So, after hearing all the hype and raves, I finally made some time to score tickets to the first Cirque du Soleil show in Manila - Varekai.
The blue and yellow striped tent was indeed a standout in the Quirino Grandstand. The location was perfect, in the heart of Manila, just in front of Luneta. Manila Hotel was a sponsor, so as I am a Prestige card holder, I booked my complimentary night the day before the show.
We arrived quite late, and the opening acts were already ongoing when we entered. I had to buy popcorn and drinks for my kid, so I had to miss that. It was just the clowns anyway. We were seated at Row N in the right side of Category 1.
The tent was indeed small as most people say, that people in Category 2 even had better views than some in Category 1. The best value are the row aisle seats of Category 3. Stay on the left side of the stage, as most of action happens there.
Cameras are not allowed, so I wasn't able to take any pictures. So here are the official pictures from their website. Since the Grand Chapiteau was small, the venue was very intimate. The VIP seats were located dead center, from Row A to the top. The best of the best were actually located on top center.
The show is my first Cirque, so I was very excited. But to my dismay, we witnessed a show that was less inspiring and captivating. Though the costumes and stage was fantastic, I lacked the sense of grandness of a Cirque show. I was expecting mega production. Varekai wasn't.
Furthermore, there were a lot of mistakes and falls in the performances. We counted a total of 8 falls in 4 acts. And I didn't even count the ones that were "almost". Of course, nobody's perfect, but having that many flops were kind of questionable. I even watched the Chinese circus in Manila on ABSCBN the night before I watched Varekai, and that show was awesome and flawless. Nevertheless, everyone was still applauding and had a great time. I particularly enjoyed the less daring acts - the magician and their comedic sequence.
The show lasted almost 2 hours, and at more than 5k for a ticket, I thought it wasn't worth it, especially when I found out that Zaia's tickets cost only 3 to 4k pesos. So that prompted me to go to Macau soon and witness another Cirque show, just for comparison's sake. And as of this writing, I have watched Zaia and the House of Dancing Water. More on these shows next!
Varekai is still running until July 24. Even though I wasn't as impressed, I still encourage everyone to watch it here in Manila. I'm so happy that shows like these are coming to town. I do hope more will follow suit.