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Review: ‘Odysseo’ horses steal both hearts and the show

Odysseo by Cavalia features 63 horses and 47 artists.
Odysseo by Cavalia features 63 horses and 47 artists. Odysseo by Cavalia

At its best, a performance leaves its audience changed in some way — uplifted or thoughtful or awed.

“Odysseo,” the cirque spectacular with more horses than humans performing under an enormous white tent in Frisco gave us all three emotions Wednesday night. More than 2,000 people, including many families, were immersed in a dream imagined by Cavalia founder Normand Latourelle, who was co-founder of Cirque du Soleil.

A shifting backdrop on a screen the size of three IMAX theaters took us to Africa, the Easter Islands, the American West and to misty, surreal worlds that usually exist only in books or in the imagination, all enveloped in shifting, shimmering light. The spectacles include a carousel that drops out of the ceiling, a rainstorm with real rain and, at the very end, a lake.

All of it revolved around the real stars of the show: the 63 horses of varying breeds. They were accompanied by 47 human artists that included acrobats, tumblers, trick riders and a team of performers leaping on urban stilts.

Families thinking about going may want to consider a few points before buying tickets, which could cost upwards of $300 for a family of two adults and two children.

▪  If little ones aren’t particularly interested in horses, this may not be a good idea. They may get bored during long periods of horses running and jumping, which could make it hard on everyone. On the other hand, kids who are fascinated by horses will be in heaven.

▪  If you do decide to go with young children, get tickets for a 2 p.m. performance. One girl seated in front of us went to sleep during Wednesday night’s performance, which started at 8 p.m. and ended at 11:30, with a 30-minute intermission.

▪ Be aware that the bathrooms are extremely close quarters. The lines were only two to three people long Wednesday, but people with kids will need to be prepared for patient maneuvering in and out.

▪ The White Big Top is heated. We thought it might be cold anyway and dressed in heavy coats and scarves, which we didn’t need inside.

▪ Bring along as few items as possible. Seating is very tight, and the only place to stash anything is under the seat, where it could roll around or be forgotten.

▪ Be aware that drinks and such are expensive, similar to movie theater prices. I paid $12.50 for a large popcorn and a diet RC Cola. But we had brought our own bottled water and had no problems. None of the posted guidelines on the website prohibit bringing in a beverage.

Judy Wiley, 817-390-7843

Twitter: @judygwiley

“Odysseo”

When: Runs through Feb. 22

Location: Dr Pepper Ballpark, 7300 Rough Riders Trail, Frisco

Tickets: Prices are higher for weekend performances, ranging from $39.50 for children to $149.50 for adults. Weekday performances, which are only in the evenings, run $29.50 for children to $139.50 for adults.

VIP packages: These could be fun for a family or a date. They include a buffet, wine, bubbly and beer, dessert during intermission, a stable tour and a souvenir. Weekend prices start at $189.50 for adults, $139.50 for children.

For tickets or more information: visit the website at www.cavalia.net or call 866-999-8111.

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