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April 9, 2017

Nunn's Theater Habit:
Odysseo Opens Under the Big Top

BY
JERRY NUNN

Odysseo Opens Under the Big Top
The largest touring show ever created now covers the Soldier Field South Lot in Chicago. Odysseo is brought to the Midwest by Cavalia in a $30 million production. There are 65 horses and 48 artists that have join together for this massive undertaking.

Inside the huge tent is a 8,400 square foot screen used to create landscapes. This transports audiences to another world with the experience.

Odysseo Opens Under the Big Top
The show combines horse trainers with acrobats fairly seamlessly. If you like shirtless men riding bareback this is the place to be. The bar is not the only place to see a six pack in this part of town. The cast works out the horses and themselves over the course of the over two hour experience.

The talented crew flips and jumps tirelessly with fun moments involving the audience. The horseriders balance between two horse galloping side by side, they ride backwards and at one point flip underneath a speeding stallion. It is impressive to behold and will have you on the edge of your seat.

Odysseo Opens Under the Big Top
At one point there is a blonde horse whisperer that herds a group of white horses. When one goes astray it is played off so well that it leaves one unsure if it is part of the act or not. Unpredictability is an important part of the production to keep the audience guessing.

Traditional circus acts like acrobatic rings and scarf stunts keep within the theme. Odysseo could have gone off the rails but it doesn't. Everything meshes together for a carousel piece that is a showstopper.

Odysseo Opens Under the Big Top
The finale releases 40,000 gallons of recycled water that the horses splash through to the very last moment.

There is not much of a plot, but that doesn't dampen Odysseo. The transitions are smooth.

An opera singer improvises and a band is placed up high on both sides of the stage that don't distract.

To really have an enjoyable night be sure and invest in the VIP experience. It can include everything from private couches to a delicious buffet. The dessert at intermission hit the spot, and meeting the horses in their pens after the performance topped it all off. Horse had their hair braided to keep the mane flowing. Aw the life of a star!

Cast members stopped by the tent to say hello afterwards and I talked work out habits to them. After all that sweat there was no need for more speed or weight lifting.

Head over to the big top tent at 1410 Museum Campus Drive until April 30 for an all ages, must see show before it gallops out of town.

For tickets visit www.cavalia.com or call 866-999-8111.

 
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