By Bonnie DeShong
When Cirque Du Soleil comes to town I am as excited as a 10 year old child. My stomach turns flip flops when I pull into the parking lot of the United Center and see the legendary blue and yellow tent. You can only imagine my surprise when there wasn’t a tent in the lot. I couldn’t imagine a Cirque production in Chicago actually being inside the United Center but it is and after laying eyes on the massive set I understood.
Toruk – The First Flight which is inspired by James Cameron’s film Avatar. The story takes us 3000 years before Avatar happens. We are in a place on Pandora where we are introduced to two young men and best friends, Ralu and Entu. The High Priestess has a vision that the Tree of Souls will be destroyed and only Toruk can save it. It is up to Ralu and Entu to collect to the objects needed, find Toruk, and save the Tree of Souls.
If you are a fan of Cirque Du Soleil productions as I am you will be surprised to see that this production doesn’t have the normal Cirque formula. There isn’t a comic relief to the production. There are wonderful acts but they blend into the action of the story in such a way you aren’t quite sure if it is an act or just blocking of the show.
The costumes, set, lights, and performers are exceptional. There is a scene where the set is being flooded by water and I swore there was water all over the floor.
Something new has been added to the production and that is the use of the Toruk App. You are asked to download it and you can participate with the show through the app. I downloaded it and found it distracting. I was so busy looking at the phone and following the prompts that I missed some of the action on the stage, and there is a lot of action going on.
The ending is a little anticlimactic. The main proclamation of the story is lost and I wish it stood out more.
Leaving the United Center I looked around and I really missed the intimacy of the tent. Even though I enjoyed the show I felt like a spectator and not a part of the story.
Toruk – The First Flight is worth seeing. Spend the Money, download the app and have a good time.
Until next time keep your EYE to the sky!