5 Stars

Mama and I were in Las Vegas this weekend and got a chance to see Cirque du Soleil’s Ka at the MGM Grand. Not having seen the “O” show at the Bellagio I cannot draw any comparisons between the two. However, I believe that Ka stands alone as a visually and aurally stunning show that you have to see to believe. The amazing acrobatic performances are matched with a soundtrack that mixes Asian inspired sounds and instruments with tribal drums and rhythms. Surround sound audio effects are recreated with speakers within every seat so that every audience member hears them from the same perspective.

Mama and Ka Cast Member
The backdrop for the story is a mechanical stage that is an engineering marvel. The main stage deck is suspended over a giant pit and has the ability to rotate in almost every direction, even becoming a sheer vertical wall for several acts. The stage completely and smoothly morphs between acts to recreate completely different scenes. From a pit, to a flying boat, to an imperial ceremony, to a boat at sea, to a beach, to a mountain, to a cliff, to a factory, the stage morphs from one amazing environment to the next. There is also a rear stage platform that has the ability to move from backstage to frontstage and several other secondary stage platforms and columns that moved in and out of scenes. The stage environment itself is almost like another character in a cast of nearly eighty artists and deserves its own applause.

Weaving martial arts styles from around the world as well as floor and high-wire acrobatics, the show’s storyline is action-packed. But it is also filled with enough fantasy to engage young children. One of the acts depicts a pair of crabs, a starfish, and a turtle interacting with characters stranded on a beach. These creatures, played very flexible human beings, seem to almost magically appear out of the sand on stage. Amazing. At the end of this act, all of the sand, tons of it, is dumped off the stage onto the pit below as if to imply the passage of time. Genius. Unfortunately, it would take many pages to describe the entire show in detail. Let’s just say that you have to see it.

Before Ka opened, many people claimed that the best two shows in Las Vegas were “O” and Mystere, the other Cirque shows. Now, it seems that Cirque du Soleil may boast the best three shows in a town filled with world-class entertainment.

Before the show, we were able to go backstage and meet one of the primary cast members, pictured here with Mama. What we saw backstage did not hint at the awe-inspiring magnitude of the show. And we realize (now) that what we saw was but a small portion of the backstage area. Either way, seeing what was behind the curtain didn’t spoil the magic one bit.

Thanks to Ka Publicist Reggie Lyons for her kindness and hospitality.

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