Cirque du Soleil presents ‘KURIOS’ at Under the Big Top tent in Tysons

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'Cirque du Soleil' in Tysons (Part 1)

Cirque du Soleil has become the gold standard of 21st century circus productions.

Starting next week, the global brand brings “KURIOS: Cabinet of Curiosities” to the Under the Big Top tent at Lerner Town Square in Tysons, Virginia from July 29 to Sept. 25.

“You’ll see the same jaw-dropping acrobats that you love from Cirque du Soleil, but ‘KURIOS’ is a show that celebrates the imagination,” President of Touring Shows Mike Newquist told WTOP. “You see this escape from reality, a very festive, steam-punk-inspired universe. We follow an inventor who is convinced there exists a hidden, invisible world.”

Which type of stunts will we see during this dazzling production?

“You will see the contortionists, the acrobats,” Newquist said. “You’ll see a world literally get turned upside-down. … You’ll see humor as well, so it’s a great combination of these awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping acrobatics mixed with humor. You see the crowd laughing and jaws dropping. It’s a magnificent assortment of acts brought together.”

“KURIOS” has become a fan-favorite since launching in Montreal back in 2014.

“It’s one of our most successful shows,” Newquist said. “It’s a fan favorite, so we’re happy to bring it back. We just finished in Toronto where we had a three-month stay and we’re now looking forward to our time in Tysons. … We have 110 touring members on staff for this show who are excited to spend the next couple of months in D.C.”

The staff has grown exponentially since Cirque du Soleil launched in Quebec in 1984.

“We have eight touring shows right now times 110 people, plus our Las Vegas shows, plus our show in Orlando at Disney … so you’re talking about thousands of people,” Newquist said. “Such an incredible transformation from the original 20 street performers to this giant, global brand. … We’re touring around the world and continually reinventing ourselves.”

How has Cirque changed the circus industry in the overall timeline of history?

“You’ve seen the transformation of the circus to what it is today,” Newquist said. “We don’t have animals. What you see is just unbelievable acrobatics, the music, the singing, there are no language barriers in our show. When you see ‘KURIOS’ in D.C. it’s the same as you’ll see anywhere around the world. That itself makes ‘Cirque’ shows so broadly appealing.”

“KURIOS” runs two hours with a 20-minute intermission for family fun.

“Our fans walk away with a smile on their faces — it’s so much fun to watch,” Newquist said. “As I sit in the audience, I hear the children’s laughter, I hear them laughing with their parents, I see date nights, I see couples. … You have grandparents, you have moms and dads, you have the children all there together, all enjoying the show, it’s so family-friendly.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'Cirque du Soleil' in Tysons (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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