The circus is back in Hawaii!

It’s that special time every couple of years when Honolulu’s Blaisdell Center transforms into a big top tent, under which a troupe of world-class acts tumble onto the stage. Starting tonight through mid-October, the spotlight will be on Cirque du Soleil’s “Quidam” production and its worldly cast of acrobats, musicians, singers and actors. Some are so skillful that they don’t use safety harnesses when they’re dangling 80-feet in the air.

“We’ve heard about the heart-warming Hawaiian culture,” spokesperson Jessica Leboeuf told Hawaii Vacation during a backstage tour. (More to come on that!) We’re looking forward to getting your warm feedback because that’s something that definitely keeps us going.”

This will be the third time Cirque du Soleil has reached our island shores. Before this, it was “Saltimbanco” (2008) and “Algeria” (2010). The cast lucked out this time, however, because their two-week break landed right before the Hawaii shows revved up, allowing them to vacay in the islands for a bit. They hopped around to Molokai, Kauai and Maui before ending up on Oahu. By the end of the break, the cast and crew were literally golden…and ready to go another round, tan lines and all!

I sat in on the dress rehearsal last night and instantly fell in love with this so-called modern-day circus. Apparently, the show’s creator stopped by a few days ago and switched up the choreography a bit, leaving performers more nervous than usual for last night’s run-through. “Quidam” quickly escalates to a level of imagination that’s far from the fantasies of any tropical paradise, as the audience enters the whimsical world of a young girl trying to escape reality. In French, “quidam” means an “anonymous passerby,” and Zoe soon finds herself becoming just that. This show in particular is one of 22 that falls under the Cirque du Soleil umbrella and has been around for 15 years.

VIDEO: “Quidam’s” high-flying acrobats and spunky characters bring laughter to the islands.

It’s amazing how the entire arena comes to life and transforms into the circus fantasy land colored with music, theatrics and trapeze artistry. Shadows dance along the curved arena walls, as the performers soar across the ceiling and the audience below ohs and ahs at each thunderous act. And it’s the audience that gets the most star treatment. A select few get tugged (or dragged if they’re unwilling!) by the clowns onto the big top stage for their time in the spotlight.

Share in the experience of “Quidam” before the troupe heads off to their next location. Hawaii’s one of their last stops on the North American tour. After that, they’ll continue their travels throughout the continents, hitting up Europe and beyond.

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S “QUIDAM” • Tonight to Oct. 14, 2012 • Neal Blaisdell Center, 777 Ward Ave., Honolulu, HI 96814 • For tickets and schedule, visit

Video Footage & Photo (last) Courtesy: Noa Myers; Photo Courtesy (first): Cirque du Soleil


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