This is not your grandfather’s circus (or even the one you might have seen as a child).
Cirque du Soleil is back, at Marymoor Park in Redmond, and yes, this is a production your entire family can enjoy if you’re able to splurge on an afternoon or evening out.
The production is called “Alegría” (“joy” in Spanish), the longest-running and one of the most beloved Cirque du Soleil shows. It premiered in 1994 and was revamped in 2019 for its 25th anniversary.
Kids will love it. They may not grasp the plot — but I didn’t, either. It is described as a tale of a “kingdom on the verge of revolutionary change” in which “the aristocratic ideals of the old guard are challenged by the revolutionary ideals of a youth in revolt.”
Honestly, that’s not important. What I saw were spectacular acts of strength and agility, colorful costumes and a bit of goofy slapstick. It also snows.
The spectacle is incredible, the music is beautiful and the ongoing banter between two clownish characters definitely has a preschool vibe to it. The final, ensemble trapeze act had me holding my breath. The show is very loud at times, and there are bright, flashing lights; it could be a bit much for some kids.
Cirque du Soleil: More things to know
- You’ll hear the show described as being “under the big top” or in the chapiteau (and you can see it from the highway), but it’s 100% sheltered and cozy. I was too warm, in fact. There are plenty of restrooms and, while technically portable, they are quite nice.
- Parking is an additional $25 (but the money goes to King County parks), and you’ll walk a ways to the tent over ground that can be damp or uneven.
- Not to be a killjoy, but high-tailing it back to your vehicle after the show will better position you to get out of there. The wait can be long.
- Snacks are pricey. If you run out of time to feed the kids, you’ll be better off hitting a drive-through than getting the nachos at the show.
- Got bling? This is definitely an occasion to wear a fancy outfit or sparkly mask if you feel like it.
- Go for the “cheap” seats, including family and group discounts, if available. The big top seats 2,600 people and, while some tickets are described as “obstructed view” (for as little as $40), it appears that sightlines would be pretty good from most of the arena.
- Looking for a deal? Cirque du Soleil says your best bets are Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
- The show runs through March 13. Details and ticket information here.
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