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Vanessa Hudgens, Joe Manganiello hit Cirque du Soleil 'Iris' debut

September 26, 2011 |  2:07 pm

Writer/director Philippe Decoufle (in sunglasses) with "Iris" performers outside the Kodak Theatre.
Sunday's world premiere of Cirque du Soleil's new movie-themed production, "Iris," created especially for its home in Hollywood, called for a gala celebration. So the partying began before the show and then picked up again full speed after the finale.

Vanessa Hudgens Both shindigs were star-studded affairs, with an opening-night audience that included Vanessa Hudgens of "High School Musical," Joe Manganiello of "True Blood," Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Kate Beckinsale, Matthew McConaughey, James Gandolfini, Anne Heche, director James Cameron, Christina Hendricks of "Mad Men," Geoffrey Arend of "Body of Proof," Kevin Dillon of "Entourage," Chloe Moretz of "Let Me In," George Kotsiopoulos of "Fashion Police," and Cherry Jones of "24."

Given that the centerpiece was a circus, albeit of a glamorous and sophisticated sort, many celebrities, such as director Jon Favreau, Patrick Dempsey of "Grey's Anatomy," Iqbal Theba of "Glee," Kim Raver of "24" and Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, had their families in tow.

Before the show, on exiting the arrivals red carpet, guests joined the party on Hollywood Boulevard, which was closed off and carpeted for the evening -- the usual traffic replaced by food stands offering sushi, tacos, desserts and other goodies. Models dressed as old-fashioned cigarette girls threaded their way through the crowd, carrying trays of hors d'oeuvres, candy cigarettes and iced wine.

More goodies awaited after the show's grand finale, when guests could drink martinis and chat about the amazing acrobats, contortionists and trapeze artists, who not only worked without nets but performed directly over the audience. Some, however, said they most appreciated the subtleties.

"I like the little things," said Hendricks, recalling a performer who danced with a broom. "I liked the simplicity of it."

For Theba, a film noir sequence, which included a chase scene over trampolines, was one highlight of many, in a show that helped to contribute to the party mood. "You get a high that stays with you after you leave the theater," he said.


Theater review: 'Iris' by Cirque du Soleil at the Kodak Theatre

Photos: Cirque performers, Before and After

Q&A with director-choreographer Philippe Decouflé and composer Danny Elfman

-- Ellen Olivier

Society News LA

Top photo: Writer/director Philippe Decoufle (in sunglasses) with "Iris" performers outside the Kodak Theatre. Credit: David Livingston/Getty Images. Inset: Vanessa Hudgens. Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Dempsey. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Neil Patrick Harris David Burtka

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

James Gandolfini
James Gandolfini. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Christina Hendricks
Christina Hendricks. Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Model Camila Alves and actor Matthew McConaughey

Model Camila Alves and Matthew McConaughey. Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.