The touring Cirque du Soleil show "Totem" will make a series of stops in Southern California starting in the fall that will include a three-week residency at the Santa Monica Pier. "Totem" is also scheduled to play at the Port of Los Angeles and the Orange County Great Park in Irvine.
"Totem" is written and staged by Robert Lepage, the adventurous Canadian theater director who created the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Wagner's "Ring" cycle. The Cirque show debuted in 2010 and has already traveled to cities around the world, including a stop earlier this year in New York.
Set in a world of amphibians and other less-classifiable psychedelic creatures, "Totem" depicts the evolution of the species leading up to the dawn of man.
"Totem" is scheduled to run at the Port of L.A. from Oct. 11 to 27; in Irvine from Nov. 21 to Dec. 29; and in Santa Monica from Jan. 17 to Feb. 9.
Previous Cirque touring shows to have come through Santa Monica include "Ovo" in 2012 and "Kooza" in 2009.
The past several months have been difficult for Cirque. Its resident Hollywood show "Iris" closed much earlier than expected in January following weak ticket sales. The same month, the Montreal company announced layoffs of 400 employees, or about 8% of its global workforce.