Reviewed for Fifth Grade, 2007

Hopefully, your child has been receiving a good helping of the arts at school, along with his reading, writing, and 'rithmatic. More and more, though, it falls to parents to fill in the gaps. Fifth grade is a prime year to wow your child with a live performance, and Cirque du Soleil could be just the ticket. The company has been turning circus on its head since the 1980s, when they were a small group of Canadian buskers barely making rent. Now they've got over 3,000 employees from over 40 countries, entertaining audiences across the globe. Take your kid to a performance and you'll understand why. From contortion to clowning, acrobatics to aerial rings, this strange mix of simple street performance and no-holds-barred spectacular is a sight to behold. Tickets aren't cheap, but this is an experience with live performance that could inspire a creative soul for years to come.