In the early 1984, a group of young, colorfully dressed acrobats entertained summer crowds in Quebec, Canada. This was the beginning of the juggernaut known as Cirque du Soleil, and more than a quarter-century later, this organization has 5,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists drawn from more than 50 countries. And if it seems like they're everywhere, it's because there are 22 different Cirque du Soleil productions this year, ranging from resident shows in tourist towns like Las Vegas, Orlando, Macau and Tokyo, to touring shows under big tops and in arenas.
It's one of the arena shows that will load into RBC Center this week for eight shows between today and Sunday. This one's called Alegría, but despite the nominal Spanish-ness of the title, the show promises spectacle as cosmopolitan as ever, from "Mongolian Contortion" to "Russian Bars," along with "Synchro Trapeze," in which aerialists will defy their deaths 40 feet above the ground. Bring your kids, or if you have none, perhaps take a cue from Knocked Up and bring your shrooms. —David Fellerath