10/03/2011 02:22 pm ET Updated Dec 03, 2011

Enter The Big Top

Cirque du Soleil's Iris, the entertainment troupe's ode to moviemaking, is already drawing large audiences to the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, but for anyone who has yet to check out the 72 performers, 200 costumes, 20 video projectors, and 166,000 watts of sound power, there's no hurry. The show will be running in L.A. for at least ten years. Assuming that the audiences are big enough to earn a profit (anything over 65 percent of capacity each night), Iris could easily become the single greatest economic infusion Hollywood has ever seen. What's remarkable is that the production took shape during the worst downturn in 80 years--and without studies or commissions or pro forma public hearings. All it required were three well-connected L.A. guys: an entrepreneur, a real estate developer, and a city councilman.

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