By Greg Simay
The fun starts early. As you find your seat, you may meet the girl with a whirl, the guy with a hair whip, or the redheaded beehive. Look at the waiting stage and catch eyes blinking. Look up and see faces emoting. And then the show begins: IRIS A Journey Through the World of Cinema. Cirque du Soleil grabs the holly wand and summons decades of Hollywood mojo, transforming The Kodak Theatre into two of the most remarkable entertainment hours I have ever experienced.
IRIS: a Greek goddess who rode rainbows between heaven and Earth, relaying the messages of the gods of Olympus
Even if you’re a long time fan of Cirque du Soleil, you’ll be blown away by the acrobatic and contortionist feats. (One of my favorites: a gangster shootout with trampolines.) Don’t be surprised if you tear up as Danny Elfman’s achingly beautiful score soars above the pas de deux between IRIS’ two heroes, Buster and Scarlett, You may find yourself wiping away tears of laughter courtesy of the comedy sketches that allow the other cast members to catch their breaths.
The IRIS regulates the amount of light entering the eye, a circle of color enclosing the darkness, now shrinking it, now expanding it.
More amazing still is that IRIS, in celebrating Hollywood’s past, plunges us into Hollywood’s future. “Multimedia” is way too tame a word for the images seamlessly weaving among the flesh and blood performers. If traditional multimedia is like six squares in a row, IRIS is like taking those squares, joining them into a cube and then spinning that cube into sparks and spheres and pyramids and a dozen other shapes.
If you want to drink in the pure, creative, playful, magical essence of Hollywood—an essence purged of all the Sunset Boulevard poisons—then make your pilgrimage to IRIS. Above the stage is IRIS’ motto: “In motion we trust”. You can trust that writer/director Philippe Decoufle and his creative team will move you to a really good and special place.
IRIS is playing exclusively at The Kodak Theatre, at Hollywood and Highland. Go to cirquedusoleil.com/IRIS or call 877-943-IRIS. For groups of 12 or more, call 877-504-7164.