I went to see Kooza last night at Randall's Island, and really enjoyed it.
I've seen just about every Cirque show, written extensively on them, and enjoyed almost all of them in one way or another. Kooza feels like a return to the simplicity and joy of early Cirque shows, and this is likely not a cooincidence, since the show is directed by David Shiner, who I saw as the main clown in Nouvelle Experience back in about 1990 (and later twice with Bill Irwin in Fool Moon on Broadway). That was my first Cirque experience--my girlfriend at the time and I got to hang out after the show with Francois Bergeron, (who was mixing the tour), sitting in Cirque's private bar overlooking the Hudson (in those days they played in Battery Park City) until the wee hours of the morning. I really wanted to run away and join the circus that night, but I had just started a job at Theatre Crafts magazine.
The sound for Kooza was by my old friend Jonathan Deans, who did a great job, and the lighting, sets and costumes were all great. The cueing was phenomenally tight and worked really well, as did the whole show flow. The acts were mostly traditional circus acts (Teeter board, Wheel of Death, Balancing Chairs, Contortionists, Unicycle etc) but were all amazing and wrapped up and presented well in the way that Cirque pioneered:
Most astonishing of the acts to me was the juggler, Anthony Gatto, who must be one of the best jugglers in the world. Watch for yourself:
I'm leading a trip of students out for a backstage tour of the show on Saturday, hope to post more photos then.
Backstage tour write up here.