Free Preview: Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM

The famous buskers take it back to the street, in Santa Monica.

It's true: You can't call Southern California home for long without passing someone juggling on a boardwalk or performing magic tricks on Hollywood Boulevard or singing 'n strumming along the Third Street Promenade.

Buskery and big cities are a long-time twosome, in short. This is largely due to the fact that metropolises serve as a busy, bustling stage for the intrepid street artist, with plenty of passing audiences. And one of the most famous city-street artist pairings of all is Montreal and Cirque du Soleil, a towering troupe that got its start performing on boulevards and not under big tops.

Now Cirque du Soleil returns those roots, at least briefly, with a free outdoor performance on the Third Street Promenade. The players are indeed down the street, or around the corner, under the tent near Santa Monica Pier, but a few performers will take a sampling of the feats of "TOTEM" to the public for a gratis treat.

The date is Thursday, Feb. 6, the place is the promenade between Santa Monica Boulevard and Broadway, and the time? That would be noon-thirty, to say it in a whimsical, Cirque-y fashion (or 12:30, if you prefer). If you work in Santa Monica, and that's your lunch hour, don't you want to watch a clown somersaulting or standing on one hand, for free?

We'll just go ahead and answer for you, if you don't mind: You 100% do.

"Red Bull-affiliated BMX athletes and breakdancers" shall be BMXing and breakdancing in the area as well. Which means that visitors strolling by, or nearby office denizens on their midday breaks, shall come across some full-throttle shenanigans.

Don't know about you, but full-throttle shenanigans are sadly lacking in our lives. Just shenanigans, even, forget the full-throttle part.

If you're "TOTEM" interests are stoked after the gratis highlights, the show is on through March 16 at the pier.

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