At this point, maybe you’re feeling a bit jaded about Cirque du Soleil. True, the French-Canadian circus company has back-flipped its way into the Rose City so many times that you start to wonder if they have a block of time-share condos here. By now, you’ve surely seen it all, right?
Hold on a minute! There’s nothing quite like “Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities,” the latest big-top show that opened an extended run Thursday at the Portland Expo Center. With its steampunk theme and Victorian-era costumes, the 2-1/2-hour spectacle is a time-machine trip back to the Industrial Revolution, as seen through the eyes of mad scientists, mystics and makers of playful mayhem.
“Kurios” is remarkable on a number of levels. It features enough family-friendly elements to make it accessible to all, while maintaining the off-beat aesthetic Cirque is known for, making it appealing to fans of the avant-garde. Its performers offer new twists on traditional circus acts like juggling and acrobatics, interspersed with completely new feats designed to make hearts race. And there’s the mechanical theme running throughout, from sets made out of oversized cogs and gears, to costumes that evoke steam engines and robots.