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Cirque du Soleil's Iris Preview at the Kodak Theater: Upcoming Show Will Be Porn for Tim Burton Fans

Cirque du Soleil's Iris Preview at the Kodak Theater: Upcoming Show Will Be Porn for Tim Burton Fans

Zachary Pincus-Roth

The most striking aspect of the press preview of Cirque Du Soleil's upcoming film-themed L.A. show Iris yesterday was the timeliness show's aesthetic: the costumes and production design generally were strikingly similar to that of Tim Burton, whose exhibit at LACMA just opened.

Top hats abounded. An Alice and Wonderland-like character in a blue dress was especially conspicuous, and a girl wearing a tutu that looked like a film reel showed a bit of Beetlejuice-esque black and white stripes. The aesthetic is taken from the late-Victorian era of early film, which a century later is back in vogue, as the designers are no doubt aware. Not to mention the fact that frequent Burton collaborator Danny Elfman is the composer.

Cirque du Soleil's Iris Preview at the Kodak Theater: Upcoming Show Will Be Porn for Tim Burton Fans

Mark Dulong © 2011 Cirque du Soleil

A duo of shirtless guys performed a high-flying rope act, and a trampoline act took place on a rooftop cityscape, with costumes that looked like gangsters meets Adam West-style Batman villains.

Gangsters meet Batman villains, with trampolines

Mark Dulong © 2011 Cirque du SoleilGangsters meet Batman villains, with trampolines

Daniel Lamarre, Cirque's president and CEO, told the crowd that he first got the idea for the show in that very building, the Kodak, when Cirque performed on the Oscars: "We present our act, and by the end of the act I saw all those stars standing up and giving our artists a standing ovation. I couldn't believe that. And watching this, I was saying in my own little mind: there is something to do with movies. And that's how it started, our conversation about this idea."

Danny Elfman

Zachary Pincus-RothDanny Elfman

With the show, Cirque is returning to the city where it first performed for U.S. audiences, in 1987 in a Little Tokyo parking lot as part of the Los Angeles Festival.

A piece of the set

Zachary Pincus-RothA piece of the set

But Cirque has clearly come a long way from their alt-circus roots. During the presentation from the Cirque brass, a rep from Sun Life Financial, which is sponsoring the $100 million show, was up on stage, and gave a speech. Lamarre followed with a little corporate meeting-style banter: "The Sun will shine a little bit brighter with your support."

Cirque du Soleil's Iris Preview at the Kodak Theater: Upcoming Show Will Be Porn for Tim Burton Fans

Zachary Pincus-Roth

Another bit of news Iris is not pronounced "eye-ris" but "eee-rees," as the creative team called it, like in Spanish, and (I assume) in French.

Cirque du Soleil's Iris Preview at the Kodak Theater: Upcoming Show Will Be Porn for Tim Burton Fans

Mark Dulong © 2011 Cirque du Soleil

It's not exactly what average Joe tourist is going to think it's called, given the fact that the rest of the poster is in English and it's an English word, and we're in, you know, America. Will confusion ensue? "Two tickets for Eye-ris." "Do you mean Eee-rees?" "What?" Tickets denied.

Want to dress like Willy Wonka?

Zachary Pincus-RothWant to dress like Willy Wonka?