Tonight’s Agenda: Spiegelworld’s “Empire”
Watching Spiegelworld’s “Empire,” I realized that I had officially crossed over to naughty from nice this holiday season. How sweet it is. Naughty is a lot more fun! The evening starts in a tent outside of the Moda center. Empire is an adult circus with multiple acts including spectacular acrobats, musicians, and comedians. The shallow patron may, mistakenly, dismiss Empire as just another Las Vegas act. But the pure athleticism of the acrobats alone is jaw dropping entertainment. The raw discipline of watching a performer drip with sweat while suspending the balance of a feather on a vine of multiple palm leave ribs that extends past the front row seats, is a nail biter. Or the roller skaters, spinning on a small circular stage in death defying gyrations of speed that made me grateful I had second tier, rather than front row seats. Or the male pole athletes/dancers; watch out Channing Tatum!
These acrobatic feats are not for the faint of heart. Just when the tension of watching the sequence of these stunning, if insane, athletes seemed more than I could endure, Ring Master’s, Oscar and Fanny, take the stage for some good old sexual healing humor. Yes, they are totally raunchy and embarrassingly inappropriate, but isn’t that the point? I loved their unpredictable and harmless antics. If you old enough to remember the “flashing” phenomenon in the 70’s, you can feel relieved knowing that Ring Master, Oscar, carries on this generational tradition most honorably.
Some may shun Empire for being too much of a Las Vegas act. But remember people, this is the Republic of Portland. Everybody gets a chance here. Otherwise, follow the sage advice of Oscar, Empire’s Ring Master, and “Shut the f— up!”
Consider bringing a stadium cushion for your bum. The seating is a simple wooden folding chair. Even with the distractions of amazing performances, the seats could be uncomfortable for some people. I thought I was just being a whiner, again, until I overheard my complaint confirmed from other patrons–much younger than myself–after the show.
Empire is a circus show, playing the a large tent next to the Moda center. The Moda center. Two things annoy me about the Moda center. The first is that stupid caret above the ‘d’. An affectation, it has no purpose except to make the name difficult to type. Second, it angers me that a health insurance company pisses away 40 million dollars on naming rights instead of spending it on the health care of their subscribers. And now they are in financial trouble. Gee. Wonder why.
We have seen similar shows, Absinthe, in Vegas and they always entertain: a great combination of acrobats, music, and raunchy humor.
Watching these acrobats perform always brings multiple thoughts to mind.
- it is amazing what people can train themselves to do. Jaw dropping.
- how does one decide on a career of being juggled off the feet of another or high speed roller skating in a circle? Do high school guidance counselors suggest these as potential professions?
- and how do you learn your craft without being seriously injured, castrated, or killed?
- are they all ex-gymnasts?
- given the unreal flexibility of the female performers, how many have Ehlers-Danlos? Most I would wager.
- and who even thinks of these acts? Who wakes up and thinks let’s balance 13 palm leaf ribs like a mobile? Or whirls around inside a giant wheel? I do not know what is more incredible: the performances, the training for the performance, or the ingenuity of humans to conceive of these performances.
- what happens to these performers when they get older? Everyone is so young. This is not a job for the elderly or middle aged.
The humor by the ringmasters, Oscar and Fanny, is raunchy and funny. They do one juggling trick with a banana that will swear me off that fruit for a year. No spoilers though. And though it all is music, a live guitar and a wonderful singer.
Definitely rated R and a great time. My only complaint: the beer was way overpriced, but given the number of acts and the support staff, this cannot be an inexpensive show and is worth every penny, which is more than the Moda center can say.