Oct 23, 2005 - entertainment, observations    No Comments

Corteo: The Show Moves On

I finally went to see Corteo this afternoon, catching the last show before it leaves Minneapolis and heads for San Fransicso. As I said back when Alegria was in town, if you ever have the opportunity to see a Cirque du Soleil show, go.

Sitting in the 4th row back from the stage, it was almost too close (the show is heavily aerobatic, with people flying on wires all over the place), but it was definitely worth it. I’m not even going to try to describe the performance, it simply cannot be done with words, you have to experience it for yourself. And the DVDs, the music CDs, and the TV airings on Bravo don’t get you there either. Yes, they’re good … but they only give you a taste … and it’s simply not the same. I find myself comparing the evening to the MasterCard commercial series:

  • Tickets: $70
  • Parking: $10
  • Bag of popcorn the size of your head: $5
  • Chance to see Cirque du Soleil: priceless

I went alone this year (was trying to get some friends to go … and they were interested … just not enough to commit to a date so we could get tickets. Their loss.) and, although watching those lithe, limber athletes bounding around both sky and stage (reminding me how out of shape I am … and how old I’m getting), it was still fantastic. Even better was seeing that Minnesotans have grown up a bit from when Alegria was in town: not a single cellphone went off during the performance (at least, none that I could hear). The opening announcements I found creative yet subtle when dealing with this:

“… after the show, please remember to turn your cellphones and pagers back on …”

No “please turn them off, now” message like the last time (for all the good it did … just read my post) … just a polite reminder to turn them back on when you leave. Inverse psychology, if you will. I like that.

And still, there are some things that are so traditionally “Minnesota un-nice” … I think they’re typical of human behavior regardless of the state or city … like trying to get out of the parking lot after the show. Rather than go into a diatribe around each instance, I offer the following “Tips of Parking Lot Etiquette”:

  • When entering the lot, think ahead. It may make perfect sense to put the car as close to the exit as you possibly can, but parking in the aisle you know people are going to be driving down when their trying to leave means you’ll have to make a jackass of yourself backing out into the exit lane when you want to go.
  • If you must park in the exit aisle, go find a restaurant or bar and have a cocktail (or two) after the show. Wait for 30 minutes (or an hour) before trying to go extricate your car. You’ll have more fun, and spend less time waiting.
  • When walking to your car, remember that there are people in large, heavy, metalic motorized vehicles that are already trying to leave … walk through them at places that will do the least damage to the flow of traffic. You may find that things are easier for you to get out when you finally get into your car if you let more people ahead of you do the same.
  • Since we’re all trying to do the same thing (leave), show a little courtesy for the people around you. Honking your horn, flashing your brights, or riding up on the trunk of the car in front of you because they’re not moving as fast as you’d like them to (nevermind that they can’t go forward right now because the traffic light at the exit is red) isn’t going to get you out the door any faster.
  • While I’m on the subject, keep in mind that we all have to squeeze out the same exit … so share. Just because you’ve got an SUV doesn’t make you special (stupid, probably … special, definitely not). Wait your turn.
  • Last (but definitely not least), relax. Be patient. You’ll get out just like everyone else.

In short, think. The very people who don’t think of those around them … are the same ones who get so mad when someone else’s lackof thinking directly impacts them.

That said, even the antics of my fellow Minnesotans didn’t tarnish the evening. It was a damn good show. If you ever have a chance … GO.

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