Cirque Outta Broadway

Cirque du Soleil’s merger with Blue Man Group has sharpened the focus on Cirque’s commitment to expanding its brand around the world. But in the wake of Cirque’s acquisition of the Blue Men, it has become apparent the company is de-emphasizing its development of Broadway-style production shows under its Cirque Theatricals division.

The musical “Paramour” was the first such production. The show blended commonplace Cirque elements as the Korean plank and multiple trampolines with traditional musical theater. “Paramour” opened in March 2016 and did solid business before closing in April. But the production at Lyric Theatre was not the trend-setting show Cirque had envisioned when it hired former Base Entertainment exec Scott Zeiger away from that company in January 2014.

Zeiger has since left Cirque as his three-year contract expired earlier this year. As Zeiger said in a phone conversation recently, he was hired by Cirque founder Guy Laliberte to develop traditional Broadway shows. When Laliberte sold his interest in the company to TPG Capital in 2015, the emphasis shifted on touring shows.
“‘Paramour’ was making good money, and it was a very rewarding experience, but it wasn’t the sort of ground-breaking achievement Cirque would have hoped for, and there are a lot of reasons for that,” Zeiger said. “There is the unpredictability of critics, of ticket-buyers who are different than the people Cirque counts on to sell tickets when it tours in places like Houston, New Orleans, San Diego, Atlanta.”

As Cirque Chief Executive Officer Daniel Lamarre said, as the company announced its purchase of BMG, “We are in full negotiations to bring ‘Paramour’ to Europe, and we expect to know about its future in September,” Lamarre said. “We also hope to bring the show back to New York City, eventually, but right now our focus needs to be on Blue Man Group and our new partnership.”

Zeiger had headed up the talks to send “Paramour” overseas, and was also heavily involved in development of Cirque’s NFL Experience, opening in November in Times Square. He remains a board member of Base Entertainment and has several consulting contracts for production concepts, including a few that might make it to the Strip.

{ SOURCE: John Katsilometes, Las Vegas Review-Journal | }