It might be downpour season in Vancouver, but in Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia, rain never looked so good. At one point in the new show, water falls from the sky in all sorts of swirls and shapes, even as images of birds and scaly fish. Imagine the best fireworks you’ve ever seen only going in the opposite direction and in and black and white, pure liquid patterns being pulled down by gravity spectacularly.
Luzia is inspired by Mexico—with references to desert and beaches, soccer and Spanish song—and that theme carries through to the food on offer as part of the Mastercard VIP Experience. Along with complimentary on-site parking, ticket holders have access to the VIP tent adorned with cacti, Mexican blankets, and Monarch butterflies.
Savoury Chef is Cirque du Soleil’s Vancouver caterer. For Luzia, executive chef Geoff Rogers, working closely with sous chef Uros Djalovic, strikes a balance between vegetarian and meat-forward options and between light and hearty.
“For the menu this year the team and I wanted to focus on some of our favourite parts of Mexican cuisine,” Rogers tells the Straight. “The inspirations for each item were drawn on from personal travels, things we've eaten, and dishes that we wanted to bring to life for the first time.”
A chef’s station features slow-cooked barbacoa beef. It gets scooped out of a cast-iron pot, along with a ragout of smoked bacon and beans then topped with tomatillo salsa, cilantro, and tortilla crisps.
Also on the menu are cold canapes like tomato gazpacho shots, whipped avocado atop crispy tortilla, chipotle-seared carpaccio, and spoons of watermelon salsa
Hot items include braised chicken burritos, seared pork-belly skewers drizzled with adobo gastrique, chili prawns (marinated in fresh ginger, garlic, and serrano chili, skewered and served with a spicy lime aioli), mini braised beef-brisket empanadas with Gruyere cheese and grainy mustard, and Mexican arancini with corn, tomato puree, basil gel, and parmesan crumb.
Then there's dessert: Churros cake with cinnamon buttercream and dark chocolate ganache, “conchas” choux pastry filled with piña colada light cream and covered with tricoloured sugar, and coffee flan tart.
The VIP tent has an open bar serving See Ya Later Ranch Chardonnay, Inniskillin Pinot Noir, Zonin Prosecco, Stella Artois, and Michelob Ultra. Look for Jarritos, too, Mexican soda in flavours like mango, lime, and guava.
Along with a full program and souvenir and access to private washrooms (no lineups!) VIP ticket holders also get a a bag of popcorn to take into the show -- so much to nibble on while gazing up in absolute awe.
Luzia is under the Grand Chapiteau at Concord Pacific Place until December 29.