Oscars: Cirque du Soleil sends up Academy Awards in 'Iris'
Cirque du Soleil's new production "Iris: A Journey Through the World of Cinema," may be an homage to movies, but there's one aspect of Hollywood that comes in for a bit of a ribbing in the show: the Oscars.
The mocking segment in the second act of "Iris" may hit a bit close to home for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the Oscars -- after all, both the awards telecast and "Iris" take place in the Kodak Theatre in the Hollywood & Highland complex.
The segment that spoofs the Oscars features two of the show's clowns, who act as the slap-happy hosts of an, ahem, unnamed awards show. The set features two tacky staircases, a microphone that doesn't work properly, and a huge, gold-painted award (fashioned as a loving cup) that falls apart.
At the 5 p.m. premiere show on Sunday, the "nominees" include a woman dressed in a get-up that could be described as part bee, part kewpie doll; a male clown in drag decked out in a red gown and blond wig; and two members of the audience. Whether the guy from the audience was a plant or not, he was pretty game when he was named the winner; he sauntered up on stage, thanking the audience and even acting sexy for the camera.
Though most of "Iris" is family friendly, the Oscar spoof gets a little R-rated -- especially in a bit dealing with the clown in drag who gets a little too friendly with a banana he had been hiding in his dress.
The Oscars have been held at the Kodak since 2003. Cirque plans a 10-year run for the $100-million extravaganza that is "Iris," but the production will go dark for a number of weeks around the Academy Awards to allow for the staging of the show.
Cirque has made a number of changes to the Kodak to accommodate its production; whether any of the new bells and whistles will be incorporated into the Oscar telecast in February remains to be seen. But perhaps producer Brett Ratner will be inspired to include a segment in the show spoofing Cirque. After all, Hollywood loves a good revenge story.
-- Susan King and Julie Makinen
Photo: Eric Davis as himself and as the banana-loving actress in "Iris." Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times.