There is a belief that if you see one cirque show you’ve seen every cirque show, and to some extent, that is true. The combination of outrageous costumes, incredible acrobatics and haunting music has defined American cirque productions since “Mystere” arrived at Treasure Island in Las Vegas, where it still runs.
But, like all art forms, the differences lie in the variations.
“Saltoriya,” playing at the Eldorado in Reno through Sunday, Nov. 15, offers knife-wielding limbo artists, paired contortionists and a steady and brisk parade of other acrobatic marvels, each one prompting desired audience reactions from “wow” to “ouch.” The show is produced by Misha Matorin, who has brought to this stage “Balagan” and “Taganai.” He is not above recycling costumes worn by the figures who inexplicably populate cirque productions, moving around the sidelines while the acrobats command center attention.
The acrobats in “Saltoriya” are top-notch, performing incredible feats, from manipulating fire to juggling, from performing with hoops to unsupported ladder climbing. An added dimension is always provided by feats performed live in real time. and the drama is engrossing. There are bigger, and yes better, cirque shows in Nevada, but “Saltoriya” does what it sets out to do – provide an evening of riveting, sometimes jaw-dropping, entertainment. (7 p.m. except Mondays, 9:30 p.m. Saturdays; $26.95-$47.05; eldoradoreno.com )
This weekend provides an extra incentive to visit the Eldorado as the hotel hosts its 34th Annual Great Italian Festival on the streets outside. This is one of the more popular of Reno’s street fests with competitions in grape stomping, sauce-cooking, and gelato-eating, all scaled to family participation, not a national champion eater in sight.
The entertainment takes place on two stages at Third and Virginia and Fourth and Virginia.
The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11. For more, go to eldoradoreno.com.