Cirque du Soleil: 'Saltimbanco' 

First-time Cirque-goers might have wondered what the fuss is about. Sure the costumes were gorgeous, but Saltimbanco offered little of the eroticism or hallucinogenic imagery that so famously draws crowds to Vegas. What they got, instead, was a generous helping of the circus arts that have informed Cirque from the start. This 17-year-old show, an evergreen in the Cirque repertoire, amounted to a gaudy procession of amazing feats - juggling, trick biking, acrobatics and trapeze - best not tried at home. First among highlights, though, was the clowning, which not only lends continuity to the show, but involves the audience to great effect. Altogether, a big, family-sized grin of an evening.

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David Hoppe

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