The stars turned out in a major way last night for the premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s electrifying new show, Iris: a Journey Through the World of Cinema, at the famous Kodak Theatre. Among the attendees were Matthew McConaughey, Patrick Dempsey, Kate Beckinsale, Cindy Crawford, James Gandolfini, Christina Hendricks, Kevin Dillon, Vanessa Hudgens (in a breathtakingly low-cut Boho gown), and Neil Patrick Harris.
“It’s ammazing!” tweeted Neil. “If you come to Hollywood, it is a MUST SEE! The best show in years!”
Exactly. Iris delivered on the anticipation and reported $100 million investment that preceded it ($40 million to renovate the Academy Awards’ home theater for the show, $60 million for the production itself). It was nothing short of a fantastical dream come to life, as sirens, sylphs, cops ‘n’ gangsters, contortionists and aerialists spun, flew, tumbled, trampolined and danced through a procenium that was part steam punk, part “Le Voyage dans la lune” and all Cirque du Soliel. All that, Danny Elfman’s magical score, cutting-edge visual effects and a dash of comedy, had the audience on its feet cheering.
The show was followed by a chic block party — with Hollywood Boulevard blocked off and tented for the event, and with a ferris wheel at one end that was lit like a gigantic film reel. Guests, who were asked to dress “Cirque chic,” largely delivered. Servers offered champagne for all, and other libations flowed, as bars were set up in various locales, and there was an ice wall of cubbies filled with sipping size bottles of Neige Canadian apple ice wine. Local restaurateurs provided samples of goumet fare. The black truffle risotto from Twist was a favorite.Harris and his man in life, David Burtka, were chatting about what a fabulous show it was with “Mad Men’s” Christina Hendricks and her husband, “Body of Proof’s” Geoffrey Arend, as they relaxed in the VIP area of the street soiree.
As a Cirque character exhorted the audience at the show’s beginning, this was a time to forget all one’s worries and enter another world.