A scene from Ovo
(© Benoit Fontaine/Cirque du Soleil)
A scene from Ovo
(© Benoit Fontaine/Cirque du Soleil)
Forget everything you feared about oversized bugs one day taking over the earth as a result of mankind's environmental mismanagement. If it happens the way Cirque du Soleil director Deborah Colker imagines in Ovo, now beginning its international tour in Toronto, the welcome mat couldn't be laid out fast enough.

The fantasy-infused presentation -- draped with luscious apparel and excellent lighting -- is a tamer offering than some of Cirque du Soleil's more groundbreaking works, but it also recaptures everything that has made Cirque du Soleil breathtaking fun under the Big Top for 25 years.

This transcendent production - which is named for the Portugese word for egg -- places audiences smack dab into an amorous world of colorful creepy crawlers that you'd rather hug than step on. The show begins with a spiny outsider (Francois-Guillaume Leblanc) hauling in a gigantic egg for all to see. With romance buzzing more than the abrupt cicada (Joseph Collard), the outsider's attention is diverted to a voluptuous Ladybug (Michelle Matlock).The ensuing interaction between the trio is boisterously funny and adorably captivating as a love story blooms.

One momentous scene involves a half-dozen performers laying flat on their backs spinning kiwi slices in stunning synchronicity, while another great moment involves a contortionist spider adapting all the essential arachnid nuances. Not a hypnotic moment is wasted, and the production's sensational finale is accentuated by sleek acrobats, who defy gravity by falling upwards to a wall of rock mass.

In the end, Ovo frees the soul from the daily grind while also restoring vivid beauty to circus arts.