The Dolby Theatre (formerly the Kodak Theatre) at Hollywood & Highland is known by many as the home of the Academy Awards. Hundreds walk past its unassuming doors daily, taking pictures on the sweeping staircase and next to the grand columns that honor the Best Picture winners from each year. Now, visitors and locals alike will have a new reason to make a trip to the Dolby, Iris: A Journey Through the World of Cinema, Cirque du Soleil’s newest artistic achievement.
Paying homage to L.A.’s rich cinematic past, the performance takes the audience on a journey through movie-making history, highlighted by the Quebec-based company’s signature acrobatics and dance routines. I had the privilege of being one of the first to see the new show when it premiered last year. A background in gymnastics and dance allows me a unique perspective; it takes more than a few backflips and flip flops to impress. Cirque du Soleil, however, knows how to put on a good show, and Iris was no exception.
The show, to put it simply, was fantastic. Not only did the stunts and performers exceed my expectations, but the set design and production quality, in my opinion, stole the show. Effortless transitions take the audience from a performance by colorful, jumping bean-like acrobats to an energetic and exciting movie set to a trampoline- and high bar-fueled chase scene. Any breaks in trapeze tricks and juggling acts are filled with Cirque’s ever-present and endearing characters, this time a slimy agent, a wannabe actor and an Old Hollywood actress. Their comedic presence serves to ground a show filled with high-flying feats. Although a seat for Iris can be costly–tickets range from $43 to $253–it’s a worthy entertainment investment. Besides, who can resist the chance to look into the world of cinema, while in one of Hollywood’s most glamorous venues?