Cirque du Soleil Takes Over the Kodak Theatre

By Marie Lemelle

Los Angeles-Los Angeles and the Kodak Theatre will welcome a new tenant to its lease next year. Canada-based Cirque du Soleil will become a longtime fixture at the Kodak Theatre, home of the Academy Awards, beginning in the summer of 2011.

  Cirque recently signed a ten-year deal to bring more than 300 performances a year to the Kodak, giving the Kodak Theatre its second tenant. Cirque’s cast of 72 world class performers will be the primary tenant of the famous Hollywood entertainment spot for 11 months. The Academy Awards will occupy the space for the other one month. 

This means that Tyler Perry’s plays, concerts, award shows, and other live performances will have to find a new home. 

 Future neighbors of the internationally-known circus, including Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti, whose district include the Kodak entertainment complex, gathered at the Grand Ballroom in the Hollywood and Highland Center recently for a light lunch and get a sneak peek into the live show. Billed as “movies in a whole new light,” the room was transformed into multiple movie sets with large screens. 

 Clowns sans the colorful makeup and dressed like page boys from the 30s, were the comedic sidekicks of the parade of suits behind Cirque such as Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque. Lamarre said “Cirque has a commitment to the City of Los Angeles to be a good citizen.”

In a dramatic flash, the floor to ceiling curtains were pulled back to reveal the grand entrance of two separate mesmerizing acrobatic performances by two troupes – consisting of two females and two males – who put their seemingly delicate bodies through a nonstop series of breathless and mind boggling twists, turns, and flips.

The performances of perfection brought the room of more than 1,000 people to their feet, which added to the anticipation of Cirque’s newest production, “IRIS – A Journey Through the World of Cinema.” 

 Not since the opening of downtown’s LA. Live has the City of Los Angeles had a second coming in the revitalization of an area of the city known for glitz and glamour – IRIS –A Journey Through the World of Cinema brings the Holly back in Hollywood. 

Garcetti reflected on the evolution of Hollywood, as he rode in a simulation of an airplane on stage alongside Lamarre, “In the (19)80s, people would spend about 20 minutes in Hollywood before they were scared back onto their tour bus. Now, with the new addition of Cirque du Soleil, people will spend more time enjoying the sights and sounds of Hollywood.”

 Cirque will enhance those sounds of Hollywood with the enlistment of Composer Danny Elfman, a musician known for composing music for television and cinema (the themes for Desperate Housewives, Batman and The Simpsons) and as singer/songwriter for the leading rock band Oingo Boingo for nearly 20 years.

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