Have you spent any time at LA Live? That place is TERRIBLE. It's like someone picked up Universal City Walk -- with its steroidal "FUN!" vibe, parade of shitty theme restaurants, hermetic disconnection from the surrounding community, waddling masses of tourists and baggy-shorted thugs looking to get their stab on -- and dumped it right in the middle of downtown. If LA Live were a person, it'd be the kind of person destined to be dangled off a balcony by Suge Knight. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH TO GO TO LA LIVE.
Except for this month, when they're hosting Cirque Berzerk at Club Nokia. Gotta take the good with the bad.
Cirque Berzerk is -- and I don't use this word often -- magical. Started at Burning Man in 2005, it's a sublimely talented crew of acrobats, aerialists, fire-spinners, burlesque dancers, stilt walkers, singers, contortionists, and punk-rock clowns. The whole enterprise brims with cheeky gothic energy, casual pansexuality, merry gallows humor (there's a corpse-fucking joke that somehow doubles as a brilliant bit of gender commentary) and enough physical prowess to power a small city. I don't want to ruin any suprises, but my personal favorite involved four men doing sychnronized jumps over a tall wall between paralell trampolines -- like a Busby Berkley extravaganza in zero gravity, or Fred Astaire being directed by The Wachowski Brothers. It's a spectacle that'll leave you dizzy with delight -- more than enough to carry you out of the teeming depths of LA Live and onward home.
(Quick side note: if you go, go early enough to check out WP-24, the bar atop the Ritz Carlton building. It gives you a God's-eye-view of downtown and the blindingly spotlit roof of the Staples Center, and they make a pretty handy martini to boot.)