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Clowning Around: Catching the Cirque du Soleil

So my younger daughter and I went to see Cirque du Soleil yesterday, its last performance at National Harbor. I still haven't actually been to National Harbor yet, since the circus was in a tent in the parking lot up the hill. But the show, "Kooza," nearly lived up to its mega-ticket price.

I haven't laughed so much in a long time, not just because the clowns were funny (they were) but in a sort of child-like amazement where laughter seemed the only correct response.

The contortionists -- three women who come on stage locked together like a brainteaser puzzle -- reminded me of mercury in the way they flowed over and under each other. A unicyclist spun his partner around his head as easily as if she were a mink stole. And these two guys in the "Wheel of Death" -- imagine two rotating hamster wheels joined by a long spinning armature -- looked like they were having so much fun it was easy to forget that one wrong move and they'd be splattered on the floor below.

The Cirque du Soleil "world" grates a bit -- it's Renaissance Festival annoying mime meets new-age gobbledygook -- but, man, is it entertaining. I think I'll start saving now for their next appearance in Washington.

"Commons" Comments of the Week
Here are my favorite comments, culled from those left on the blog last week:

From Friday's animal-centric "BritNews RoundUp" came this prescient comment from MattinSW:

When I was in London a few years ago, I remember a commercial for car insurance featuring an animated bulldog named "Churchill." The commercial ended with a British person expressing love for Churchill, and the dog replying, nervously, "Steady now." I think that this is, perhaps, the best example I've ever seen of the English psyche at work: they can only truly express love for their domesticated animals, and anthropomorphic versions of those animals react to such affection with horror and confusion.

Rachel12 had this to say about Wednesday's item on "poaching" others' unencrypted WiFi signals:

If you're outside a business or home, and the light from their open window falls on your map and you read the map by their light, does this constitute stealing their electricity? I feel it's an apt analogy, and no I don't think it's stealing if it's open and available to all and the light is falling onto your computer so to speak.

On Tuesday, I mentioned Burger King's controversial new "Whopper Virgins" TV ads, prompting this comment from justhere:

No one can take American's right to eat Mexican food for breakfast, Chinese food for lunch, and Italian food for dinner! And if we want a Whopper for a bedtime snack, then so be it! BURP!!!

Thanks. Matt, Rachel and Justhere for putting the "I" (by which I mean "you") in "interactive."

Where in Washington: Week 8
Many people correctly identified last week's image, but Jason of Alexandria was the first to e-mail me that it was the Hotel Washington.

Here's this week's contest. I love the group of little children sitting there so placidly.


Do you know what this vintage postcard (from the collection of David Stinson) depicts? Drop an e-mail to If you're the first correct entry, you'll win the autograph of a Post Pulitzer winner.

By John Kelly  |  December 15, 2008; 9:18 AM ET
 | Tags: computers, contest  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Animal Magnetism: The BritNews RoundUp
Next: Inaugural Housing: Get Out of Dodge?


My partner and I saw KOOZA a few weeks ago and loved it. The WHEEL OF DEATH scared the carp out of me. But it was good enough we bought the DVD, which includes an even scarier WHEEL OF DEATH. Like you, I'll go again next time Cirque comes to town. But I'd really prefer to go back to Las Vegas and see "O" again. That was a few notches better than KOOZA.

Posted by: ArlingtonGay | December 15, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse


It is not so much what we eat, but how much. Burgers can be part of a healthy life if not too many. Do you really want to live on just tofu? Or just want to complain a lot so we do not ignore you?

Posted by: gary4books | December 15, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

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