Cirque du Soleil's "Quidam" is In Town "Eccentricities of a Nighingale" Alights at Berkeley's Aurora Theatre

Typically one sees Cirque de Soleil's productions in large theaters, permanently outfitted for the performance's stunning special effects and extraordinary gymnastic talents.  Las Vegas is the favorite venue for their numerous shows.  Cirque Du Soleil is currently offering their "traveling version" of their show "Quidam" at the humongous Cow Palace in Daly City, playing through April 17th. 

Although "Quidam" tries to emulate their successful Las Vegas formula, the Cow Palace it is too large a venue to carry it off.  You can either sit too close at floor level, and miss the cleverness and grandeur of the rotating stage, or too far way up in the stands, where you can't even tell that there is a live band and vocalist on stage.  The best options are the box seats, and even these are a distance from the action.  The intimacy is absent; this huge venue soaks up too much of the thrill of the individual acts, including heart-stopping gymnastics.  It just isn't exciting when you have to squint to determine if the performers are male or female, let alone be able to see their theatrical gestures.  The music was strange as well, with the echoing acoustics masking the language which was sung. 

If you are a die-hard Cirque du Soleil fan, tickets are a bit less costly than Vegas.  Just bring your binoculars.  Tickets at  or call 1-866-448-7849.   Parking on site is $15/$20.  It's usually very windy at the Cow Palace, so dress appropriately.  

The Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley is presenting one of Tennessee Williams’s lesser-known plays “The Eccentricities of a Nightingale.”  Audiences need have no hesitation at attending, as it is filled with true-to-the heart dialog and accurate characters from the deep south to shape a satisfying story.  This production, directed by Tom Ross, is finely tuned and the staging works from all angles in this 150-seat tiered theater. 

Playing at the Aurora Theatre Company, 2081 Addison Street, Berkeley, on Tuesdays – Sundays through May 8th.  Tickets $45-15 (students) at or (510) 843-4822.   Parking lot is usually available at $5 across the street.