Cirque du Soleil loves L.A. but does a balancing act with Hollywood
Guy Laliberté, the owner-founder of the whimsical Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil circus troupe, likes to say that he and Cirque have had "a love affair with L.A." After all, Los Angeles hosted one of Cirque's shows back in the late 1980s, when the company still was trying to establish a presence outside Montreal, preferably in a warm-weather city where it could perform year-round.
Ever since then, Southern California has been one of Cirque's strongest markets, and Cirque's familiar blue-and-gold striped big top tent has been pitched many times here, from Santa Monica to Orange County. Its newest show, "Iris," a love letter to the movies, recently opened at the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood and Highland complex, where hopes are that it could run for years.
But if Cirque loves L.A., it has been more cautious in its dealings with the business that symbolizes the city for many: Hollywood. Although it has collaborated selectively with some of the major film studios in the past, Cirque has spurned other advances from Hollywood suitors, mainly out of concern about maintaining creative control and also due to philosophical differences with the Hollywood artistic status quo.
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-- Reed Johnson
Photo: Cirque du Soleil's new made-for-L.A. show "Iris" recently opened at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood and Highland. Credit: Matt Beard / Cirque du Soleil