"Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends. Come inside, come inside!"-Karn Evil #9 1st Impression Part 2 by Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
As many times as Cirque du Soleil has come to town and set up the Grand Chapiteau just down the street from the KGON studios on SW Moody, I've never been to the show until last night.Â I've also never been offered free tickets to the show, so maybe that's the reason.Â Hey, I'm in the media!Â Where's that free ticket?Â Isn't that why I got into radio in the first place?Â Cool music, free records, free concerts, free movies, lousy pay?Â Of course it was.Â The lure of the freeÂ stuff had me right from the start.Â My first job in Eugene was for $2.50 an hour with no benefits, but all the free records I could haul home.Â I was in heaven.Â Medical?Â Why?Â I was 20.Â Free wine and cheese because of a $20 gift certificate?Â You bet!Â They had $2 bottles of wine and I had no conception of what "good" wine was, except that it wasn't Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill.Â
So, this time around, Cirque du Soleil sends out notifications to the media and I was lucky enough to get one.Â I suppose their partner stations and TV people have been getting these passes for years.Â Now it's my turn.Â
The only exposure I've had at all toÂ a Cirque performaceÂ was at the beginning of the Paul McCartney show at the Rose Garden Arena when he was still married to Heather.Â If you were there, you will remember the ornate costumed people coming from different parts of the arena as the music started.Â It was a cool way to start the show.Â It's no wonder that they have put together the production of "Love" for Vegas.Â Beatles music with the costumes and the choreography from Cirque du Soleil would be incredible.Â As much as I don't care for Vegas, I guess that's a reason to go again.Â Right now they have SEVEN productions going on in Vegas: "O" at the Bellagio, "Zumanity" at New York, New York, "Mystere" at Treasure Island, "KA" at MGM Grand, "Criss Angel Believe" at Luxor, "Viva Elvis" at Aria, and "Love" at Mirage.Â Don't hate me because I don't love Vegas.Â I've just been there too many times and I'm a horrible gambler.
Shannon and I were talking about what our favorite parts of the Cirque du Soleil's "Kooza" show from last night was and we both agreed on three things. (1) The contortionists (2) The Wheel of Death (3) The Music.Â The whole show is lots of fun, with incredible costumes, silly slapstick type comedy, and other acts like the high wire, the woman on the swing, the unicycle rider who weaves this woman around him, the woman and the hoops, and the really buff guy who does lifts and balancing.Â There's something for everyone.Â There's alsoÂ suggestive humor alluding to smoking reefer, a huge "dog" who lifts his leg on the front row (the really expensive seats) and little guys who are humping the legs of "volunteers" from the audience for on stage bits.Â So, if this offends you or the children you plan to take, then don't go.Â Otherwise you'll have a fine time.Â
Being a newbie,Â I had no idea what to expect, and Bonnie, who was with me for the show, hadn't been in years, so she couldn't remember the little things that you should know before going to "Kooza."Â So, in an effort to be oh so helpful, here's some tips for having a better time at the show:
1. Hit the bathrooms at home, or theÂ scene of the "pre-funk"Â BEFORE you get there.Â Also stop drinking ANYTHING an hour before you arrive.Â The show is long, and there are very limitedÂ toilets to access.Â If youÂ do need to go, you will either missÂ part of the show, or spend theÂ entire intermission in line.Â
2. Bring $10Â CASH to park.Â I know it's a big open lotÂ that's by the river and vacant most of the time, but this is prime real estate during the Cirque duÂ Soleil stay and that's what it costs if you areÂ driving there.Â Also know that there is stacked parking at the back and they will ask for your key.Â The parking guys were really sweet, but when I asked if I could avoid the stackedÂ situation, they called over their supervisor who told me why, in aÂ French accent, that I could NOT park anywhere else.Â I swear at that moment I loudly in the car ripped into theÂ French TaunterÂ fromÂ "MontyÂ Python's Holy Grail."Â I couldn't help it.Â Too many years of this exchange with otherÂ Python fans have damaged me.Â I was more than slightly pissy at that point.
3.Â If youÂ are sitting near the stage, expect to be messed with.Â You will either be a volunteer for something on stage, or will at least be made fun of at some point in the show.Â Not everyone, but you never know.Â Â Also if you are sitting there, don't wear your favorite suede jacket or something that can't get wet,Â or scattered with popcorn or confetti.Â Not exactly a Gallagher show, but itÂ could be messy.
4. The seats are small and not comfortable.Â They are obviously made with the acrobats in mind.Â I am not small and can't fold.Â I should have brought a cushion.
5.Â Bring yourÂ jolly attitudeÂ backÂ to the parking lot because it will be a long line, and getting out of there takes a while.Â Actually I was fooled by theÂ size of the audience because the tent is so big, and there aren't that many seats compared to my Grand Chapiteau perception.Â It's still a longÂ wait to get out of the lot.Â Â
So, all in all, it's still a circus...but without the animals and with better music and costumes.Â Â Â It's really more of a circus for adults, which is fine with me.Â TheÂ clowns still creep me out though.Â I just can't help it.
Being a half-assed artist (which is much much different than being a deciplined, creative, prolific one), IÂ am such a fan of those who can just sit andÂ paint something.Â Maybe it's easier when you have a studio, or a room devoted to doingÂ nothing but art, and can go in,Â mess it up, andÂ close the door leaving everythingÂ there until your next muse hits.Â Actually I have an artist friend, Annie, and I used to go to her house and spend the weekend every now and then andÂ we wouldÂ become consumed by whatever project we were doing.Â It was blissful.Â Her studio was a hugeÂ garden room off the upstairs bedrooms with windows all the way around.Â Actually that was one ofÂ two studios.Â She had another at the top of the stairs.Â I guess it depended on what kind of light she needed as to which one she preferred.Â Or the size of the piece she was working on.Â Anyway, some of my best artistic moments were in those rooms.Â Not so much the actual thing I was working on, but the fact that I could get lost in it until the wee hours of the morning and not have to clean anything up before just dropping into bed, creatively spent.Â Unfortunately she doesn't have that house anymore, but she still made her art a priority and carved a space in her basement for when the muse hits.Â I haven't been so good about that.
I do not have that kind of room in my little ranch style house.Â I don't have that kind of light in any of the rooms either.Â So, when the muse hits, it's this ritual of finding the supplies, finding a surface that will accomodate whatever I'm doing, and then about the time I'm REALLY getting into the project, it's time to clean up or the cats will track their own brand of art onto whatever I'm doing, and theÂ men I live with will wonder "how long will this be here?"Â So I avoid the whole process.Â I hate being so responsible.Â I want to buy the house next door and have the whole thing be nothing but a studio, kitchen and guest room.Â Ah, one can dream...
I'm sure when the muse hits Ron Wood, he's either at one of his amazing villas with a seperate studio, or in a city in his artist loft, creating his ass off.Â He's so good.Â Not only is the man a great guitar player, but also a wonderful painter.Â With Ron's life being so turbulant this past year, I guess he has had a lot to work out on canvas.Â Pain does tend to lead to great art.Â Clapton was so amazing when he was a mess.Â I'm glad that his life is better now, but I think it tookÂ life torture to make the music he did.Â Back to Ronnie...
One time when Gloria and I went to Las Vegas for the N.A.B. convention, we were downstairs in the MGM Grand where the shops are, and one of the art galleries had a whole display of nothing but Ron Wood's stuff.Â The real deal too!Â Origionals! Just amazing!Â He works so well with color, bringing that rock and roll passion to his creations.Â
Now you can wear Ron's art.Â But it ain't cheap, my friends.Â Oh no!Â If you're a Gucci, Prada, Coach wearing type, then you won't get sticker shock.Â I get sticker shock if it's the original price at Target.Â Seriously.Â Those name labels don't EVER call to me.Â I wasn't raised that way, and I can't get past it.Â However, if there's a rock star involved, I may give it a wink or two before telling myself that it will never happen, I can't afford it, get serious.Â Ron's stuff is cool, bright, and it's Ron Wood for crying out loud.Â
Here's the link to check out the shirts, scarves, wallets, dresses and other things I can't and won't afford.Â CLICK HERE!
Meanwhile, since I won't be gardening this year, maybe I do need to clear out a room where I can get my artistic groove on.Â Somewhere the cats aren't allowed.Â Or my men.Â Guess I'll owe them a garage makeover too.Â The men that is.