Cirque eschews acrobats in next Las Vegas Strip production?

There are some certainties in Cirque du Soleil’s largely abstract world. One is that Criss Angel’s “Mindfreak Live!” production closes at Luxor Oct. 28. And there won’t be another Cirque-produced magic show taking its place.

We’ve always expected Cirque shows to highlight acrobatics, the “circus” theme of the company’s very title… but not so fast. The next production Cirque stages on the Strip will be devoid of the very acrobatics that made the company the dominant production vehicle in the city.

“We are working on a new show concept with MGM Resorts, brand-new for the Luxor, and an entirely new avenue for the company,” Cirque du Soleil Senior Vice President Jerry Nadal said Thursday at Mandalay Bay, following a preview of a scene from the “One Night for One Drop” charity show set for March 2 at the Michael Jackson One Theater. “No magic, and no acrobats. This is an entirely new avenue of performance for us.”

Nadal declined to say what “avenue” is being pursued. Cirque has expanded its roster of production shows by acquiring also at and is producing the NFL Experience multimedia and performance attraction in Times Square in New York. The company also combined acrobats and proper musical theater with “Paramour,” which closed in April after a yearlong run at Lyric Theater in New York.

“We have seven shows in Las Vegas, and eight if you count Blue Man Group, on the Strip, and our challenge is to try to differentiate them,” Nadal said. “We need to look at what’s next for Cirque,” Nadal said, adding that much depends on the company’s ownership group, headed up by TPG Capital, which purchased the company from founder Guy Laliberté for $1.5 billion in April 2015. “When our new owners came in, they said, ‘We didn’t buy you for what you have been or what you are, we bought you for what you can become.’ And that is a global, live entertainment leader.”

Nadal added that the company is in “growth mode,” beyond its purchase of Blue Man Group, a Strip hit since 2000. Cirque has developed an ice-themed production, “Crystal,” which premieres in Montreal in December and plays San Diego on March 21-25 (and don’t rule out frozen water as a theme for the new Luxor show, either).

“We are looking at whatever new product is out there, and we have creative minds that are always looking to branch out,” Nadal said. But he emphasized that the company is not seeking to snap up another successful production on the Strip, similar to its purchase of the Blue Men.

Asked if Cirque might make a move on existing show on the Strip, Nadal said, “No, not that we’re looking at now.”

“One Night for One Drop,” which helps raise money and awareness for Cirque’s international water-conversation initiatives, is being staged for the second time at the Michael Jackson One Theater. That venue was selected about a year ago, announced just after the 2017 show at Theater at New York-New York.

Though not planned, the show should give a boost to stagnant business at Mandalay Bay after the Oct. 1 shootings at Route 91 Harvest festival.

“The show will put the spotlight on Mandalay Bay, and it’s been tough on this end of the Strip after Oct. 1,” Nadal said. “But we’re having big event here for a big cause, and it will put the name of the property back in a positive light. It wasn’t planned that way, of course, but we are really happy about that.”

{ SOURCE: Las Vegas Review-Journal | }