‘Luzia’: A Gorgeous, Colorful Appreciation of Mexican Culture ✮✮✮✮

There are no Dodger dogs (Nathan’s) or Dodger blue under the great chapiteau for this month as Cirque du Soleil returns for a celebration of Mexican culture in what was once Chavez Ravine. If you can avoid parking woes, this is a great splurge for family entertainment although it might make kids (or even adults) want to run away and join the Cirque.

Unlike many Cirque shows where the words are nonsensical, this one embraces Spanish. The show begins before everyone is actually seated (you’ll get a two-minute warning and if you’re not in your seats, you’ll be shut out and miss part of the show). Instead of clowns roaming the audience, a man gets on-stage where there is an over-sized mysterious key. People in colorful hummingbird-esque costumes will wander on the stage as a musician plays some Spanish guitar music.

The concept is we are on a flight. The big circle that dominates the back of the stage becomes a parachute and the clown eventually lands, but it turns out that the raised center stage surrounded by yellow-orange flowers is an oversized conveyer belt upon which some gymnastics will be performed with people instead of pets jumping through a variety of ring formations.

The next act will make dancers swoon. Three men in white shirts, beige trousers and pink ties lift and twirl a woman dressed in a pink bustier leotard. The transitions are smooth, bold and flawless. What woman wouldn’t want to soar on and over the shoulders of three men?

The circle will blaze yellow and orange for a woman on still trapeze in the air and a woman in a yellow dress whirling around on a cyr (metal hoop). If that wasn’t enough, water pours down, enough to soak the women but this is, after all, a family show and the wet doesn’t soak down to the gutter-level of a wet t-shirt contest. Instead, there is something wistful in this wetness, like someone enjoying a refreshing rain on a hot day.

But there is still sexy. After a clown gets the crowd to bounce an inflated beach ball, we are transported to a beach with a sexy lifeguard. While the others row, swim or pose, this lifeguard balances on two hands, eventually six levels high.  From the athletics at a beach we find some soccer magic. Think of hip hop meets soccer at an rhythmic gymnastic playtime.

Intermission is signaled by the dropping of a grand red papel picado and denizens of this fantastical land some out–people with parts of native animals such as beetles, armadillos or fish. After intermission there are pole dancers, a man swinging around like Tarzan of the Amazon, an amazing male contortionist and people doing things on specialized swings that you should definitely not try at home.

The only caveat is there aren’t any major selfie opportunities before the show like with the Kurios show and if you decide to go on a Saturday after the matinee, expect absolute parking lot madness when you get there. When we got there for the 8 p.m. show, the people were just clearing out from the 4:30 p.m. show. What began as a two-way traffic space between cars became a one-way two-lane and then a one-way three-lane and finally a four-lane with two lanes going across wherever they wished.  No one was directing traffic and it was already dark and children were walking about. Get there in plenty of time either way although the site doesn’t open until about an hour in advance of the show.

“Luzia” continues at Dodger Stadium until 11 February 2018 when it closes and moves to Orange County Fair Grounds, 21 February to 18 March 2018. Tickets from $50.

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