Cirque du Soleil’s “OVO” Brings Bugs to Life

Cirque du Soleil’s “OVO” breathes life into even the most average species of insect.

Based on a loose plot about a fly who visits a community of bugs carrying a large egg, the show includes colorful costumes, bossa nova beats and “wow”-factor stunts.

“OVO” boasts 10 acts peppered with buzzes, chirps and comedic filler from the main characters—a fly, a ladybug and a cockroach. Including a half-hour intermission, the show runs about two hours.

Show highlights include ants juggling giant kiwis with their feet, a spider gracefully balancing on a slack-wire, soaring scarabs on trapeze and aerodynamic crickets jumping on trampolines. And the dark, mysterious side of Cirque still makes an appearance, with a hand-balancing dragonfly and a contortionist spider in her web.

Overall, the upbeat music, vibrant costumes and nature-themed set give “OVO” a fun, family-geared feel. Kids and adults alike will be dazzled by the awe-inspiring acrobatics, but the weak choreography and theatrical bits in between acts may leave some minds to wander until they are drawn back in by a jaw-dropping flip or back-bend.

Somewhere among the soaring butterflies and marching ants is a message about embracing diversity, but it’s easily missed. Audiences are more likely to be captivated by the athletic feats and the artful costumes, as usual. You might even learn to (temporarily) appreciate flies and cockroaches while you’re there.

Ovo runs through Aug. 21 at the United Center. Click here for ticket information.