(WINDSOR, ON) – The audience consensus from yesterday evening’s opening night of Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo in Windsor was, “Wow!” From the costumes to the music, from the performances to the storyline, Cirque fans walked away after an other-worldly experience.
Corteo is the story of recently departed Mauro, a circus clown, who relives his life while he imagines his funeral. The cast – beautiful, grotesque, spectacular, and tragic, his friends and fellow circus performers – take part in the procession of his life. The carnival-like cortege of celebration is overseen by benevolent angels who guide Mauro through his dreamscape.
On more than one occasion the audience joined in the joyous mirth and welcomed the performers and musicians, who often left the confines of the stage to interact in the stands. Despite a story which could be considered dour, it was filled by laughter and amusement.
Wonderment is a hallmark trait of Cirque du Soleil shows and Corteo does not fall short in delivery. Each act is linked together in a seamless production of low-key wit and splendor. A modern take on ‘theatre-in-the-round’ featured a two-sided stage though managed in an intimate and non-distracting manner. Don’t think you’re simply walking into the WFCU Arena; you’re not. You’re entering the depths of psychoanalytic theatre.
The myriad, and sometimes dangerous, feats were punctuated by a cacophony of calliope music, drum beats, and shouts. At other times the mood was deathly quiet. Always a surreal experience oozing with Old World charm. Technically, Corteo, written and directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca, is a dazzling display in every direction.
Cotreo continues a limited Windsor run until May 19. Tickets are available online.
With files from Michelle Pollard.
Photos by Ian Shalapata/IPSfoto