The only thing surprising about Cirque du Soleil going steampunk is that it didn't happen sooner.
Over 30 years, the acrobatic-intensive French-Canadian circus show has based touring productions on everything from the catalog of Michael Jackson to Shakespeare's The Tempest. Kurios has the distinction of being hailed as the company's strongest show in years by the Toronto Star, Chicago Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle.
That seems fair enough, as the Victorian age of innovation proves fertile ground for creative costumes, set pieces and off-kilter storytelling. Kurios uses the motif well, with a brassy bicycle turned into a trapeze and a begoggled pilot balancing on an ever-growing tower of tubes and boxes.
The story is enough to hold the scenes together and features a nice mix of humor and stunts. Highlights include the company's signature contortion and unique trampoline scene that follows the intermission.
SEE IT: Portland Expo Center, 2060 North Marine Dr., expocenter.org/events/cirque-du-soleil-presents-kurios. 8 pm Tuesday-Saturday, 4:30 pm Saturday, 1:30 pm and 5 pm Sunday, through Oct. 8. $29-$280.