cirque du soleil’s ovo with toddler: yes we can

Alt title: Cirque du Ican’tbelievehesatstillthewholetime

My hope is that some other parent who is out there googling cirque with toddler or ovo take my 2-year-old? will come across this post and get half price tickets and some courage.

There wasn’t much info for me on the internet when we were trying to decide. Could a young 2-year-old sit through a two hour show with a half hour intermission? Would the darkness, the stage lights, the loud music, the smoke machines, scare him?

This is what I knew: Ovo is a show about bugs, starring a Ladybug and an Egg. A LADYBUG. And a GIANT EGG.

Come on, people. How could we not give it a try?

As previously mentioned in this space, we took the least possible financial risk, scoring half-price tickets from Goldstar for a matinee show in the cheapest section. We considered pretending Jonah was under 2, and thus taking him for free, but in retrospect, we were glad we’d gotten three tickets; him having his own seat was worth the extra dough.

Our seats were in the last row of the far corner of the circus tent. An usher gave us the most wonderful booster attachment that raised Jonah to the perfect viewing height. Possibly the best part about our seats is that we were right next to the cucarracha-costume-clad orchestra, which featured a bebopping bouncy violin player. VIOLIN PLAYER! Yes.

Jonah sat utterly and completely still the entire first hour, hands in his lap, eyes traveling from the action on the stage, to the musicians, and back. Personally, I thought the costumes could have been more bug-like, but Jonah had no problem identifying the ladybug. Some others, he’d ask and we’d guess. They’re rather avant-garde.

There was a giant furry flower hanging from the ceiling that Jonah decided was a lion and no amount of argument from us would convince him otherwise.

Occasionally he would ask where the ladybug or the egg went, when those items/creatures were not onstage.

At intermission, we asked him if he wanted to go home or stay. Definitely stay. He was, again, remarkably still and rapt through the entire second half. I wondered what all the contortioning and flying around and high wiring and trampoline bouncing seemed like to him. He doesn’t have the context to know that these are unusual behaviors for human bodies, does he? Didn’t matter. He liked it.

With about 15 minutes to go in the second half, he started to get squirmy, crawling around on me, on the chair. Turned out what he really wanted to do was bum rush the stage and GET AT THAT LADYBUG, which I discovered as soon as he got himself down the stairs — we were trying to leave during the finale, figuring his patience had gone thin. He slithered out of my grasp and took off; but I caught him around the waist, his arms and legs pinwheeling “Laydeeeee BUGGG!!!” he cried.

The actors gave their bows and exited the stage. Jonah was desolate. Where did she go? Would she be coming back? “We should see the show again!” he declared.

Do you know the way to San Jose?

We bought the book on the way out, definitely a worthwhile purchase. He LOVES paging through it and talking about how the grasshoppers bounced off the wall. It’s nice for us to know now that those yellow/red people were fleas, and anybody with fur on their legs was a spider.

I’d consider going again. It might be fun to get seats a little closer to the stage and more towards the center. The costumes were much more exciting close up. The back row may have helped it be a less overwhelming experience for Jonah though. A pole did obstruct our view slightly through a couple of acts but nothing too terrible. I personally could have completely done without the (seemingly obligatory — this is my fourth Cirque show) overlong clowning segment with audience participation in the late-middle of the show.

Otherwise, two enthusiastic toddler and parent thumbs up!

11 comments for “cirque du soleil’s ovo with toddler: yes we can

  1. MCR
    January 26, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Jonah–You LIKED it! You have begun a life-long odyssey of theater experiences! I, too, was very amazed by Cirque…how do those people (or bugs, as the case may be) do all of that stuff? WOW! I can’t wait to go to a show with you and see it through your eyes. G

  2. January 26, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    We took our son to The Lion King (traveling Bway show) when he was just about exactly Jonah’s age, and he loved it–and also spent many MONTHS reviewing the souvenir program!

  3. eva
    January 26, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    That is impressively brave! I can’t wait to take Megan to something theatrical. Preferably for half price, although I am such a seat snob that I don’t think I could bear slinking off to the back row near a pole!

    And SO WITH YOU on the clowning/audience thing…every Cirque I’ve been to I’ve started to doze off during that segment. I’m sure it’s a lot of work and rehearsing, but give me crazy acrobatic trapezey aerial silky action any day.

    eva’s last blog post..Transit Saturday aka Our Tax Dollars At Work

  4. February 2, 2010 at 5:30 am

    Oh boy! I wish i can take my little xiara on a theatre show! but sadly, we don’t have that in here in our place! it’ll be so nice to take our kids on a show.. it’ll be a new experience to them! holding their hands tightly to make them feel so secure.. :)

  5. rachelle
    February 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    thank you for the inspiring post. we’re taking our 20 month daughter to see the 5:00 show today, and i needed a little boost of confidence! we also have the back row/back corner seats — in addition to getting a great deal on them, my hope is that it’ll also give us some flexibility in case we need to walk around.

  6. Laura
    November 17, 2010 at 9:07 am

    I just found your post because I googled “take 2 year old to see OVO” and I’m so happy I did! I just bought tickets to see OVO in April and am so excited about taking our 2 year old (he will be almost 3 by then) Thanks for the encouraging article!

  7. November 17, 2010 at 9:47 am

    I love that you all are finding this article and being inspired to go to the show! It is so nice for me to be able to share our positive experience and have that help others. Thank you for commenting!

  8. November 25, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you SO much for posting this! We just were given last-minute tickets by some friends – front and center – and are really nervous about taking our little girl – she’s a week shy of 2. I really hope she enjoys it as much as your little guy did, and am hoping she behaves, too! She’s usually good at things like this for at least an hour – piano recitals, puppet shows, etc – so hopefully the intermission will help!

  9. Nadine
    June 7, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Thanks for this post! I’m considering if we should take our 19 month old to OVO. Do you think your little one would have managed as well when he was 19 months?

  10. Samantha
    August 3, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Thanks for the post. I too was looking for feedback on how a 2 year old would handle Cirque. I’m desperate to go and think my guy would love it but there’s that little piece of me that worries lol.

  11. August 3, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Good luck, Samantha! Let me know how it goes!

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