Cavalia’s ‘Odysseo’ comes to Somerville

On July 26, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times


Cavalia’s Odysseo combines equestrian mastery and spectacular theatricality, presenting its world-renowned production at Assembly Row in August.

By Cathleen Twardzik

Cavalia’s Odysseo will open in Somerville on August 7 at 8 p.m. under “The White Big Top” at Assembly Row at the intersection of Interstate 93 and Route 28, at 201 Assembly Square Drive.

The show’s performances in Somerville will continue until at least August 18. Shows will include weekend matinees at 2 p.m.

Cavalia, Inc. has two distinct shows that tour, Cavalia and Odysseo, both of which involve the equestrian arts, stage arts and high-tech theatrical effects. Odysseo debuted in 2011.  The co-founders of Cirque du Soleil conceived this extravaganza.

“When Cavalia’s original show was on tour, the production took place in Boston,” said a colleague of Jackie Rossetti, Deputy Director of Communications of the City of Somerville.

Odysseo showcases 63 horses from around the world, and the 47 artists from around the globe include dancers, riders, acrobats, musicians and aerialists. Additionally, “The White Big Top” boasts a seating capacity for 2,000 onlookers.

Besides the 120 full-time employees, Cavalia temporarily hires 200 people on a local level in each location in which it performs.

“The immediate financial boost for our local businesses is, of course, significant, but the impact this kind of exposure can have on Somerville’s economy over the long-term should not be overlooked. Cavalia will run cross-promotions with Somerville’s restaurants and bars, and others will find their own way to our businesses before and after shows, and those visitors will remember the fantastic array of options they found here. Cavalia will introduce a whole new array of patrons to our vibrant city. This production has the potential to bring up to $10 million in revenues for local businesses, including restaurants, hotels and more,” said Mayor Curtatone.

“Assembly Row is one of the most exciting development projects on the east coast, and Cavalia is one of the world’s largest touring shows. Cavalia’s Odysseo is always looking for new and interesting locations to bring their show, and given all that Somerville and Assembly Row have to offer, especially the space and the proximity to public transportation and major highways, make this a prime partnership,” said Rossetti.

“Cavalia’s production of Odysseo is not only bringing jobs to the city, but visitors to East Somerville who can partake in the fantastic array of businesses in our neighborhood.  This is a wonderful opportunity to cultivate employment opportunities for East Somerville workers and to shine a spotlight on our diverse and thriving local business district,” said Maureen Bastardi, Alderman of Ward 1.

If working at the production’s Somerville stop piques your interest, then participate in a job interview on July 29 or July 30 at their big top at 101 Grand Union Boulevard, behind Home Depot.  Cavalia, Inc. will “give preference” to Somerville residents.

Jobs during Odysseo’s tenure at Assembly Square will include box office, merchandise, food and beverage, cashiers, parking attendants, ushers, barmen/women, kitchen attendants, dishwashers, bussers, stable assistants and runners and drivers for the tour services department.

Employees with experience in customer service are desired, such as those who have worked front of the house for events and businesses, in hospitality, bars, restaurants or in similar positions.

Cavalia is searching for employees who can work long and flexible hours.

“We are committed to local jobs and workforce development as demonstrated in our Jobs Advisory Committee’s goals and objectives, whether through working with employers, such as with Cavalia and long-term employers, building the skills of our workforce to help connect them to emerging local career opportunities, taking advantage of educational resources, and collaborating with public and private interests to support our efforts,” said Mayor Curtatone.

Cavalia, Inc. is applying for a permit that would grant it permission to enjoy a maximum of a 12-week run at Assembly Row.

If you would like to purchase tickets call 1-866-999-8111, or visit

Each ticket will cost between $34.50 to $219.50, plus applicable taxes and fees. Special packages and prices are available for groups, children between the ages of 2 and 12, juniors (13 to 17) and seniors of at least the age of 65.



22 Responses to “Cavalia’s ‘Odysseo’ comes to Somerville”

  1. ritepride says:

    A unique show that looks interesting and exciting, should be a good draw for Somerville and other unique entertainment type events should be looked at for the future. There also could be a side benefit from the horsie leftovers to be used by the dpw for parks/fields. Hello Mr Ed!

  2. noreen says:

    Unique and looks very interesting. It’s really too bad the cost of the seating is far beyond what anyone I know can afford. Seriously, if I wanted to take my grandchilden and bought the medium range seats it would cost $360???? That’s absurd.

  3. Harry says:

    Superb! Let’s spend a fortune to see poor blue horses galloping!!

  4. A. Moore says:

    The thing I am waiting to see is how we do with traffic. It will be interesting to see if it works out as it will give us some idea of what to expect when people start moving in and the new atores open up down there.
    I expected we were going to be priced out of it but we are used to that considering the cost of things today.

  5. Bostom says:

    I’ve heard some whoppers from Somerville’s elected officials in the past, but the mayor’s statement above, if correctly quoted, has to win some sort of prize: “This production has the potential to bring up to $10 million in revenues for local businesses, including restaurants, hotels and more,” said Mayor Curtatone.

    It may also have the “potential” to make us all young, rich, good-looking, smart, healthy, svelte, subpoena-proof, and sexy, too, just like Joe, but ten million dollars in eleven days? (Performances scheduled Aug 7 – 18, with weekend matinees and a possible permit extension of the run to 12 weeks.) So which is it? A bit less than either a million bucks a day or a million bucks a week in new business Somerville merchants wouldn’t get without the dancing horses under the big white top? Should be easy enough to verify by sales, hotel, and meals tax revenue reports. Let’s just say that the mayor, having climbed out on a limb with this statement, shouldn’t be allowed to come down from that tree until he documents what he said. He ought to be able to verify everything he says but I’ll just hold him to the truth or falsity of this one quote.

    It won’t bring that kind of money to Somerville and the mayor knows it. He ought to be more careful about what he says for many, many reasons, and not just ridiculous “pie in the sky,” off-the-cuff estimates like this if he’s planning to run for governor because his words will come back to haunt him sooner than he thinks. If the show runs for 11 days, he should announce the total verifiable revenue gains it brought into the city’s coffers (so we can extrapolate the extra business revenue) at the end of August, or by the middle of September at the latest; if it runs until Halloween, something I sincerely doubt with ticket prices ranging from $35 to $220 a seat – $220 buys you a really nice orchestra seat to a hit show on Broadway: do we honestly think local people will pay that much for a horse show whose venue is set down in a construction site? – he should certainly be able to tell us the take by, say, December 1st. If he’s right, Somerville businesses will enjoy an early Christmas present but I suspect the mayor’s going to be putting coal instead of cash in all our Christmas stockings and on our 2014 tax bills with this one. Again.

    I’m doubtful they’ll do so because they always seem to give him a pass, but I really hope the Somerville News will revisit this story, and the mayor’s prediction that out-of-towners will rain down millions of dollars on us next month or in the next three months – whenever the show’s run ends and they pull down the tent – so we’ll have an opportunity to determine if his optimistic estimates came within miles of the truth. I’m marking my calendar and hope some of you readers (and the editors of the News) do too.

  6. amen says:

    it seems we don’t have the dining and hotel options that would bring the benefit of a show like this. What do we offer? LaQuinta? Burger Dive? going to a show you want something right nearby. So everyone will drive over the bridge and spend their money in Medford or Everett. So we get the traffic, and horse poop, and everyone else gets the general benefits of people spending on gas, food, and little things you need at Walgreens. Although the jobs available to Somerville folks will be huge.

  7. Barry the Pig says:

    ROFL! LaQuinta!

  8. Jo says:

    Not only should be able to learn exactly how much money this show really does bring in, but we should be able to learn exactly how such money is spent.
    How do you think the almost obligatory protests against animal performers will affect the show?

  9. Harry says:

    Poor little blue galloping horses :(

  10. I went to this the last time they were here. It was jaw- dropping! I was speechless – It took my breath away! I will never forget it. I will be there this year.

  11. andrew says:

    Saw it today, it was amazing even with the cheaper obstructive view seat I could see the whole show, and it was packed.

  12. Bostom says:

    Theresa: It’s supposed to be brand-new; never been seen before in the United States and it’s never been here before, which is the source of some of the controversy surrounding it. How (and where?) did you see it before since it’s never been here and it’s never (so the promoters say) been seen before?

    Andrew: Any idea how many of the seats were paid for? “Papering the house” is the theatrical term for highly discounting or giving away tickets for free to make a flop look like a hit. Not saying it was – just wondering if it was.

  13. A. Moore says:

    Regardless of what it brings in it is getting some use out of an empty piece of land. And for the people who enjoy this, fine. They should have been making more use out of all this space while it was available. Anyone notice how he traffic was before and after the show? Wondering because it will give some hint of what it will be like after people start moving in there.

  14. Ron Newman says:

    Bostom: Odysseo is a new show, but Cavalia was at Suffolk Downs in 2005 with a different show. (I did not see it.)

  15. Joe's cousin says:

    My family got free tickets to go. So we went. Would not have otherwise.

  16. lesson says:

    this is a time for the city to understand what they’ve done to businesses with their onerous parking restrictions. You cannot run meters till late night, and have permit parking everywhere, and expect people to visit our restaurants, businesses. Certainly not when there are other options right over the bridge with no parking problems. When my friends and family go out we head to a place with parking so we can include people who don’t live in Somerville!

  17. jo says:

    Where do people park for the horse show? Do they use the Assembly Square lot, or another space, free of charge?

  18. ellen says:

    I agree with ‘lesson’ about NOT bringing visitors to Somerville
    restaurants etc. I don’t even consider it an option anymore. My visitor passes are only good for my street and the adjacent street. Some restaurants do not have meters nearby so it’s permit only. I decided a while back to not even suggest Somerville restaurants because of the parking issues. I don’t know what the city was thinking on this one but if
    I were a business owner in Somerville I would not be happy.

  19. Barry the Pig says:

    That is a lesson I learnt while playing SimCity years ago! Joe should spend more time with SimCity :)

  20. A.Moore says:

    lesson and ellen. The only 2 we go to in Somerville if we company is the Mount Vernon or the 99. Both have parking and since some of my visiters are somewhat handicapped they can get into the restaurant as well. So far I only know one couple going to the show and then to dinner in Malden.

  21. Mike says:

    It really ticks me off when there is NO way to buy a ticket for the advertised cost of a ticket. Who ever heard of a service charge for buying your ticket at the box office? (maybe it’s now a common practice, I haven’t been to a show in a while, but it’s still disgusting.)

  22. Mems says:

    My husband and I went to see it this past Friday night and it was phenomenal. I can’t rave about it enough. It is very tranquil, peaceful, amazing graphics in the background, 3X the Imax picture size and these horses do everything from memory. Total opposite from a circus. These trainers just snap their fingers or speak a word (very softly) or move their hand and they respond. They are without a harness. They are free. Unless they are being ridden.

    I would highly recommend it to all. It’s a little pricey, but well worth it.


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