Personnel: Elin Carlson (vocals); Katie Kirkpatrick (harp); Lorenz Gamma, Alyssa Park, Alan Grunfeld, Barbara Porter, Grace Oh, Nina Evtuhov, Maia Jasper, Tiffany Yi Hu, Kathleen Sloan , Marc Sazer, Tamara Hatwan , Lily Ho Chen, Becky Bunnell, Eve Butler, Julie Rogers, Sandy Cameron, Jenny Levin, Richard Altenbach, Jacqueline Brand , Bruce Dukov, Natalie Leggett, Sarah Thornblade, Roger Wilkie, Neel Hammond, Marina Manukian, Carol Pool, Josefina Vergara, Charlie Bisharat, Tereza Stanislav (violin); Carolyn Riley, Dmitri Bovaird, Victoria Miskolczy, Luke Maurer, Michael Leiberman, Robert Brophy , Brian Dembow, Keith Greene, Roland Kato, Dave Walther , Alma Fernandez, Darrin McCann, Andrew Duckles (viola); Paula Hochhalter, Trevor Handy, Timothy Landauer, Armen Ksajikian, Amanda Zidow, Erika Duke, Paul Cohen , Jodi Burnett, Giovanna Clayton , Antony Cooke , Stephen Erdody , Cecilia Tsan (cello); Heather Clark, Steve Kujala (flute); Seth Stachowski (clarinet, saxophone); Ralph Williams , Gary Bovyer (clarinet); Leslie Reed, Phil Ayling (oboe); Rose Corrigan, Judith Farmer (bassoon); Dan Higgins , Greg Huckins, Bill Liston, Jeff Driskill, Chris Bleth (saxophone); Dan Fornero, Warren Leuning, Marissa Benedict, Jon Lewis , Barry Perkins , Rick Baptist (trumpet); Daniel Kelley , Justin Hageman, Phillip Yao , Nathan Campbell , Steven Becknell, Jenny Kim, Joe Meyer , Brad Warnaar (French horn); Alex Iles, Phillip Teele, Alan Kaplan, Charles Loper, William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach Jr. (trombone); Doug Tornquist (tuba); Deborah N. Hurwitz (piano); Ron Wagner (drums, percussion); Peter Limonick (timpani); Emil Radocchia, Bob Zimmitti, Eduardo Meneses (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Dennis Sands; Alan Meyerson.
Recording information: Studio Della Morte; The Newman Scoring Stage.
Director: Philippe Decoufle.
Editor: Shie Rozow.
Photographers: Matt Beard; Mark Delong.
Arrangers: Chris P. Bacon; David Slonaker.
It's the iris of a camera that Cirque du Soleil has in mind in the title of a show staged at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles (where they hold the Academy Awards) and devoted to the movies. Appropriately, the organization has gone out and hired a prominent film composer to write the show's score, and it's hard to imagine a more complementary one than Danny Elfman, who is known for his zany, manic work for the visually imaginative and somewhat arch director Tim Burton. Given the Hollywood theme, it's no surprise that this is one of the less exotic scores done for a Cirque presentation; Elfman does lean toward the exotic slightly on "Snake Women," in a nod to cinema's more adventurous aspects, but this is far from world music. The show has a "history of the movies" theme that allows the composer to provide his versions of the kind of Keystone Kops comedy of the early silents, notably in the fast-paced "Kinki Film" cue. Elfman also dips into the big-band swing style of braying horns and pounding percussion here and there, including in "Buster's Big Opening" and "Movie Studio." But both of those cues are extended suites that feature several different sections so that, just as in a film score, Elfman is accompanying quickly changing visual action. Late in the show, the story has moved on into the 1930s and `40s with "Film Noir/Pursuit," and the music has mysterious and late-night jazzy elements, followed by "Rooftops," which provides identifiable chase rhythms. This is thus an unusual score for Cirque as the organization continues to expand its horizons and partner with established artists, blending its identity and providing a new outlet for a composer who has made his mark in Hollywood and whose music listeners will recognize in this stage extravaganza. ~ William Ruhlmann