Parsons School of Design. Were there many in previous seasons? Hmm... Okay, my dartboard pick is going to be... Marion to win! Go Marion! (No idea. Watch me pick the first person out).

On a side note, I've added a new section on my sidebar called Cableworthy. Shows on cable that tend to run over and over again so I don't always watch it during the first run if it conflicts with network shows, but shows I love nonetheless.

More After the Jump...

Self Reminder For Thursdays, Don't Book Anything

I'd have the dilema of figuring out what to watch tonight on the Thursday TV Madness except I'm not home, so I miss it all. ARGH...

Seeing Cirque de Soleil (Cirque de So Laid.. haha...) with friends and this was the only date one could go so I'm missing all this TV for you! (And yes, I knew tonight was going be premiere night when I booked the tickets so it was a conscious decision at the time. See how good I am to my friends?)

Anyways, at least I can tape it all, Ugly Betty (ABC/City 8pm), The Office (1 hour long. Don't forget! at 9pm on NBC/Global), Grey's Anatomy (9pm on CTV/ABC), My Name is Earl (also 1 hour at 8pm on NBC). I'll have to skip Survivor: China (CBS/Global 8pm) this week, and at least Supernatural doesn't start up again until next week (as does 30 Rock).

I'm wondering if I should stick by ER, since I basically lost track halfway through last season (who is Neela with NOW? who is or isn't on the show anymore?)

Big Shots (ABC/CTV 10pm) was not good despite Michael Vartan being on the show.

Anyways, I won't have time to watch all this until Sunday so hope people enjoy and don't tell me the spoilers!

More After the Jump...

Private Practice - Pros and Cons

In Which We Meet Addison, a Nice Girl From Somewhere Else

So is this the second episode or the first? What counts anyways?

Alright, so the first REAL episode of Private Practice, the Grey's Anatomy spinoff has been shown... now what? I gave the original "pilot" a somewhat nice review, though mainly at the time it was because at that point, it was far better than the dreck that was happening at Seattle Grace.

What does everybody think now? I'll break down my opinion in a pros and cons list. Seems like something somebody on that show would do:

The Pros:
-The Cast - seriously, putting together Tim Daly, Taye Diggs, Paul Adelstein, Chris Lowell, Audra McDonald, (uh, I guess Amy Brenneman but I've never been a huge fan), and Kate Walsh is great, and individually, each are great
-Chris Lowell was super cute as a midwife in training. His "midwifery" skills need to be shown! -Replacing Merrin Dungey is sad, but replacing her with Audra McDonald shuts me up because Audra ROCKS. Seriously, google Audra singing. It's scary good. She brings an authority to her yet without being a bitch. LOVE HER! Her delivery of that final line "that's why" made it fresh despite the cliché.
-Paul Adelstein finally has a lead that can show off his charms (instead of being scary (Prison Break)) after losing the role of Burke on Grey's Anatomy due to scheduling conflicts. Oh how things might have been so different...

The Cons:
-Why are the the female characters in such shambles and such softies?
-Why did this first episode devolve into such a boring hour? It started well enough and then just got kind of tedious.
-In theory a clinic could work but somehow the way it is set up on the show, it seems like such a weak setting, especially in comparison to Grey's Anatomy. I get that they want to portray a fresher, more relaxed, more LA vibe but do shows set in LA ever REALLY work anymore? I'm sorry but The Hills has ruined it all for me (and yes, I know it's technically Orange County but it's all the same to us east coasters).
-Could that Department store clerk with the crazy sister be more annoying and unaccomodating? To the point of unrealness? I didn't buy it (even though he kept telling Amy Brenneman's Violet she had to).
-I'll let Amy Brenneman off the hook for now but KaDee Strickland was already annoying even though that's her role. Plus we know she's somehow going to hook up with someone from the clinic after a lot of fighting and I'm already bored. Plus her name is KaDee. Big K, small a, big D, small e, small e. Steve Martin got LA right.
-The episode title.
-The emergency birth didn't work, trying to be Grey's Anatomy and yet not. Make up your mind.
-The sperm up for grabs on the dead guy was supposed to be shocking and funny but just seemed sad. Sperm jokes already?

Results: Strong cast, as we knew before, but they really need to tweak it all with a better story. I think Shonda Rhimes is spreading herself too thin between Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice and both are hurting because of it. Sigh, I hope it get's better, cause I'd like to see Audra McDonald, Paul Adelstein and Chris Lowell in a hit. (Not to mention recent showkillers Taye and Tim).

Did I miss anything on the list?

Kate Walsh

Paul Adelstein

Audra McDonald

Chris Lowell

Amy Brenneman

Taye Diggs

Tim Daly

KaDee Strickland

More After the Jump...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Gossip Girl - Dirty Sexy Bionic Woman's Private Money

The Wild Brunch

So other than tonight's premieres of Bionic Woman (eh) (NBC/Global at 9pm), Private Practice (eh, but I'll watch anyways) (ABC/CTV at 9pm) and Dirty Sexy Money (eh, but with potential) (ABC at 10pm, on Sunday at 10pm on CTV), there is the second episode of Gossip Girl (eh, but with pretty people so I'm addicted already because I'm shameless and superficial) (The CW at 9pm) that was shown in Canada last night on CTV.

It's the morning after Serena's date with Dan (where Dan punched out Chuck for trying to rape his sister and when Serena made her big re-entrance into New York society) and the date ends after an awkward exit out of the taxi cab that ended the pilot episode. Since then, Dan's hair (Penn Badgley, above) has already grown a few centimeters overnight! I like! It lessens the Elijah Wood hobbit look (not that I don't like Wood). It's amazing what New York air can do to hair!

Serena's mom insists that Serena (above) show up for a brunch, a brunch where Blair will be. Blair gives Serena her exquisitely perfect bitch look, because Nate told her about his dalliance with Serena (the slut!). Nate is off to talk to Serena to explain something about not speaking to her (the dick!), but of course Blair walks in on them (the bitch!). Chuck is being all sleazy as usual (the whore!). Dan finds out about Blair's past and walks away (the jerk!). Or something like that. It really doesn't matter in the end since everyone will get mad at everyone before Blair and Nate make up and make out, before Serena and Dan will play coy and eventually make out (probably by the episode 4) and Chuck will make out with everyone and anyone.

Now let's enjoy the pretty pictures after the jump!:

Penn Badgley's Dan suited up for the brunch, new hair in tow.

School Ties with Chuck and Nate (Ed Westwick and Chace Crawford)

Ed Westwick's Chuck waking up.

Ed Westwick's Chuck, also with a new haircut since the night before (in the pilot)

Blair and Nate (Leighton Meester and Chace Crawford) in bed, both thinking of Serena probably.

Leighton Meester's Blair, or is it Rachel Bilson's Summer? Hard to tell

Blair and the token unidentifiable coloured people.

Chace Crawford's Nate having a bad hair day, which still looks good. No fair.

Chace Crawford's Nate's on the phone. With who? B or S? Do we even care? Just hold that look...

Chace Crawford's Nate looking blank. He must be thinking hard. Again, hold that look...

More After the Jump...