Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: San Francisco/North Bay

Review by Richard Connema | Season Schedule

Also see Richard's reviews of Bright Half Life, In Love and Warcraft, and The Kid Thing and Eddie's review of Steve Cuiffo Is Lenny Bruce

Photo by Fran├žois Bergeron
It's difficult to describe Cavalia's Odysseo without words like awesome, amazing, fantastic, and spectacular. This is the cirque with more horses than humans performing under an enormous white tent at AT&T Park. The $30 million production features 63 horses of varying breeds and 46 humans on an elaborate stage covering about 17,500 square feet.

Behind the entire goings on is a shifting backdrop on three curved IMAX screens, taking us to Africa, the Easter Islands, the American West, and to hazy, dreamlike worlds with ever-changing, glittering light. It gives a 3D effect without glasses since even the floor is covered with a projection.

Odysseo is not all horses—there are acrobats, dancers, and riders who are extraordinary. All of the acrobats are dazzling, from the four beatific entertainers who look like they are floating through air with ribbons of white silk to the trick riders who do astounding things. There is a group of African acrobats who perform incredible feats like tumbling, leaping, back-flips, and cartwheels with fantastic height and speed. One of the highlights of the show is Elise Verdoncq with a group of unleashed Arabian horses. She is what I would call a "horse whisperer" and this is a most intimate display of the trainer-horse bond.

Odysseo's first act has a giant merry-go-round with six artificial horses descending from the ceiling and spinning in the middle of the stage while 12 acrobats use poles to swivel high above the ground elegantly and naturally. In the second act, toward the end of the performance, there is suddenly a lake in front of the audience and horses and humans frolic through 80,000 gallon of water across one-third of the stage. The horses race, with Elise Verdoncq beautifully posed on a horse that runs past the audience at breakneck speed, splashing water on those sitting in the front rows.

Odysseo truly sets itself apart from anything I have seen before with its visual concept and the astonishing beauty and pride of the horses. The production plays in the tall white tent directly in back of the ballpark at AT&T Park, 1051 3rd Street, San Francisco though January 20th, 2015. Tickets and information can be found at or by calling 1-866-999-8111 toll free.

Privacy Policy