Saturday, February 24, 2018
Features and More

Cirque du Soleil's tent show returns to St. Petersburg this fall with 'Kooza'

For the first time since 2005, Cirque du Soleil is bringing a coveted tent show, Kooza, to St. Petersburg in November.

A decade ago when Cirque first pitched its trademark blue and yellow Grand Chapiteau in the parking lot at Tropicana Field, it drew sellout crowds from Tampa Bay and beyond to see the Montreal-based company's new-age shows, which combine daredevil acrobatics with artful productions. Many of those who attended were also discovering downtown St. Petersburg for the first time.

Starting with Quidam in 2002, Cirque contributed to the city's renaissance as an arts and culture center, with near annual visits. But after Alegria in 2004 and Varekai in 2005, the touring tent shows stopped coming.

Instead, Saltimbanco and a return engagement of Alegria played the Tampa Bay Times Forum, which seats more people but lacks the atmosphere and intimacy of the big top.

Now the big top is back. From Nov. 8 through a yet-to-be-determined closing date, Kooza will be installed in the parking lot of Tropicana Field under the 2,500-seat Grand Chapiteau, which is white instead of the familiar blue and yellow for this tour.

Kooza, which premiered in 2007, was written and directed by David Shiner, best known for his performance as a clown in the Broadway mime revue Fool Moon. "The show doesn't take itself too seriously, but it's very much about ideas, too," Shiner said in a program note. "As it evolves, we are exploring concepts such as fear, identity, recognition and power."

The title is derived from the Sanskrit word koza that means "box." The show's music was inspired by "Western pop music, from 1970s funk to orchestral music," composer Jean-Francois Cote said. "I also drew upon traditional Indian music and film scores from the 1940s and 1950s, a period I'm particularly fond of."

Kooza is one of 21 Cirque shows around the world, including seven resident shows in Las Vegas and La Nouba in Orlando. Before arriving in St. Petersburg (the company's website incorrectly says Tampa), it is playing Phoenix (where it is now), Houston and Dallas. Ticket prices "are not finalized," a spokeswoman said. They go on sale July 9. See cirquedusoleil.com.

John Fleming can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8716.

Comments
Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

TAMPA — Could your 4-year-old be the next Lulu? A touring Broadway show wants to find out. Waitress, which runs April 24-29 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, is looking for a local 4- to 5-year old to play a small but c...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Top things to do on Friday, Feb. 23

Top things to do on Friday, Feb. 23

Blast Friday: The Romantics: The family-friendly food and craft vendor festival featuring a free live concert and a beer garden. 5:30 p.m., 400 Block of Cleveland Street, Osceola Avenue and Cleveland Street, Clearwater. Free. (727) 464-7200. Pasco C...
Published: 02/23/18
The Florida Orchestra taps composer Michael Ippolito to capture the state’s sound

The Florida Orchestra taps composer Michael Ippolito to capture the state’s sound

ST. PETERSBURG — The composer sat in semi-darkness, his hand drifting like a slow pendulum at his side. On the Mahaffey Theater stage, the violins led a creaking and mysterious journey through a cypress swamp, the inspiration for the first movement.T...
Published: 02/23/18
A look at new ships and trends in cruising for 2018

A look at new ships and trends in cruising for 2018

What’s new in cruising for 2018? As usual, there’s lots of razzle-dazzle — laser tag, water slides, zip lines and massive LED screens — along with a continued emphasis on healthy lifestyle options, from dining to fitness. But there are also changes u...
Published: 02/23/18
New play focuses on the dangers of seniors falling

New play focuses on the dangers of seniors falling

CLEARWATER — The actor is playing out a common moment. She is an elderly woman, one who cherishes simple possessions — her cat, a favorite rug, her own home. She loses her balance while leaning over. She tumbles to the ground. The stage fades to blac...
Published: 02/22/18
Updated: 02/23/18
Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

CLEARWATER — Police Chief Dan Slaughter started this month a new unit to target repeat offenders and nuisance properties.The Special Enforcement Unit consists of six police officers and a sergeant from within the department to focus on the small grou...
Published: 02/22/18
Jolley Trolley offers free rides to Clearwater Beach

Jolley Trolley offers free rides to Clearwater Beach

CLEARWATER — Spring break kicked off this week with a program offering free rides on the Jolley Trolley between downtown and Clearwater Beach until April 29.The Park N Ride service will pick up riders at two lots downtown every 15 minutes and drop th...
Published: 02/22/18
Ruth Eckerd Hall asks Clearwater for $3 million toward renovations

Ruth Eckerd Hall asks Clearwater for $3 million toward renovations

CLEARWATER — Ruth Eckerd Hall is requesting a $3 million grant from the city to help complete the $21 million renovation of its facility on McMullen Booth Road.The Expanding the Experience project began in 2015 with a renovation of the Murray Theatre...
Published: 02/22/18
This week food fests celebrate collard greens and Jewish foods

This week food fests celebrate collard greens and Jewish foods

FIELD OF GREEN: COLLARD FEST On Saturday you can devote your whole day to the beauty of collard greens. Well, that’s the jumping off point. Collards are the "central ingredient" at the Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival at St. Petersburg’...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/22/18
As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

Can you feel it? The air is gradually thickening with humidity and the layers of clothes are getting thinner. Spring has almost sprung and with it brings a bumper crop of festivals in Florida’s theme parks full of food, wine, concerts and parades. Th...
Published: 02/21/18