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19 Aug, Friday
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Montreal Families

Should You Take the Kids to: Cirque du Soleil's Ovo?

Tickets range from $55 to $250 for adults, $38.50 to $175 for children age 2 to 12.
View the http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/ovo/tickets/montreal/prices.aspx”>seating plan for the circus tent.
Show times: Wednesdays: 8 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays: 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. (There are some exceptions to the typical schedule).
Address: 145 de la Commune E. (view map)

Kids are often fascinated by bugs: the colours, how they move, all those legs.

Cirque du Soleil’s current Montreal show, Ovo, magnifies the insect world, displaying some unbelievable bug-inspired circus acts. It’s on in Old Montreal until July 19, 2009.

Watch the trailer:

We had the opportunity to see the show without kids and really enjoyed it. But are kids interested in watching adults dressed in bug costumes for almost three hours?

We got the feeling that it would be a super – but expensive – treat for kids over age five. For kids under five, it would be a crapshoot: they might love it, or they might be happier watching the Backyardigans.

A couple of I Spy observations:
1. The show is long: Each half is about an hour, with a 30-minute intermission.
2. It’s pricey for families: The cheapest seats cost about $186 for two adults and two kids age 2 to 12. To spend that much money on a show only to have kids ask “When is it over?” would really suck.

There was a four-year-old sitting behind us, who, based on his loud and enthusiastic comments, seemed interested through almost all of the show. We did not once hear him ask the obvious question, which, for our own four-year-old, would have been: “BUT WHERE IS SPIDER-MAN?”

Ovo alternates amazing circus feats, including trapeze, acrobatics, trampoline, wire-balancing, etc., with clown-ish/slapstick sequences. It may be hard for children under five to appreciate the strength and ability required to pull off some of the slower, more artistic segments, so it’s great that the speed and style shift often. The diversity of costumes and characters is also intriguing: there are grasshoppers, spiders, a massive dancing slug, a roly-poly ladybug/beetle, and many other creepy crawlies.

If your child’s interest starts to wane halfway through, try throwing some popcorn at the problem. The intermission provides an opportunity to buy a bag they can munch on during the second half. Kids will definitely get a kick out of the blue-and-yellow circus tent and (assuming it’s not raining) the festive Old Montreal atmosphere. Outside the main tent, some cute child-targeted merchandise is on sale (bug-related masks and hats), but it’s not pushed.

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