I was provided with tickets to see Alegría in exchange for this piece. I received no other compensation.
It’s been a hell of a few years. I don’t have to tell any of you that. We’ve all experienced loss and isolation and blows to our mental health. It’s been brutal.
For those of you who are fans of my Instagram, you know I’ve had a fairly rough go of it personally. Battling anxiety, dealing with my “muggle job”, losing my housing, enduring a breakup, finding myself…it’s been a lot.
Sabrina, my best friend has been there for me through all of it. So when an invite slid into my inbox from Cirque du Soleil asking if I wanted to cover the opening night of the revamp of their Alegria show, I don’t know that I bothered to read the email in its entirety before I responded “YES PLEASE” and told Sabrina she was coming with me.
This particular Cirque show has fairly special meaning for me. It was the very first Cirque show I ever saw (Alegría in 2004, Quidam in 2005, Kurios in 2013, Volta in 2018 and now Alegría again in 2022). My boyfriend back in 2004 bought tickets for my birthday, and it was the first “fancy date” I’d ever been on. I bought a dress and wore heels and he wore a suit and it was a VERY big deal. Completely out of character for him, so it was a special treat.
And I was HOOKED from the opening riffs. I watched all the YouTube videos I could find. I tried to find circus classes. I sang the theme song for YEARS (and was pleased to see they reworked it for this show).
I get sidetracked easily when I tell y’all my stories, but trust me. This invitation could not have come at a better time.
So Sabrina and I hopped in the Iron Van (her mini van, the transpo for many of our shenanigans) and sped our way to Seattle one very rainy Wednesday evening to walk our very first red carpet.
Until I saw the unbridled joy on her face at seeing that blue-striped tent, I did not realize it was Sabrina’s first Cirque du Soleil experience ever.
See, Sabrina is my “serious” friend. She’s my rock. She’s the one that is right there with me when I can’t stand by myself and claps the loudest when I win. She’s the one who tells me I absolutely should NOT buy a prom dress just to sit around in my house. She’s the one that reminds me that internet dating is a terrible idea for me, and holds my hand when I break my own heart again.
She’s my hetero life mate. She’s the Silent Bob to my chatty Jay.
So getting to see absolute glee and wonder spread slowly across her face as she took a glass of champagne from a disembodied hand sticking out of a foliage-covered wall, and see that light in her eyes shine through the entire show and all the way home? Hearing her giggle at our new friends and our shenanigans (because hi! It’s still me, I make new friends wherever I go)? Watching her eyes grow big at the gent on the German Wheel, or hearing her squee at the hula hoop artist?
Having her say “YES!” I should buy those wings from the Alegría merch shop that were made for children but matched my hair?
Hearing her whisper “this is so magical” as she covers her mouth with her hands and watches the trapeze artists fly? It’s priceless.
Sharing one of my favorite experiences with the person who has done more for me than I could ever repay was the best way to help see that this “new normal” might not be so terrible.
Everyone should take their adult friends to Cirque for the first time. Or their third. Or their fifth. It’s a gleeful childlike experience that we could all use after the difficult times we’ve had lately.
Alegría is showing at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA through March 13, 2022. Tickets are available here and you should absolutely go if you are able.