Monday, May 2, 2011

Ovo - Before the Flood

I (along with a slew of other bloggers) got free tickets to the preview of Cirque de Soleil's "Ovo" which is in town at Coney Island now thru May 15. I also was given entrance to the Tapis Rouge experience - which is targeted towards corporate and group situations.

We were lucky to see the show Wednesday since it's been flooded out quite a few days since. A few years ago when I saw Cirque they were downtown where the "Banks" now are.

The tent is always quite a sight to see!

Larry was working, so I took my bestie Danielle. She had only seen Cirque at the Aronoff so this was going to be very different! We also had our fancy "Tapis Rouge" tags...

The Tapis Rouge had a separate entrance that was greeted by cupcake towers provided by Bon Bonerie.

In we go!

We did get a free program as well ($20 value). There was wine/champagne there waiting to greet us as well - not too shabby. We felt very fancy! 

Food was all around the tent area (as well as shopping) - the first thing we encountered was butternut squash soup. It was far too thick for me and Dani commented it was like a shake. Not a great start...but it gets a lot better.

That's not one of the performers - it's just a big plastic cricket (I think?). We got our picture taken next to him...looking forward to getting that via email. (Again free and part of the Tapis Rouge)

The center of the room had a few interesting options on tables - this was a flower with some type of meat salad in the middle. I say that because there was no sign and I couldn't quite tell what it was...but it was fine.

Here's a fuzzy shot of it - see - meat salad is the best I could do - maybe it was ham salad? I took it as though you were to eat the entire thing - flower and all. The flower was a bit like lettuce and added a nice crunch. 

Danielle was a little dismayed at eating a flower but she did it like the trooper she is! 

Crostini with goat cheese and toppings...a little dry but good. 

This one was very interesting - shrimp sticking out of a pineapple with little "shots" of shrimp sauce. Very creative presentation - especially to carry all in one hand!

There were servers carrying some items around - the guy carrying this one kept getting tripped up on the food - we were giving him a hard time. He said "Um - seared...um" - I took the leap and said "ahi?" Yes Ahi!!! So it was ahi with a little citrus and caviar. Danielle had never had caviar - I convinced her she wouldn't really "taste" it - just a little saltiness. She went with it! I love that about her...

This was one of our favorites for the evening - a crispy chip with lobster and aioli - it was really great! The combo of the crispy chip with the sweet lobster was delicious.

Next up (from our challenged server) - lamb chops. Again - very very tasty. One of the best of the night.

But here we have our star for the evening. We didn't find these until right before show time - we were so bummed! We did have time for one sandwich each - it was fresh rolls (which were really soft!) and beef tenderloin. They also had 3 different sauces to top them with. This was amazing. The meat melted in your mouth, the bread was so soft and the sauces were fantastic. This was the best of the night - by far!

I was chatting with the bartender (all the drinks were free too) - he said the catering/wait staff all travel with the show. He had been with the tour for 7 months, but his boss has been on tour for 8 years! They get about a week of downtime in each spot.

But now - time for the show!

We had front row seats which was pretty fun. They had some interesting bug catchers hanging out and inspecting the audience. They all REALLY get into it- it's part of the deal with Cirque - when you're in - you're ALL IN.

The Ovo - and no Lady Gaga was not inside.

We then saw the first half of the show - then intermission time! What does that mean? DESSERT! 

Again - it was just a crazy plethora of options - strawberry banana shakes were first up. I don't like bananas so I skipped...

There was a table full of beignets (basically - little dough balls) - they were okay - probably better if they were warm. 

 And what dessert tent would be complete without a giant tower of chocolate! They had fruit, breads and cookies to dip in the chocolate as well. 

These were delightful little red velvet cupcakes with bright yellow light frosting - they were fairly light and very tasty.

Overall the main dish food was better than the dessert options - but both were very good. The Tapis Rouge experience is really fun - but what's not to love about free food, free drinks and great seats?! FYI - the price tag going this route is about $250/ticket. 

Why Should You Go? Well - if you like Cirque - it's a good show. I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth - but I'm just not a huge fan. Let me clarify - the acrobatics are AMAZING! Seriously - wow stuff. The "trampoline/rock wall" was by far my favorite. 

That said - they always wrap a "story" around the acrobatics. It's a lot of gibberish "speaking" and elaborate costumes but I kinda feel like much of the show is the same - just with different costumes. I also think the humor is a bit juvenile (yes - you're hearing that from ME) - but it's almost "fart joke" humor and some of the "sex jokes" are a bit inappropriate for kids - hopefully they're also over the kids heads. 

But - it is a spectacle and entertaining - and the food was great - just don't think I would ever spend $250/person. But that's me speaking as an individual ticket buyer - if I was buying for a corporate or group setting - I might think differently. 

It was a really fun evening with one of my best friends - so thanks to the folks at Cirque for the tickets! (And the giveaway - I hope Aleshia enjoys her tickets too!)
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