The Eldorado continues to do inventive things with its theater in Reno.
A few shows back, the audience was surprised that the traditional proscenium had been dismantled and replaced with a more accessible performing space, allowing viewers to get closer to the action with tables on the stage.
And now comes their latest, “Cirque Paris,” which is probably most creative in its staging; audience eyes are expertly engaged elsewhere while some major changes take place.
It’s a little disconcerting, for instance, to see a large circular bar built on the stage with patrons crowding around. Isn’t that going to obstruct views from practically everywhere?
It even has a crystal chandelier hanging overhead.
But when the bar closing time is announced just before show time, the chandelier begins to descend along with what will become the actual stage attaching itself to and covering the bar.
That then becomes the performing space for a wide variety of athletics, most pretty traditional but placed in different settings.
A hand-balancing act with a touch of contortionism, for instance, is performed alongside a big champagne glass filled with water into which the performers swim, nothing to do with their expertise but visually interesting.
The standard ring flying routine is done inside and outside a large transparent sphere.
A piece of magic, those sharp sticks driven into a box in which there is a lady, actually becomes more fascinating because the emcee unfolds the box on stage and puts it together as if fresh from Home Depot.
Ultimately, with cirque productions everywhere it’s easy to develop a certain ennui about seeing yet another person fly through the air.
There is one very unique act here, though, a man and woman on one trapeze, the man acting as both releaser and catcher, with very complicated moves skillfully and sometimes breathtakingly executed.
Two other acts stand out: a speed juggler named Francois Boire, who can toss those clubs so fast they look like strobe lights; and Ricardo and Alexandro Fratelli, who take some classic circus antics of tossing one another around to a superior level.
As for the Paris theme, it shows itself primarily in the music and the costumes, worn by the dancers and set-movers who enhance the overall production. Needless to say, they are not bad looking.
This is all emceed by a man named Dizzy Partridge who was last seen here in “Cirque du Noir.” He pulls off the box illusion, puts himself into a giant bouncy balloon, and otherwise fills time entertainingly with silly audience participation segments.
Just one question: is there anything else one can say but “Ooo la la” time and again?
The time for those pretty revues with dancers in snazzy outfits, song after song, are evidently gone for the Eldorado. Just as well. They had become pretty bland. Nothing new there. Same with cirque. Very little new there either but the whole experience is, although darker, definitely better. Get seats at the tables closest to the action if you can.
This is an indefinite engagement that should have a lengthy run if the line to get into the theater on a recent Wednesday night is any indication.
It stretched almost across the casino. (7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8:30 p.m. Fridays; 5 and 8:30 p.m.Saturdays; 2 and 5 p.m. Sundays: $29.95 to $59.95, the highest prices for the champagne seating ringside; eldoradoreno.com)