Cirque du Soleil's Alegria 

Other than amazing costumes and sets, unforgettable feats of athleticism and award-winning music, what is Alegria about, anyway? In this Cirque du Soleil production, the cast of otherworldly characters and performers portray the inclination of human beings to gravitate toward and empower the joyful side of the multi-faceted human psyche. It's all right there in the title: "alegria" is the Spanish word for jubilation.

This story is one that rests on the idea that the nature of the human condition tends to balance precariously between joy and despair, and that the passing of time brings great happiness and a contradictory cynicism depending on one's outlook on life. Clowns, old birds, singer/storytellers adorned in black and white gowns and a host of other enchanting personifications become symbols for our internal quest to find the power of joy within ourselves. And yes, it can be said that those athletes springing into the air and bounding across the stage are jumping for joy.

Too philosophical for an evening out? Don't worry about getting too deep. Just go for the show. It is, after all, a circus. One that the light-hearted kid in all of us is sure to be mesmerized by.

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