My son, Willy, and I were invited to see Cirque du Soleil’s OVO show at the Portland Expo Center last night.
The first thing we did was spend some time with Sebastian, the violinist in the show’s band. Sebastian is from Quebec and actually travels with his wife and two young children. It was very interesting to learn how Cirque handles artist’s families — they travel with school teachers and provide accommodations for the entire family.
Next, we were off to enjoy the show! The show is under the big top at the Portland Expo Center.
Oh. My. Goodness. I cannot express how wonderful it was. I am a huge Cirque fan anyway (I’ve seen 4-5 shows over the years), but it was a whole new experience going with my son. Willy (age 6) was absolutely mesmerized. The acts were out of this world and the clowns were hilarious — such talented entertainers. There was a hint of playful flirtation between two of the characters, but it totally flew over my son’s head and I think it is very PG for older kids. Nothing especially sexual, just flirtatious (I try really hard to view shows that I review through the eyes of my more conservative readers. I don’t think you’ll find the material to be inappropriate, but there is a hint of suggestion that probably will not be noticed by your younger children.).
OVO is definitely the most family friendly show Cirque offers. It is light-hearted, entertaining and really focuses on the individual circus acts as opposed to the typical Cirque-style huge production and story line. I think kindergarten and above would really enjoy the show and appreciate the artists’ talent and athleticism. I know my four-year-old would have done fine, but I’m not positive if I would have felt my money was well spent on him. He would have just as much fun at Chuck E Cheese’s or whacking a stick at a bush, which means he has not earned the right to see a Cirque show live.
Tips for a fun evening:
:: Eat before the show because, naturally, the food is super expensive.
This bag of M&M’s was $4.75 and was the lowest priced item on the menu. Luckily, we arrived so early for the blogger event that I didn’t have to pay for parking ($8 per car, $7 for cars with 3+ people), so I played the awesome mom and ponied up for some processed sugar. Willy thought I was really cool.
:: There is not a bad seat in the house. The performance area and seating is intimate. Even the back side section is close to the stage (like 30-40 rows back) so I see no reason to pay more for the front section. The bummer is that the seats are small and a bit uncomfortable. If you are a larger person, you may feel crammed if there isn’t an empty seat next to you.
:: The show is about two hours, so the 8:00 show gets out around 10:00 pm. Our tickets were free, so I’m not going to complain, but the earlier shows are the most ideal for those of you with younger children. Unfortunately, tickets for the afternoon shows are quite limited, so buy your tickets now!
:: The tent isn’t super warm, so wear layers. I’m not talking parkas, but it was definitely cool.
:: Bring a Ziploc baggie so your kids can collect something at the end. No, I’m not giving it away, but know that Willy spent a good 10 minutes after the show picking up something shiny off the floor. If you’re not going with kids, you can skip the baggie.
Now to the ticket prices. You know that Cirque du Soleil shows are expensive, right? Cirque shows in Vegas can cost you around $100 a seat (which I have gladly paid in the past). The traveling shows are more affordable — OVO is $50-$70 per seat for weeknight performances including all the fees (which totally annoy me — just wrap it together in one price, please).
You know I found you all a promo code (Thank you, Swagbucks!) — use the code OVO30 to save 30% off each ticket price. Even with the code, the show is expensive but throughout the evening I kept thinking how excited I was that performing art that is truly entertaining and requires actual talent and skill is alive and well in our society.
OVO runs through May 20 at the Portland Expo Center.
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