Friday, June 27, 2008

2008 WSOP, Day 29: Love

Cirque Du Soleil's 'Love'Well, the Love show didn’t disappoint. Definitely one of the more entertaining spectacles of the many from which to choose here in Las Vegas.

Have written here before in praise of the Beatles. Grew up listening to them. Learned to play guitar from a Beatles songbook. Long ago committed all two hundred-plus of those tunes to memory. (Like a lot of folks, I imagine.) Also had someone pass me the Love soundtrack a couple of years ago when it first came out, so I was additionally aware of how for the show the songs had been recombined, sometimes quite ingeniously, so I wasn’t necessarily surprised by any of that at the performance.

The show’s form resembled that of the previous Cirque du Soleil show Vera and I had seen, O. Lots of high-flying gymnastics-slash-modern dance supplemented throughout by various, clever machinations to redistribute the set design. There were a few dozen “characters,” none of whom perfectly corresponded to the ones inhabiting the Beatles songbook (to me, anyway). Although one could argue they were all suggested in an indirect way -- e.g., the lovelorn, flower-carrying shy guy, Teddy boys, the mustachioed British bobbies, Liverpudlian kiddies, etc.

The production definitely emphasized the more surreal-leaning, latter era of the Beatles repetoire, both in the song selections and the René Magritte-meets-Barnum & Bailey aesthetic. Lots of fun moments, perhaps the most fun being when a bed appeared in the center of the stage and its linens rapidly extended outward, enveloping the stage and then, to everyone’s delight, the entire audience as well. Vera said it reminded her of games with parachutes in elementary school.

As was the case with O, the show never moved too far away from the land of spectacle and into something more meaningful. That is to say, lots of moving around, but nothing too terribly moving. Still, that message of love that so indelibly informs the Beatles’ music was consistently delivered. One never hears in Love the Fab Four’s most profound lyric “the love you take is equal to the love you make,” though the idea is successfully implied throughout. Everybody, including Vera and me, had smiles on as we filed out of the theater.

As we walked out we passed the poker room at the Mirage, and hearing somebody telling his buddy about finally hitting quads quickly recalled to me the purpose of my being here. Back to poker today, as I return to the Rio to help cover Event No. 46, the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed event. Looks like 805 signed up for that one yesterday, and they played all of the way down to 96 today. Might take a good while for those 96 to turn into just six for tomorrow’s final table, I imagine.

Meanwhile the $50K H.O.R.S.E. (Event No. 45) moves into its third of five days, with over half the field gone. Just 67 of the original 148 remain. Many the big names are over there, with Greenstein, Lindgren, Negreanu, and Doyle Brunson near the top of the chip counts at present.

Oh, by the way, I couldn’t let it go unnoticed here that Dan LaCourse, the winner of Event No. 42, the $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em World Championship, is a retired police detective. According to LaCourse, his training as a detective came in handy at the poker table, as “people reveal themselves through subtle gestures and mannerisms within three seconds of being of being confronted with a question or decision.”

Interesting stuff. Of course, you probably knew that already -- that in the end, the info you take is equal to the profit you make.

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