REVIEW: Cirque visits Indy

It's Date Night in America, y'all!

It’s Date Night in America, y’all!

If there’s one thing my current job has taught me, there’s nothing better than free stuff. Food, school supplies, miscellaneous swag – all the students on campus love it.

I love free stuff, too, especially when it’s classy stuff and consists of free tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s “Varekai,” which is in Indianapolis through the weekend. Visit Indy was nice enough to giveaway a pair of tickets on Twitter the other day and, who would have thunk, we won them!

In the spirit of Visit Indy, Caitlyn and I thought we’d take in a little of the Indianapolis dining scene first and make a real date out of the night, so we headed off to Red Lion Grog House in Fountain Square. In true romantic fashion, I used a Groupon I had scored a couple weeks ago (we’re at the point where using coupons at dinner doesn’t turn her off, in fact, it probably turns her on since she can spend those savings on house projects now) to have quite the fancy feast of mac n’ cheese topped with Japanese bread crumbs. This is some of the best mac n’ cheese in the city, in our opinion, so don’t let the fact that it’s an English pub turn you off. It’s extremely rich, filling and flavorful and the bread crumbs on top add the right texture to result in a culinary win for the little pub.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse is a great venue for a Pacers game or a Cirque show.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse is a great venue for a Pacers game or a Cirque show. Alas, we weren’t allowed to take pics inside.

With our bellies full, we rode our bikes along the Cultural Trail to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to where all the action was taking place.

In typical Cirque fashion (this was our third Cirque show), a couple of “clowns” were meandering about the audience once we arrived, doing everything from buffing bald guys’ heads to convincing one poor sap to come near the stage, where they pretended to pull “his” underwear from out of his pants. Silly, French-Canadian clowns …

By now, we’ve learned if you’re trying to look for a plot in a Cirque show, good luck. All we could make out was Icarus(?) flies too close to the sun (or something), loses his wings (which are taken by some guy who looks like he belongs in a Mardi Gras Skull and Bones gang) and falls into a strange world full of woodland creatures. Eventually, he falls in love with a girl (who may or may not be the sun), who gets kidnapped and then there’s lots of acrobatics and dancing on stage for another hour.

Us after the show: No idea what the hell just happened, but it was interesting to look at!

Us after the show: No idea what the hell just happened, but it was interesting to look at!

Overall, the show was a feast for the eyes. I’ve never done LSD, but I assume if I did, this is probably what I’d been seeing. From the vibrant, elaborate costumes to moves and jumps that almost made Caitlyn nervous vomit, there’s plenty to see.

Among the things to keep your eyes open to: Icarus’ act near the beginning where he uses brute upper-body strength to maneuver through a heavy-duty net in the air; the acrobats juggling one another on chairs shortly thereafter and the finale: little fire demons swinging and jumping through the air onto vertical canvas sheets. That latter performance was almost the one that sent poor Caitlyn over the edge.

Interested in Varekai? It’s here through Sunday and tickets are still available.

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