OVO could mean “Oh Very Outstanding” but in Portuguese, OVO means “egg.”
The production features hundreds of insects who work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and in some cases fall in love on stage.
The performance with a truly international cast opens with a giant egg on the center of the stage with some unique characters lurking and bouncing around just trying to figure out what is inside.
Master Flipo, played by Gonzala Munoz Ferrer from Columbia, is an oval shaped beetle who is the chief of the insect community. He is not only the oldest, but smart and wise and he captures the audience’s attention because he is a bit eccentric and silly. The insect community respects and likes him even though they know he can be dim-witted sometimes.
Big and strong, the Ladybug, portrayed by Michele Matlock of the United States, is the next to take the stage and she is full of life but appears not to realize her strength. Unlike the rest of the insects in the community she is not part of a family. Her actions denote that she is alone and lonely. She makes it clear she is waiting and longing for something very exciting and wonderful to happen in her life.
The third lead to appear is The Foreigner, played by Francois-Guillaume LeBlanc from Canada. He is a live wire fly in a constant buzzing motion. He is carrying a large egg which the Ladybug hopes will be the thing that changes her life.
The first family of insects to appear on stage are particularly common this time of year in Connecticut. They are the hard working ants, in bright red, as they gather and play with their food, kiwis and corn. The ants use their feet in an astonishing display of precision juggling.
Butterflies appear performing phenomenal feats using duo straps. They twist, turn and fly with grace and extraordinary control upside down and right side up, all the while with pointed toes for an act reflective of an aerial ballet pas de deux. The female butterfly even flips off the back of the male butterfly, and then holds him while flying and twirling upside down to complete this exquisite number.
Following this graceful act you will experience a high-speed artist, Wei-Liang Lin from Taiwan, presenting a diabolo firefly number. He starts with one diabolo then works his way up in the end to send four diabolos up to the ceiling of the arena, all while spinning himself and flipping them under his arms and legs.
In my opinion, the oddest creature in the show was Créatura, a part slinky, part insect dancing, to a tune that is all his own. He is large bendy, twisty knot of stretchy limbs who never stops moving in the center of the stage.
A spectacular aerial act is the Russian Cradle with six men and four women all from the Ukraine, who fly over a trapeze with one center and two sides where only six meters separates the catchers.
The most impressive part of this act for me was that the lady flyers stood on top of the male launchers or catchers prior to taking flight. This allowed them to fly higher and with more speed. The nine year old winner of tickets from Kidtivity.com to see the show, Jordan Jr, said, “my favorite part of the first act was when each trapeze artist flipped from the platform to the net using a variety of free fall moves!”
The second half opens with smoke on the floor and two spiders, one red and one black, moving on their webs (actually ropes) while a stunning white spider reveals her talent on the web to attract a group of crickets. The white spider possesses unbelievable talent as a contortionist, performing mind bending tricks.
A tour-de-force act is presented by a spider, Jianmung Qui from China, on a slackwire. His feats appear impossible on the small wire using just his feet and balancing upside down on his hands, but then to everyone’s wonder, a metal balancing bar is added for more instability, but Qui continues to balance. His final move is to ride a unicycle on the slack tightrope ending by doing a handstand on the unicycle.
Throughout the show, there is a large screen at the back of the stage showing huge close-ups of ordinary things such as grass, twigs, frost, foam and white tissue. This is the world to insects and it adds size reference and excellent imagery to the production.
At the conclusion, an 8-meter vertical climbing wall takes the place of the large screen at the back of the stage on which a colony of crickets appear to walk and flip across the wall. Using their athletic ability, physical strength and team coordination makes this a spectacular finishing act for Cirque du Soleil OVO.
During the previous acts the three dimensional screen displayed close ups of the natural plants on which the performing insects would really live outdoors. These images of grass, twigs, foam and leafs added a necessary size reference and enhanced the production.
The live music and singing very much compliments each type if insect and their movements. The OVC Cockroaches Band includes bandleader and drummer Daniel Baeder and singer Julia Barros Marmund, both from Brazil. Other instruments used during the performance are banjo, guitar, percussion, violin, oboe, English horn, flute, bass, cello, keyboard and an accordion,
Because the production lasts two hours and 15 minutes, personally, I would not recommend children age six or under attend, unless of course they are taken home from the show during intermission. In any event, to completely comprehend the show and explain it to youngsters. I would strongly recommend purchasing the program book since it will add discussions at home later to be more educational.
As part of a global tour in arenas around North America, the production will be presented at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport from June 8-12 for 7 performances, and then moves to the XL Center in Hartford from June 15-19 for another 7 performances. The show is presented by Visa Signature®.
~ Review written on June 9, 2016 by Publicist Kay Page Greaser for Kidtivity.com & Teentivity.com