The highlight of my recent Vegas trip was Cirque du Soleil's spectacular show at the MGM Grand, KÀ. I've seen nearly every show that Cirque has put on, and this is easily the most visually stunning, the most acrobatically impressive, the most exhilarating Cirque show that I've yet experienced. And, yes, I saw O, but frankly I wasn't impressed. I found that the sheer size of the production dwarfed the physical feats on display.
With KÀ, it's not really the size of the show that's remarkable, although it is without question a literally massive undertaking. KÀ is also the most integrated, cohesive, unified of all Cirque's shows. In other words, this is the first Cirque show in which the story actually makes sense.
Granted, it's not the most involved of plots: it basically involves two siblings in an imperial Asian family who become separated and struggle to reunite, finding love and adventure along the way. Yeah, it's not going to win any prizes for complexity or nuance. But the numerous acrobatic performances actually fit into the plot, albeit sometimes in a tangential way. Most Cirque shows have themes and settings, but not so much as plot.
And the set. Oh, my sainted aunt, the set. I'm not one to walk out whistling the scenery but the sheer physical production is simply breathtaking. The theater for KÀ is truly immense, and the set has more hydraulics than Starlight Express, and yet the physical elements don't overshadow the proceedings, but rather enhance them.
And the acrobatic acts themselves are simply astonishing. A few months back, I was poking around on YouTube, and I found a bunch of clips from KÀ (all of them apparently legal, taken from various online promos and television appearances). Watching these clips really made me want to see the show, and I'm glad that I rearranged my Vegas trip in such a way that I would get to see it. Watching the acts live had me cringing, flinching, clenching, and above all marveling at the imagination involved in dreaming up such acrobatic feats, and the skill involved in executing them.
So, if you're ever in Vegas, put KÀ at the top of your list. Of the six Cirque du Soleil shows currently playing in that city (the others are Mystère, The Beatles: Love, Criss Angel Believe, Zumanity, and O), it is, for my money, the most artistically satisfying.