Issue #168: JAN 2018

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

GOODBYE VAREKAI, FAREWELL LA NOUBA

It’s hard to believe La Nouba is no more. It’s through La Nouba I gained my first glimpse into the world of Cirque du Soleil, coming on a rather tiresome evening in May 1999. But from the very first moment the show began, I sat utterly enthralled. It was of little consequence that I was as far away from the stage as one could get. In that moment all that was relevant was the artistry and pageantry on display before me. For truly a door opened; two worlds collided. Dreams clashed with reality. The mundane mixed with the marvelous. I had truly entered the dominion of Cirque du Soleil, glowing with spellbinding intensity… a vibrant kaleidoscope of artistry and daring… a splash of iridescent genius. I knew the color of imagination and I never looked back! It’s always been there… so to have La Nouba’s doors close now after all that it has done for me is rather surreal, and sad. What I’ve said may sound corny (and its usually the way I describe my introduction to Cirque du Soleil), but it’s absolutely true. I will miss La Nouba more than I can say, and more than you will ever know.

And Varekai too. After 15 years touring around the world with 5,219 performances in 231 cities across 43 countries throughout 5 continents, VAREKAI also had its final bow last month. Although Varekai was not the first touring show I’d see (Dralion earned that accolade when it came through Miami in 2001; Quidam would be second in February 2002), it would be the first show I’d get to see premiere in Montreal.

But I will take away with me great memories… from meeting Paul Bannerman and some of the cast and crew of Varekai during premiere week, to partying with the cast and crew of La Nouba at CirqueCon 2007, to even being part of La Nouba for Cirque’s 25th Anniversary celebrations… yep, I got bike jumped that night! All good memories. They say all good things must come to an end… and not cry because it’s over, smile because it happened… it’s still hard to let good shows (and the people behind them) go. So, a heartfelt thank you to the casts and crews of both La Nouba and Varekai for putting on a top-notch show year after year after year. May you future endeavors prove fruitful!

See VAREKAI’s final bow: https://goo.gl/Q6DjH6r
See LA NOUBA’s final bow: https://goo.gl/h6jvSh
LA NOUBA’s Goodbye video: https://youtu.be/CC18Vp9BkeY
LA NOUBA’s Final Bow Video #1: https://youtu.be/9bKFo-xwiIc
LA NOUBA’s Final Bow Video #2: https://goo.gl/spbYg2

NEW CIRQUE SHOW IN DEVELOPMENT FOR DISNEY SPRINGS

Now for something a bit happier. Something we’ve known about for awhile, but now it’s official!

Earlier this year, the Disney Parks Blog announced that “La Nouba” by Cirque du Soleil would be taking its final bow at Disney Springs on New Year’s Eve 2018. As the curtain closes on this fan favorite, it’sfitting that we share some exciting news about the future of the long-lasting relationship between Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Nearly twenty years after teaming up to bring “La Nouba” to the stage, the two entertainment companies are working together on a new collaboration. This original show will be created by Cirque du Soleil and will pay homage to Disney’s rich history of animation, with a vivid story told in a way that only Cirque du Soleil can deliver. Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, elaborated, sharing “We are incredibly inspired by Disney’s immense creative universe. We are convinced that bringing Disney’s magic to life on stage will touch audiences and bring them back to their childhood.”

An opening date for the new show has not been announced; however, 2019 has been floated about. Keep an eye here as we’ll continue to share details as they are finalized. Michel Laprise is rumored to be directing. Benoit Jutras (Composer of Quidam, “O”, and La Nouba) has signed on to compose this new show. Stay tuned!

CRISS ANGEL TO CLOSE MINDFREAK LIVE IN OCTOBER

After 10 years and over 4000 performances, Cirque du Soleil and Criss Angel Productions announced on December 22, 2017 its collaboration will culminate with the final performance of MINDFREAK LIVE! at Luxor Las Vegas on October 28, 2018. The decade-long collaboration between Cirque and Angel has resulted in some of the most talked-about productions and most incredible magic ever seen on stage. Tickets for all remaining performances are on sale now. “It has been an extraordinary experience working with Cirque du Soleil and Luxor these past nine years. They have been amazing partners and will always be part of my family,” said Criss Angel. “I am so proud of what we have created together and I am extremely excited about the new illusions we will be adding in our final year of MINDFREAK LIVE!”

Jerry Nadal, senior vice president, Cirque du Soleil, said “it has been a pleasure to work with Criss Angel for the past nine years. Criss is a visionary artist and watching his illusions come to life on stage has been an incredible experience. We respect his decision to explore other opportunities after 10 successful years at Luxor and we are looking forward to a tremendous final year showcasing Criss’ most spectacular illusions in MINDFREAK LIVE!”

Celebrated as “the most watched magician in history,” Criss Angel’s MINDFREAK LIVE! has been called the “Magic Experience of a Lifetime.” Based on Angel’s hit TV show MINDFREAK, which smashed records with more than 100 million viewers each season, MINDFREAK LIVE! showcases 90 minutes of the most unbelievable, original and thrilling illusions ever performed on stage. Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO, MGM Resorts, said, “I am inspired by Criss Angel’s commitment to the Las Vegas community and to raising funds and awareness for childhood cancer. I share both of those passions. In honor of our decade-long partnership and shared values, MGM Resorts will host a fundraising effort with Criss next year.” Nik Rytterstrom, President of Luxor Las Vegas, said, “MINDFREAK LIVE! has been a huge hit for our guests and we look forward to sharing his show with new audiences in the months ahead. “Criss has been a tremendous part of our Luxor family and we wish him great success.”

The final performance of MINDFREAK LIVE! at Luxor Las Vegas is scheduled for October 28, 2018. Tickets for all remaining performances can be purchased by calling 702-262-4400 or by visiting www.cirquedusoleil.com.

45 DEGREES ANNOUNCES 2 MORE YEARS IN ANDORRA

45 DEGREES is pleased to announce that Cirque du Soleil will continue performing in beautiful Andorra la Vella in 2018 and 2019. From June 29th to July 30th, 2018, following the success of the SCALADA series, a new chapter begins with DIVA by Cirque du Soleil, which will pay tribute to some of the greatest divas of all time. Relive music’s most celebrated hits through the lens of Cirque du Soleil. This year’s spirited acrobatics will be performed to the rhythm of the songs of the divas who shaped our history. Learn more at the show’s website: https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/diva and see the poster for this new production here: http://www.cirquefascination.com/?p=11197.

CIRQUE AT ROYALMOUNT CENTRE?

According to a recent CBC News article, Cirque du Soleil says it is interested in having a “creative project on the site of Royalmount,” its spokesperson Marie-Hélène Lagacé confirmed. But what is Royalmount? Royalmount centre is a massive new shopping and entertainment complex proposal slated for the Town of Mount-Royal’s industrial sector, not far from the Da la Savane Metro station in Montreal. CarbonLeo, the company that built Quartier Dix30, a shopping centre and entertainment complex on Montreal’s South Shore, is undertaking the $1.7-billion project nestled at the junction of Highways 15 and 40, earning it the nickname Quinze40. The 232,257-square-metre complex will feature a performing arts space with seating for 3,000 people, a water park, an indoor cinema complex and an outdoor cinema on the green roof. The mall will also house restaurants, terraces, two hotels, an outdoor skating rink and office space. The project is controversial as opponents suggest the new centre would multiply traffic and pollution in the area, and that it would centralize business, hurting the local economy and mom-and-pop shops, and discouraging people from working and living in the city core. Proponents look at the opportunity to redevelop a section of the city overlooked today. In either case, the fact that Cirque du Soleil is “interested” in having a creative project of some kind on the site is newsworthy to us. We will, of course, keep our ears open for new developments on this project.

LIP SYNC BATTLE CELEBRATES THE KING OF POP

Lip Sync Battle returns by moonwalking onto Paramount Network (formally Spike) with the largest live event of its franchise history. LIP SYNC BATTLE LIVE: A MICHAEL JACKSON CELEBRATION will be a landmark television event celebrating the pre-eminent entertainment icon, Michael Jackson, on Thursday, January 18 9/8c. The one-hour special, produced by Casey Patterson Entertainment and Matador Content, in consultation with The Estate of Michael Jackson, will feature larger-than-life performances LIVE from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. A special performance by Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil, the critically acclaimed show in permanent residence at the Michael Jackson Theater is also scheduled. The live special is executive produced by Casey Patterson, Jay Peterson, James Sunderland, LL COOL J, John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant, and 8 Million Plus Productions, and directed by Glenn Weiss. All songs performed during the special are featured in Michael Jackson ONE. “The King of Pop is the most groundbreaking, theatrical superstar of all time and we are thrilled to be performing and celebrating the electrifying music of Michael Jackson on our big night,” said Executive Producer Casey Patterson. “We are taking Lip Sync Battle to new heights, LIVE at The Dolby Theater for the launch of The Paramount Network.”

Okay, so let’s go!

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