The Electric Big Top

City Life feels the zap of Kurios, the latest from Cirque du Soleil that hits Toronto this August

There’s a man on the loose in New York City, but I manage to catch him on the phone as he’s strutting down Ninth Avenue. He is Michel Laprise, writer and director of Cirque du Soleil’s latest spectacle, Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities. As I call him up to get the scoop on the show, he quickly proves to be the quirkiest person I’ve interviewed all day.

And he’s got to be — after all, he’s the man who singlehandedly dreamt up the mind-bending performance that’s shaking Quebec, and will soon shake Toronto.

And mind-bending is an understatement. Like P90X for the imagination, the steampunk-esque show tells the story of a late-1800s inventor that creates a machine to access a parallel universe — a place where ideas form before entering our dreams to inspire us. But the portal has a reverse effect, ultimately turning the inventor’s world upside down.

“I was inspired by the second half of the 19th century, the age of the invention of electricity,” says Laprise in his charming Quebec City accent. “It was a time of new and limitless energy, when everything was possible. And that’s how I wanted the audience to feel as they leave the big top — that with some imagination, they could do anything.”

The finished product has been incredibly well received in Quebec, and Torontonians eagerly wait to have their minds tickled by the performance, which was two years in the making. So prepare to have your mind electrified — Laprise brings his kaleidoscopic show to the city this August.

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Amanda Storey

Amanda Storey

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