NPN Parent Review: Cirque du Soleil OVO

Written by: Sue Zeiler

Special Giveaway just for NPNWe have 2 pairs of tickets to share with our NPN parents for the Wednesday Aug. 17th 8pm show.  Just email by Friday July 29th and tell us why you are excited to see OVO with (or without) your little ones.  Winners will notified via email.  NOTE: Winning tickets are non-refundable and no exchanges.


I've seen many Cirque du Soleil shows over the years, and I never considered them to be "family" events. Sure, kids could enjoy the show, but I primarily felt that Cirque was for the grownups, while Ringling Brothers was for the kids.


My husband and I attended the opening night of OVO, and we chose not to bring my daughter, who just turned 3 in April. The starting time of the show was right around her bedtime, and to be honest I wouldn't have thought that this would be appropriate for a 3 year old.

Turns out, OVO was a pleasant surprise in terms of the family-friendliness of the show. The costumes, music and overall festive atmosphere make this an event that the entire family can enjoy. Aside from a couple of scary parts, I feel that OVO is suitable for kids 4 and up. This is not to say that younger kids wouldn't enjoy it. However, for this kind of ticket price, I'd want to be pretty certain that my child would enjoy the show. I have no doubt that some 2 and 3 year olds would be able to sit throught the show, take it all in, and have a great time. However, I think 4 and up is a good guildeline partly due to the length of the show, and partly due to the scenes that I think could be a little scary.

The overall atmosphere of OVO is a big party. With Brazilian music and a brilliantly colorful set and costumes, much of the show feels like a big, friendly party. I loved watching the performers take on the personas of different types of bugs, complete with flicking tongues, jerky body movements, bug-like creepy-crawliness.

There are three main characters in the show, all bugs, who speak in chirps and tweets, so it's the delivery that's relevant, not the content. It's funny, cartoon-like, and on a level that kids can enjoy. And unlike lots of other Cirque and other circus shows, there's a storyline running through OVO about the crush that the main insect has on the clown-like ladybug. It's cute, and kids can easily follow along.

The last, lengthy act was my favorite, using trampolines and a climbing wall for a thoroughly mesmerizing performance that will amaze any kid - or adult - who has ever seen a trampoline.

As for those questionable scary scenes, they're short. There's one act where menacing, stilt-walking, 10' tall, praying-mantis-like creatures ominously cross the stage, and I'm certain that my daughter would have been terrified of this. And in the beginning, the main insect character is introduced as he walks across a horizontal aisle in the audience, painstakingly carrying an enormous egg on his back. I didn't think twice about this, but a woman I spoke to at intermission told me that this had spooked her 5 year old son. However, by intermission, this boy and his 3-year-old brother were very much enjoying the show.

In the end, if you're considering taking toddlers, you'll need to make your decision based on your own kid. If your child can sit through fairly lengthy shows and doesn't scare easily (or doesn't mind you covering his eyes for a few moments), then I think your family can have a great time at Ovo.

Cirque du Soleil's OVO - Learn More
Playing NOW through August 21 
United Center - Grand Chapiteau, 1901 W. Madison, Chicago 

NPN Parent Perk Bonus: just for our members - choose the ticket discount that is right for you:

  • Family 4-Pack Discount: Bring your family of 4 for as little as $122.50. Price Level 2 and 3 on select performance dates.
  • Student DiscountPrice level 3 at only $45. Available for performances: Tue.-Thu. 8pm and Fri. 4pm.
  • Single Ticket Discount: 30% off 
  • For these offers - Restrictions may apply. Please see website for details. Convenience fees and Delivery fees apply.

Let us know what you think of the show? 

Posted on July 18, 2011 at 4:40 PM