What To Expect When You Go To Cirque Du Soleil : Cirque Jerk

If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas or enjoyed the occasional PCP binge, you’ve probably heard of Cirque Du Soleil.

I didn’t know bodies could do…that.

Yes, Cirque Du Soleil, the world famous purveyors of bendy people in upsetting costumes, has been freaking people out since 1984 with its self-described “dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment.” You should also know that one of its founders, Guy Laliberté, is a former street performer turned World Poker Tour player and “space tourist,” which means he once paid $35 million to spend eleven days in goddamn OUTER SPACE. That’s 35 million American dollars he earned selling tickets to 75 minutes of this:

Seems legit.

Now, I feel it only fair to tell you that I’ve never been to a Cirque Du Soleil show. That’s partially because I was out of town the last time it came through my city, and partially because I don’t see the sense in dropping a wad of cash on a Cirque Du Soleil ticket when I can stay at home, get the flu, eat a footlong meatball sub before bed, and have my own terrifying fever dreams for free.


But for those of you who insist on enjoying things like “culture” and “live performance” and “creative stimulation beyond watching back-to-back episodes of Hillbilly Handfishin’,” I’ve been inspired by recent events to give the future Cirque Du Soleil audience members among us a brief look at what you can expect when you attend a performance. To which “recent events” am I referring?

Oh, just the one where a drunk border agent was giving her coworker a blow joy during a Cirque Du Soleil show, and then jaw-punched the woman who told her to knock it off. Snore.

Now, upon first glance, that story looks like yet another tiresome tale of rude audience members. You know the type — always texting and talking and unwrapping noisy candies and going to town on some dude’s pud.

“Ma’am, I’m going to have to insist that you hang up the phone and cease this amazing handy jay immediately.”

But, my friends! This happened at a Cirque Du Soleil show, a place where risks are taken and the imagination soars! Clearly our friends’ oral excursion in the cheap seats was PART OF THE SHOW! How gauche of that woman to insist that they stop because her children were watching! I mean, didn’t she read anything about this show before she bought tickets? What a maroon.

I thought the poster was pretty straightforward.

 The jaw punch as she left the venue? Also part of the experience, but don’t expect Little Miss Pressing-Charges to understand that. And if you don’t want to look like such a wet blanket noob when it’s your turn to bear witness to the Cirque, you’ll read my handy tips below on identifying just how interactive this groundbreaking performance art can be.

Come, let us enjoy the beauty of splayed crotches together.

  • The angry parent screaming at his children by the concession stands. Don’t be so quick to let your heart sink when you see an innocent child taking esteem-crushing insults while you wait for your nachos: it’s all part of the show, folks! “Shut your mouth, you goddamn brat,” takes on a whole new dimension when you understand that it’s not actually child abuse, it’s the ancient Venezuelan street art, Malos Tratos. How colorful!

Insider tip: Keep watching the show even if the performers tell you to “Mind your damn business,” otherwise you’ll miss the impressive world-class tumbling when a nine-year-old is pushed backwards into a trash can.

  • The food service worker who neglects to wash her hands after using the restroom. It’s not poor hygiene, it’s high art! You’ll have to wait a while to fully realize this one, though. Expect to see the show begin after about 24 hours.

Spoiler alert: that bratwurst will be making an explosive encore.

  • The weirdo yanking it at the urinal.Your instinct may be to beeline to another restroom, but if you do, you’ll be missing out on one of the most achingly beautiful experiences of your life. An extension of Cirque Du Soleil’s famous adult-themed show, Zumanity, this most private of situations is made public in an artistic appreciation of human form and function. Mind your shoes.

It’s like this, but minus the two hot people and plus a sociopath in a dirty Marlboro windbreaker.

  • The inappropriately intoxicated audience member. Don’t call security! That lovable scamp is none other than a classic Commedia dellArte Zanni character, straight from 16th century Italy. The kids will get a kick from watching your resident Harlequin fighting to stay conscious and belching loudly onto the patrons in front of him. Lucky audience members may witness Harlequin’s signature comedy routine, Diventare Belligerante con le Concessioni Personale Quando si Rifiutano di Servire Lui Birra (“Becoming Belligerent With the Concessions Staff When They Refuse To Sell Him Any More Rolling Rock”).

“I don’t have a problem, YOU have a problem! You and my whore wife!”

Well, I hope I’ve managed to give you some insight when it comes to navigating your Cirque Du Soleil experience. It certainly can be overwhelming, both aesthetically and, you know, possibly getting assaulted by your fellow audience members. But one thing’s for sure: never will witnessing someone’s desperate sex act make you feel so ALIVE!

Although how one manages to get an erection in the presence of this is beyond me.

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