Happy Calvary – Tribute to the Cowboys Fringants: Between madness, nostalgia and energy

Less than 48 hours from the premiere of Joyeux Calvaire – Tribute to the Cowboys Fringants at the Cogeco Amphitheater in Trois-Rivières, Cirque du Soleil has offered a small preview of its new creation to the media and a few guests, Monday night. A foretaste that was finally enough to give the mouth water to discover the entire show, whose first notes will resonate in front of public Wednesday night.

For this short excerpt, it is in the title track that we invited the media. A single little number that still allowed to be carried away for a few minutes by this universe that has been portrayed for several weeks in words, but that we can finally discover in images and movements.

The story of Joyeux Calvaire, let us recall, is the character of a suburban teenager escaping from her everyday life through the music of the legendary Quebec band. Through the various works, she begins to fly over her sleepy suburb and enjoys dreaming the lives of the people who live there. A marriage between madness, nostalgia and energy, with autumn colors inspired by the work of the Cowboys Fringants.

At least that’s what we were promised, and that’s what we were invited Monday night. The number has not yet fully taken place that already, we discover this universe halfway between a mysterious forest populated with trees whose bark strangely reminiscent of newspaper scraps, and a playground of bottom of court of suburbs.

On the left, this swing and this tire hanging on the tree branch, obvious nod to the daughter of the director Jean-Guy Legault, who initially inspired all this madness. It was watching her sitting alone in her swing, the music of the Cowboys Fringants in the ears, that Jean-Guy Legault understood how much this group had managed to talk to so many young people since its beginnings, through melodies catchy but also deep and strong texts that have always found meaning in the ear of their audience.

Cirque du Soleil still offers numbers that force spectators to hold their breath.

Joyeux Calvaire is then set up, at the corner of a slight change of scenery where the central piece made of wood pivots, to let guess a form of saloon entry from which two cowboys who wander on the first notes to the Country and rock times of this song.

The notes worked and remixed by the musical director Jean-Phi Goncalves have obviously found their home at the Cogeco Amphitheater. They completely inhabit this space, which Goncalves obviously knows by heart and on the tips of his fingers since all these years. Once again, we quickly understand that the music, through all the numbers that can be presented, will become one of the main stars, if not the highlight, of this show.

The number goes to the Russian bar, with these cowboys who take a precious care of their muse, whose acrobatics force us to hold our breath with each jump. It will also incorporate the hoop into this discipline, always to further complicate and to put the viewer on the spot.

A pivot, another and she finds herself in front of the public, giving another point of view on this discipline that traditionally used to observe in profile. An idea that works, the precision of movement being seen in another light.

The number ends and it is already time to leave. We have some desire to drag our legs, to pretend to look for something in our bag, just to be able to attend two or three minutes more of this dress rehearsal that will continue, but far from the eyes of the cameras and journalists . And as the clock ticks and the text has to be written, we obey the instructions … patiently waiting Wednesday night to discover the whole work.

The show, which was originally scheduled for 20 nights in Trois-Rivières, was so successful in the box office that already three additional performances have been added to the calendar. Never before has a Cirque du Soleil show reached three more since the beginning of the Hommages series in the summer of 2015.

The big premiere of Joyeux Calvaire will be presented Wednesday night, and already the evening was practically full Monday night. According to the website of the Cogeco Amphitheater, just a few tickets here and there were still available for the evening of the premiere. Other evenings, such as Saturday, July 20, show full, or so offer only four or five tickets scattered throughout the room. The evenings of extra and Wednesdays still offer interesting places for those who have not yet booked.

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