If you love Cirque du Soleil and Shakespeare, then “Amaluna” is the perfect way to celebrate both. “Ama” refers to “mother” while “luna” refers to “moon.” Amaluna is the name of the mysterious island where this adventure takes place.
You might think this island is somewhere off of Ecuador. The first inhabitant that we meet is a lizard man, Cali (Vladimir Pestov) an actor with a great tail who crawls around and scurries into the audience. Amaluna is ruled by the sorceress Prospera (singer and cellist Amanda Zidow), who protects her daughter Miranda (Anna Inaseva/Iuliia Mykhailova) and commands the wind spirits, the Arielles.
The Arrielles in this case are unicyclists Satomi and Yuka Sakaino from Japan who dance and turn and even hop a bit on their golden unicycles.
From above, the storm goddess (Kristina Inanova) appears with her retinue of Valkyrie, performing aerial straps before she stirs up the waves (water is represent in the shape of a large, human-sized translucent water bowl), bringing Romeo (Danny Vrijsen) to the shores of Amaluna. The water bowl has slots for the canes on which Miranda performs feats of flexibility and balance.
Besides her mother, Miranda has her nanny, Mainha (Gabriella Argento), and Romeo (Evgeny Kirkin) has his man servant, Yurick (Thiago Andreuccetti), who in the Cirque du Soleil tradition serve as comic relief and will eventually become a match made in Cirque heaven.
Amaluna is also visited by the stunning white-clad Peacock Goddess (dancer Eira Glover) and the Moon Goddess (aerial hoop and vocalist Sabrina Aganier).
To balance out the marooned sailors who will eventually perform on the teeter boards (high flying antics on teeter totters that you shouldn’t try at home) and a few on the Chinese pole, are red-clad Amazons who will also fly, but on an arrangement of uneven parallel bars.
There will, of course, be a happy ending, but if you really want to be happy get there early to avoid the parking problems. Parking on the main lot can take time to get in as there are only two lanes. One lane is really for the the Battleship Iowa Museum (250 S. Harbor Blvd.) which is just beyond the Cirque yellow and blue big top. There are special deals if you visit the museum ($4 off of general admission). Friday-Sunday, there are two shows and that may make parking more chaotic if you’re going to the second show. We attended on a Thursday when there were plenty day-of tickets that we purchases online two hours prior to the show and picked up at will-call.
On the Cirque website many of the tickets will be discounted, but you can also pick up deals through rush tickets online. On the Cirque, some tickets will automatically give you a VIP offer which is an additional $125 except for those seats already designated as VIP.
The VIP treatment may not pay off for those who don’t eat beef, chicken or shrimp. On the night we attended, the hors d’oeuvres began with fajitas (onions and bell peppers) with either shrimp or chicken on small six-inch flour tortillas, prepared at a station in the VIP room. The mix was mild and on the sweet side, but you could add pickled jalapeños. Wait people also served small cups of New England clam chowder with chunks of bacon (too salty for me), tostini with chopped avocado and tomatoes, small steamed buns with barbecued beef inside and Spam sliders. There were no real vegetarian or vegan options.
Soft drinks and mixed drinks from the sponsor Hennessy Black.
During the 25-minute intermission, the fajita station became a crepe station for chocolate fans and also had small waffle cones with either mango or garlic sorbet. Banana creme with whipped cream was served in metal spoons.
The gifts included in the VIP ticket are two glass Amaluna cups and a program. The advantage of the VIP suite is it has seating. On a crowded night, you also have access toilets.
Getting out was disorganized. If you do have VIP parking, then remember to have one VIP ticket to give with your parking ticket when you get out.
“Amaluna” runs until 26 May in San Pedro. It then moves to Philadelphia (24 July to 25 August) and Winnipeg (14 September to 20 October).