Cirque du Soleil has been around for 30 years, but they made their first appearance in Sioux Falls this week with 'Varekai'. All the different incarnations of Cirque are based around a central story, this being the story of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun and lost his wings. Beyond that, you really didn't have to know the backstory to have a great time.

I've been to Las Vegas many times, but have never taken the opportunity to see any of the Cirque shows. That will change on my next trip. Varekai was more than I could have even imagined. I purposely didn't watch a lot of You Tube videos on the show because I wanted to go in fresh.

The show features some incredibly talented acrobats, but when you add in the humor factor of a few cast members (one of whom reminded me of a 'Kramer' from Seinfeld character crossed with 'Ed Grimley' from the old Saturday Night Live days), but also a live band and singers!

The stunts or skits or feats (or whatever you want to call them) were absolutely amazing and had my wife jumping in her seat every few minutes out of fear that someone would come crashing to the stage while swinging from a trapeze above the stage hanging by their neck, or two of them on another trapeze while one is hanging on to the bar with a foot and using one hand to swing another man around the arena!


The costumes were colorful and attention-getting, the presentation top notch, and again, to watch these incredible performers/athletes is something that can't be overlooked. Varekai was worth every penny and then some for tickets.

Photo Courtesy of Melissa Chinn

Beyond the show itself, it also was an opportunity to show off another great use of the new Events Center here in Sioux Falls. I know there are a lot of vocal people on social media that are frustrated that, fill in the blank with (Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, The Eagles, etc) aren't coming to Sioux Falls now that the new building is open. But the Events Center wasn't built as a concert-only venue. It was built to help us land the NCAA basketball tourney games (which we already have the women booked!) It gives us a chance to bring the Cirque show here (there's no way we could have fit that stage in the old Arena and been able to seat people on the floor and in the lower bowl). It will get us in the conversation with Trans Siberian Orchestra with their huge stage production and other Cirque shows. And yes, it at least gets Sioux Falls to the table when talking to major national acts. It doesn't guarantee they will come, but if national promoters and artists at least hear about the crowds that we're drawing for other shows, they could consider including us on their routes through the midwest.

But until that happens, stop the complaints and get out and enjoy shows like Cirque du Soleil, because it was every bit as entertaining as many concerts if not more so. Kudos to SMG and the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center for taking a chance and booking this incredible show. I for one can't wait to see what's next.