Issue #162: JUL 2017

Welcome to the latest edition of Fascination, the Unofficial Cirque du Soleil Newsletter.

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL BUYS BLUE MAN GROUP?!

From the “whoa, we never saw this coming” category, comes a bombshell of a press release by Cirque du Soleil just as we were wrapping things up this month:

Global entertainment leader Cirque du Soleil announced July 6th the acquisition of New-York-based Blue Man Productions, a global live entertainment company best known for the award-winning Blue Man Group show, performed in over 20 countries and seen by more than 35 million people worldwide since 1991. The acquisition of Blue Man Group considerably widens Cirque du Soleil’s audience pool, adding to their portfolio six resident productions established across the United States and Germany, as well as a North American and a World Tour.

The transaction is in line with Cirque du Soleil’s vision for the future, as the Montreal-based creative powerhouse looks to further expand globally and diversify its entertainment offering beyond circus arts. With its original aesthetics, award-winning musical talent and immersive experience know-how, the acquisition of Blue Man Group also represents an additional asset for Cirque du Soleil’s creative team and show offerings.

“We want to broaden our horizons, develop new forms of entertainment, reach out to new audiences and expand our own creative capabilities. Today, we are taking a decisive step towards materializing these ambitions”, said Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil. “We are extremely excited to welcome the iconic Blue Man Group to our portfolio of shows. Their unbridled creativity makes them a perfect cultural fit for Cirque du Soleil. Our extensive marketing research also confirms that Blue Man Group is a strong ‘love brand’ with a solid fan base – something else our two brands have in common.”

For 25 years, Blue Man Group has earned an unrivaled reputation in the global entertainment industry. With a history and values similar to that of Cirque, the company was born of a crazy dream in the creative minds of its three founders. Blending technology, music and comedy, they created boldly colored, playful and steadfastly interactive shows. The company currently operates resident shows in New York, Boston, Las Vegas, Chicago, Orlando and Berlin, as well as two touring productions.

Blue Man Group Co-Founder Phil Stanton explains, “When we began our Blue Man journey, we set our sights on creating theater that would bring people together in a celebration of human connection. We have been humbled, amazed and inspired by the audience responses we have received over the years.”

Co-Founder Chris Wink adds, “Now, we find ourselves on the brink of our next chapter, and we have big ideas for the future. Only a global creative powerhouse like Cirque du Soleil could help us achieve our vision. Their commitment to artistic quality and originality is unparalleled and their creative resources are vast. It is an honor to join forces with their organization.”

While the news of Blue Man Group being bought by Cirque du Soleil caught us completely by surprise, one of the questions that arises now is… what does this mean for Orlando? Blue Man Group has a residency at Universal Studios Resort while Cirque du Soleil has residency at the Walt Disney World Resort, and neither are on what you’d call friendly terms. Behind the Thrills – a theme park news and reviews website – asked that very same question in their post about the news. Thrills suggests that in the short term “the Blue Man Group is staying at Universal Orlando with the latest announcement [but] it is currently unknown if Cirque du Soleil will do any changes at the Blue Man Group residency.” Only time will tell what the future could hold for the Blue Man Group residency at Universal. And what of Cirque du Soleil at Walt Disney World? The site goes on to report…

“As of late March, Cirque du Soleil was in negotiations with Walt Disney World with Daniel Lamarre, president, and CEO of Cirque du Soleil being quoted in an Argentina interview that Cirque is “going to have a new show.” Cirque du Soleil wants to create a tribute in the show to Disney’s Animation. It’s possible that the tribute to Disney’s Animation could be done as a full show that is an entire tribute to Disney’s Animation such as their tribute show to the Argentinean Rock Band Soda Stereo in Argentina. However, the plans for this tribute are only in the preliminary stage.”

Check out the YouTube video announcing this acquisition: https://youtu.be/Erou1MSIgPE. And read even more about this news from an article published by the New York Times within.

CIRQUECAST RELEASES TWENTIETH EPISODE!

CirqueCast is a Vodcast (that’s video podcast) for Cirque fans by Cirque fans – featuring artist interviews, Cirque headlines, and the inside scoop to your favorite Cirque du Soleil shows! Join your hosts José Pérez (TheChapiteau), Richard “Richasi” Russo (Fascination!), Ian Rents (Hardcore Cirque Fans), and Dario Shame (a big ‘ol fan), as we bring you a behind-the-scenes look into Cirque du Soleil, complete with discussions and the latest Cirque news.

In this episode of CirqueCast, we interview Facundo Gimenez. Facundo is currently touring with Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios as The Comic. Join us on this intimate interview where Facundo talks about his beginnings in the world of Circus, his experience playing 3 Cirque du Soleil characters, his side projects, and more. Watch our interview here: https://youtu.be/pWuxX_rDbvQ.

OYEZ! OYEZ!

Besides the Blue Man Group announcement, there’ve been a number of other developments since our last issue. Here’s a quick round-up:

TORUK CELEBRATES 400th SHOW — On the evening of June 30th, TORUK-The First Flight celebrated 400 shows in Manila, Philippines. Congratulations!

EVEN MORE WEB SERIES COMING — In addition to the currently running Make-up Challenge, the Red Bull Making of VOLTA, and the new Cirque Stories, be on the lookout for “Cirque Stats” coming soon. A new series from the Cirque Casting team, “see if our team is busy, very busy, or extremely busy casting the most diverse range of disciplines in the entertainment business.”

TICKETS TO LA NOUBA’S FINAL PERFORMANCE NOW ON SALE — La Nouba at the Walt Disney World Resort will hold its final performance on Sunday, December 31, 2017. Until recently, tickets for the performance were not available to the public, but they are now! If you want to see the last ever performance of La Nouba, head over to Cirque du Soleil’s website and get your tickets today.

LUNA PETUNIA TO GET SECOND SEASON — Luna Petunia, Cirque’s animated show for for children, has received a second season with streamer NETFLIX. The following eleven new episodes began streaming on Friday, July 7th.

S2,E01: “Caterball/Gemhenge”
S2,E02: “Queen Luna/Lil’Rooey”
S2,E03: “Happy Jolly Days”
S2,E04: “Cloudy With a Chance of Balloons/Melvin’s Magical Mix-up”
S2,E05: “Big Stretch/Bad Bubble Blues”
S2,E06: “Luna Day/How Does Your Garden Grow?”
S2,E07: “Lights! Camera! Sammy!/Learning to Fly”
S2,E08: “Creepy Castle/Karoo the Great and Powerful”
S2,E09: “Fellinocchio/Big Sleep”
S2,E10: “Tricky Situation/The Perfect Toy”
S2,E11: “Treasure of Amazia”

VOLTA RECORDED — Although it is still quite early in the show’s run,VOLTA was filmed for an eventual DVD release this past week. The exact release date isn’t known to us, however, Instagram posts from artists and video editors suggest a viewing in two months, so we could see the DVD released at the show come October or November!

CREACTIVE EXPANDS — Now you can enjoy Cirque du Soleil’s Creactive in a second location – Club Med Opio, Alpes-Maritimes. Check out the following videos of its opening: https://goo.gl/JkksDP and https://goo.gl/qSXxG1.

MORE ON THE NEW KIDS SHOW — Discovery Kids has partnered with Cirque du Soleil and Canada’s TVO and Apartment 11 on a live-action series set in a boarding school for young circus performers. The as-yet untitled English-language series will be filmed in Montreal, where Apartment 11 is based, and has Argentinean producer Cris Morena on board as an executive producer and songwriter. It will air on Discovery Kids in Latin America. It tells the story of an extraordinary group of young artists, athletes and acrobats aspiring to join the circus. “The series delivers dream fulfillment through circus performing arts in a magical and musical context, which is sure to delight our Discovery Kids audience,” said Carolina Lightcap, executive VP and chief content officer at Discovery Latin America/US Hispanic. “Cirque du Soleil is looking to develop new forms of entertainment, speak to new audiences and further expand its global reach,” added Kristina Heney, chief marketing officer at Cirque du Soleil. “This series is a natural continuation for us in our foray into youth entertainment, after over 30 years of producing world-renowned live shows that appeal to the entire family. Our vision is to apply our creative kaleidoscope to build unique worlds that nurture kids’ creativity.”

Okay, so let’s go!

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