Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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
Hotly anticipated Ichicoro Ane is now open in St. Petersburg

Hotly anticipated Ichicoro Ane is now open in St. Petersburg

Noel Cruz seemed remarkably chill. As did his partner Kerem Koca. All around them in the Station House building in St. Petersburg, workers pounded the last nails, bartenders unpacked boxes of glassware and jewel-toned bottles of Amari, and the kitche...
Published: 12/12/17
Party like it’s Christmas in Narnia with these recipes perfect for tea time

Party like it’s Christmas in Narnia with these recipes perfect for tea time

As a kid, I always looked for doors into other worlds. I blame Narnia. In C.S. Lewis’ classic novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, four British children step through a magic wardrobe into Narnia, a world filled with talking animals and plenty ...
Published: 12/12/17
Golden Globe-nominated movies and when to see them in Tampa Bay

Golden Globe-nominated movies and when to see them in Tampa Bay

Guillermo Del Toro’s romantic creature feature The Shape of Water soaked up seven Golden Globes nominations Monday, kicking off another marathon awards season. The Shape of Water is nominated for best dramatic motion picture alongside Christop...
Published: 12/11/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 12

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 12

Petula Clark: The two-time Grammy Award-winning artist is known for hits like Downtown, I Know a Place, My Love and I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love. 2 and 7:30 p.m., Central Park Performing Arts Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $34.50-$49.50....
Published: 12/11/17
Is Gilbert Gottfried really that annoying in real life?

Is Gilbert Gottfried really that annoying in real life?

A new documentary about comedian Gilbert Gottfried reveals someone more mild-mannered than his stage persona, married with children, verging on dull. His voice doesn’t grate, dropping half its nasal quality and all of its foul-mouthed bluster....
Published: 12/11/17
Mario Batali on leave from ‘The Chew’ and restaurant empire after sexual harassment allegations

Mario Batali on leave from ‘The Chew’ and restaurant empire after sexual harassment allegations

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein story, chef and television personality Mario Batali offered up his views on how to combat sexual harassment in the workplace for an Oct. 30 video for Fast Company."You need a workplace free of fear, that harbors an...
Published: 12/11/17
Restaurant review: Let the food and outstanding cocktails at CW’s Gin Joint transport you back to the 1920s

Restaurant review: Let the food and outstanding cocktails at CW’s Gin Joint transport you back to the 1920s

TAMPAMaybe it’s the twinkling chandeliers. All skajillion of them. Or maybe it is the rhythmic syncopation of ice cubes in shiny shakers. It could be the old-timey metal dessert cart with its silver cloches and chafing dishes, or else the chummy-but-...
Published: 12/11/17
Restaurant review: 1895 Kitchen Bar Market needs to do a lot more to stand out in downtown Tampa

Restaurant review: 1895 Kitchen Bar Market needs to do a lot more to stand out in downtown Tampa

TAMPA Just a block away from CW’s Gin Joint, the folks at Urban Juice Co. have retooled, taking the historic Franklin building, one of the city’s oldest, erected in 1895, and re-envisioning it in September as 1895 Kitchen-Bar-Market, a "...
Published: 12/11/17
Sting rocks the house with old and new hits in Florida Orchestra gala

Sting rocks the house with old and new hits in Florida Orchestra gala

ST. PETERSBURG — In some ways, the Florida Orchestra’s gala with Sting looked like other concerts of a mega-star. Most of the fans who packed the Mahaffey Theater bought their tickets the day they went on sale. They cheered and sang along at the open...
Published: 12/10/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Dec. 11-17

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Dec. 11-17

Katy Perry: The Teenage Dream songstress roars into Tampa’s Amalie Arena on Friday ($45.75-$195.75). amaliearena.com. Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights begins Tuesday, bringing fun celebrations including Hanukkah in the City at the Sundial St. Petersb...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/10/17