Issue #169: FEB 2018

Welcome to the latest edition of Fascination, the Unofficial Cirque du Soleil Newsletter. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

PAN’s LABRYNTH BY CIRQUE DU SOLEIL?!?

In a recent interview with Bilboard Magazine, Argentine singer-songwriter Gustavo Santaolalla discusses releasing a revamped version of his 1982 hit “Compañeros del Sendero.” He then goes on to tell the magazine about the current state of his projects. Here’s where you’ll want to pay attention: “The Arrabal show spent a month playing in Boston, always packed and to great reviews, so we’ve been working to take it to New York in 2018. I’ve finished working on the music of the Cirque Du Soleil show based on Pan’s Labyrinth, and we are currently searching for a director. UM… WHAT?!

MORE FROM THE RUMOR MILL

Although it’s not been made official (as in, there’s been no official announced from Cirque du Soleil), by now it’s no secret that Cirque is working to bring one of its classic shows back under the Big Top.It’s also no real secret what that show is: AL-E-GRIA! Speculation abounds about its premiere date of course, but I believe we might see its relaunch in April 2019 to celebrate the show’s 25th Anniversary, which would also be Cirque du Soleil’s 35th Anniversary. But we’ll see. Remember it’s not official until Cirque announces it so this may change at any time!

In Late December, Criss Angel announced his intention to close his show – Mindfreak Live! – at the Luxor Las Vegas this coming October. We knew Cirque was working on a replacement show, and an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal not long after Angel’s announcement mentioned the new concept would be an “entirely new avenue of performance” for the company. Now the LVRJ is saying a bit more: the new production would feature, at least in part, top BMX athletes. “Cirque Senior Vice President Jerry Nadal has confirmed no traditional Cirque acrobats in the new show, which has never toured and is fully unique to Las Vegas.” Hmm… Rumor rumblings suggest this new concept is going to be more of a stunt-type show. What that actually means is anyone’s guess, but it’s clear that Cirque du Soleil is daring to be different this time around in Las Vegas. Whether that’ll lead to success is also anyone’s guess. There’s plenty of time for things to change, so stay tuned!

And speaking of change… it’s clear that VOLTA’s DVD has been put on hiatus for the time being and we can only speculate that Cirque is holding onto the DVD pending upcoming changes to the show. It’s a prudent move really considering the company filmed and released TORUK-The First Flight very early on and then made some acrobatic changes to the show not long thereafter. Rumors are circulating that VOLTA is about to undergo similar changes (this time a more severe re-working than Toruk received), which would make the VOLTA DVD moot. Considering the recording doesn’t represent the show as it exists now, with more drastic change rumored to be coming soon, one has to wonder if anyone would recognize the recording as VOLTA. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to see it though, okay Cirque? Clean the cobwebs off your On-Demand page and put it up there?

An article in MDC (a Spanish-language Event Planners Magazine) has Noted that The Celebrate Project – the Cirque du Soleil Theme Park & Resort project in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – is having its opening delayed yet again from 2019/2020 to 2021/2022. There’s yet more to this delay…

Inquiring minds want to know: what happened to Cirque 2018? With Cirque du Soleil putting out a number of crew casting calls just as our December issue was going to print, this little title came out of nowhere to surprise us all. Rumors gave the show an India-based theme (Bollywood comes to mind of course), and a premiere sometime in Montreal. However, since the initial flare-up about this new production, we’ve heard little since. Historically we’d hear about a new production slated to premiere in Montreal during the traditional time frame (April) by now. Tickets would be on sale if nothing else. But so far nothing, which lends credence to the other part of the show’s rumor: that this show for India will premiere and tour exclusively there. As always we’ll have to wait and see.

POLSTAR’s 2017 YEAR END FIGURES ARE IN

POLSTAR’s 2017 Year-End figures are in and live music continues to demonstrate its growing popularity, making 2017 a record-crushing year for the concert business.

The Top 100 Worldwide Tours alone generated a record $5.65 billion in revenues. That represents a huge, 15.8% increase over the previous year. The total tickets sold by the Top 100 was also a record at 66.79 million. That’s up a remarkable 10.4% over 2016. And it was all done with a record average ticket price of $84.63, which is an increase of $3.97, or nearly 5%. U2 did the highest grossing tour worldwide at $316 million and the band’s North American segment also topped that chart at $176.1 million. There were 11 tours that generated more than $100 million worldwide as compared to seven tours in 2016.

The most successful artists are clearly getting better at recapturing some of the revenue that had leaked into the secondary ticket market. The importance of the growing global concert market is readily evident in an examination of the top 20 venues on the Arena Ticket Sales chart. Only seven are located in the U.S. while five were from the U.K., including The O2 London at No. 1. Two are in Mexico, and there’s one each in Germany, Spain, Canada, France, Netherlands, and Belgium. Live Nation was by far the world’s largest concert promoter and reported to Pollstar a record 52.5 million tickets sold around the globe. AEG was again a solid No. 2 among promoters reporting 14.4 million tickets sold. OCESA/CIE was No. 3 at about 4 million tickets. SJM was the top U.K. based promoter with nearly 2.4 million tickets sold.

So, how did Cirque du Soleil shows do in 2017?

World  Gross   Show    AVG Tix  AVG Tix  Total      AVG      Cities 
Rank   in Mil  Title    Price    Sold  Tix Sold    Gross    / Shows
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26     $61.8   Kurios	$80.66  15,324  766,179  $1,236,000  50/411
28     $60.1   Luzia	$84.89  14,448  707,975  $1,226,531  49/403
29     $60.0   Toruk	$79.38  24,393  756,191  $1,936,367  31/169
35     $54.2   Ovo	$72.52  16,986  747,380  $1,231,818  44/308
41     $48.2   Amaluna	$79.97  15,848  602,239  $1,267,336  38/290
47     $41.8   Varekai	$61.99  16,458  674,764  $1,020,282  41/282
50     $39.7   Kooza	$85.41  12,232  464,816  $1,044,737  38/293
59     $35.9   Volta	$74.66  16,042  481,274  $1,197,760  30/246
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      $401.7 Million Gross	      5,200,818 Tickets Sold

LUNA PETUNIA: SEASON FOUR

It seems like only yesterday we were reporting that Season Three of SABAN and Cirque du Soleil Media’s animated show began airing on Netflix (it was back in December’s issue), and now Season Four is streaming on NETFLIX as of February 2nd, but there’s a catch. It’s not called Luna Petunia Season Four… it’s Season One of Luna Petunia: Return to Amazia. “Luna Petunia returns to magical Amazia to add memories to her scrapbook with help from her old pals and a new friend from the Animal Empire – Macy the monkeyphant!” Each episode is 24 minutes long and, as in previous seasons, each contain two segments for you or your young ones to enjoy. The new episodes are:

1. “Macy’s Memorable Morning” / “The Color Catastrophe”
Luna and her friends work hard to make Macy’s first trip
to Amazia memorable. Macy learns the importance of
listening to instructions.

2. “Fumble Cat” / “Sammy Gets A Big Head”
Fellino’s Tumble Cat cousin, Catalina, is afraid to be
herself. Sammy’s ego gets carried away when he’s named
the funniest person in Amazia.

3. “Keep Calm and Karoo On” / “Runaway Tree”
Karoo’s so excited for Amazia’s annual Harvest Festival
that he can’t calm down. Macy learns the difference
between indoor and outdoor voices.

4. “Warm and Fuzzling” / “Gift Horse”
Luna and her friends work together to take care of nine
busy fuzzling babies. Amazia’s magic turns Karoo’s new
toy into a real-life runaway horse!

5. “What a Racquet” / “Petunia Sitter”
Luna and her friends teach competitive pals that winning
isn’t everything. The team searches for a new petunia
when the portal starts to wilt.

IN THE ISSUE

We continue our look back at classic show critiques with reviews of Quidam from 1996 and 1997. The following are two quotes from The Montreal Gazette and La Presse at the time Quidam premiered to whet your appetite for more!

“As Quidam enters, he hands his blue bowler hat to a little girl, whose parents suddenly ascend skyward in their chairs. The next three hours of acrobatics are thus framed as childhood fantasy with a surrealistic edge. (…) Quidam focuses with microscopic intensity on individual acts. Less can truly be more. Even in the circus biz.” – The Montréal Gazette

“The ninth production of the Cirque du Soleil is clearly the most theatrical, most beautiful an perhaps most melancholy in the history of this marvellous circus. (…) This story of man’s search for his place in an evolving world is magnificently illustrated with circus acts combining performance skill, poetry, choreography, music and dreams.” — La Presse, Montréal

Last, but certainly not least, congratulations are in order to all at CRYSTAL. They celebrated their 100th performance on February 4th. And to the team behind the 3D VR Experience “Through the Masks of LUZIA”. The experience was nominated for a Canadian Screen Awards – “2018 Best Immersive Experience”!

Okay, so let’s go!

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