A Tasty Side of “OVO”

Cirque du Soleil's buggiest adventure crawls into Santa Monica.

Cirque du Soleil

It's a question we often ask of children: If you could be an animal, or bug, what kind would you be?

A lot of us have answered dog or cat without a second thought; but some people long to be a European Cabbage Butterfly or a Snowy Tree Cricket. And we think those people are thinking bigger by thinking smaller; after all, the world of the ground, and what's under it, is pretty wonderful.

And that world -- and the bugs that rule it -- is the theme of "OVO." The Cirque du Soleil spectacular opens at Santa Monica Pier on Friday, Jan. 20, bringing with it a cavalcade of acrobats and clowns sporting tentacles and multiple legs and probing *proboscises.

Of course, the bugs of "OVO" -- which means egg -- aren't simply satisfied with carrying bits of food back to the hive. They leap and somersault and play pranks and mug for the audience. We're rather happy real insects don't do these things, because we have a feeling it would be hard to do anything else but sit on a lawn and watch.

The timing of the opening is solid; "IRIS," Cirque's in-Hollywood, Hollywood-happy offering, closes this weekend to make way for the Oscars. It'll be back in late March.

"OVO" creeps merrily along and then scampers back into its hole on March 25.

* That's the first time we've personally typed the word "proboscises"; we highly recommend it.

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