Cirque du Soleil, the famed Canadian avante garde circus, is about to set up its tent poles for the first time on Broadway. The spectacular show will challenge the supremacy of some of the street’s biggest and most popular shows. The only question is, what took so long?
Cirque du Soleil, literally translated “Circus of the Sun,” was founded in 1984 and is the largest theatrical producer in the world.
It currently has more than 20 shows in production, each focused on a special theme. They run from “The Beatles LOVE,” and “Michael Jackson ONE,” to “O,” a water-themed show.
In the past, the shows have mainly toured, but more recently they’ve been playing long-term residencies. “Mystère,” one of the longest running, has been in residence at the Treasure Island Casino in Las Vegas since 1993.
In fact, the circus virtually owns the gambling mecca. Other shows are playing at the Bellagio, New York, New York, the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Aria Resort and Casino, Luxor and The Mirage.
Six other shows are touring and it has residencies at Disney theme parks in Florida and Japan.
For it’s Broadway production, Cirque du Soleil is pulling out all the stops. It will be staging Paramour, a show set during Hollywood’s Golden Age.
The plot focuses on a young woman in Hollywood who must choose between love and art. It will be told through songs, dances, acting and high-wire acrobatic performances.
In all, Paramour will include 22 acrobats “from every major country literally in the world, from China to Russia to Brazil to Canada, Scott Zeiger, Cirque du Soleil Theatrical’s managing director told Reuters.
They will be joined by 16 traditional performers, he added.
Broadway has been anchored for years by big-budget shows like Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Aladdin, The Lion King and Chicago.
In terms of pure spectacle, Paramour matches up with the best of them. Given Cirque du Soleil’s staying power in other venues, expect it join some of the longest running shows as a major attraction on the Great White Way.
Previews begin in New York on April 16. Opening night is set for May 25.
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