Friday, June 22, 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
See Datz pastry chef Alicia Wolding on Netflix’s Sugar Rush

See Datz pastry chef Alicia Wolding on Netflix’s Sugar Rush

When Alicia Wolding joined Datz as the new executive pastry chef last year her hair was rainbow — pretty much the whole ROY G BIV spectrum in cascading tresses. More recently, it’s bright purple, somewhere between iris and lilac. This is the color yo...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

By Katie WorkmanIsraeli or Mediterranean couscous are tiny balls of toasted semolina pasta that plump up when cooked into toothsome, slightly less tiny balls of pasta. They make a great base for a side or salad. You can make the couscous according to...
Published: 06/22/18
Bar review: St. Pete’s Garage is a dive with Pride

Bar review: St. Pete’s Garage is a dive with Pride

Last year’s St. Pete Pride went smoothly, despite some behind-the-scenes drama involving the decision to relocate the parade to the downtown waterfront, rather than the Grand Central District, where it had traditionally been held. After all, the Gran...
Published: 06/21/18
Local craft beer of the week: Beach Slap Piña Colada Wheat Ale from Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company

Local craft beer of the week: Beach Slap Piña Colada Wheat Ale from Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company

"Hooray, it’s summer!" exclaimed no Floridians. But if it’s summer proper and not just the usual year-round weather, you might as well embrace the heat and humidity with a trip to the beach, accompanied by some suitably refreshing beers. While you’r...
Published: 06/21/18
Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

FILIPINO FOOD: WELCOME CHISMISHave you been to the Heights Public Market at the 73,000-square-foot Armature Works yet? It’s the buzzy food market in Tampa Heights with more than a dozen vendors offering up everything from rolled ice cream to Cuban sa...
Published: 06/20/18
On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

SENDUP: MUSICAL OF MUSICALSFive composers, a talented cast, choreography by Cheryl Lee and music directed by Michael Raabe — that’s Freefall Theatre’s recipe for a laugh-filled, season-ending summer musical, appropriately titled The Musical of Musica...
Published: 06/20/18
Artists’ talks and Sharon Norwood’s definition of beauty

Artists’ talks and Sharon Norwood’s definition of beauty

MARK MAKING: DEFINING BEAUTYBlack, squiggly lines are at the center of multidisciplinary artist Sharon Norwood’s works, an exhibition of which titled "Defining Beauty" opens at Tempus Projects on Saturday. Norwood’s use of the line in a variety of me...
Published: 06/20/18
Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

It started with jugs of olive oil and cans of tuna, lots of it, which my husband hauled in one day and plunked on the counter. "That’s my lunch!"That was about three months ago, and every day since there has been a new entity in our house to consider...
Published: 06/20/18
Five ideas for rainbow-themed foods to serve at your Pride party

Five ideas for rainbow-themed foods to serve at your Pride party

More than 50,000 people are estimated to attend Pride weekend in St. Petersburg, which runs Friday to Sunday. (June is LGBTQ Pride Month.) Whether you plan to march in the parade or host your own smaller gathering, we’ve selected five rainbow-themed ...
Published: 06/20/18
My husband has been on the ketogenic diet for three months. Here’s how he does it.

My husband has been on the ketogenic diet for three months. Here’s how he does it.

This week I wrote about something with which I have become very familiar: the ketogenic diet. If you’re like, "Huh?" you are where I was three months ago, before my husband, Phil, embarked on the weight-loss regimen. The keto diet is a high-fat, low-...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18