Issue #147: April 2016

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

One Hundred and Forty issues ago, the Fascination! Newsletter made its first trek to the old quays of Montréal to witness a new Cirque du Soleil show take its first tentative steps. That premiere was such a fantastic experience I knew I’d do anything to return for the next! Those of you who’ve met me know I am a champion for experiencing the premiere of a new Cirque du Soleil show amongst the hometown crowd. There’s absolutely no substitute for being in the stands of the Grand Chapiteau with a couple-thousand Québécois, clapping and stomping to the show’s beat, having a marvelous time celebrating the birth of a new show together. It’s a magical, enlightening sentiment you can’t get anywhere else – except in Cirque’s hometown.

Traveling to Montréal for premiere weekend has provided many indelible memories for me. My inaugural experience with this brand of euphoria came with witnessing Varekai’s birth in 2002. I knew from the moment I stepped foot on the cobblestoned streets of the venerable old port that this was how you celebrated a new Cirque du Soleil show, and I wanted to be a part of it from then on. I repeated the experienced with about a hundred other fans by co-organizing (and attending) CirqueCon 2005 for Corteo’s premiere, met friends here again for 2007’s Koozå, 2009’s OVO, 2010’s Totem (for CirqueCon 2010), and 2012’s premiere of Amaluna. But now with “LUZIA: A Waking Dream of Mexico” set to make its mark later this month… for the first time since Fascination! began publishing I will not be there to experience this new euphoria.


Of course I do; I have new priorities just now…

On April 1, 2016, I became a father for the first time! So my new baby boy will keep me home for a little while. 🙂 While I may not have any opportunity to see Luzia premiere on April 22nd, plans are afoot to travel up in late May for a Paramour-Luzia double-whammy, so we’ll see how that goes. We’ll get there. In the meantime, I’m definitely enjoying the pictures and videos from Thursday, April 7th’s press conference (check out the link to videos posted to Instagram in the special LUZIA section this month) and look forward to many more pieces of information about the show that are due to be released in the coming days/weeks.

Meanwhile, way back in November Cirque du Soleil teased us that the “world of OVO was buzzing with action again” and to stay tuned for details about the show’s upcoming return. Since then we’ve seen a list of about a dozen cities the show will visit (Lake Charles, Louisiana being the first, on April 8th), but very little about in what form the show would return… until most recently. Rumors swirled – and pictures proved – that OVO’s stage was changing. “A completely new stage and acrobatic structure have been fabricated for OVO arena tour,” they said. And it was round. Furthermore, the backdrop looked mysteriously like Dralion’s set piece and it meant that many other changes were abound. On March 14th fans were treated to a little sneak peek at just a few of the changes:

– An Aerial Straps Duo is replacing the Spanish Web pair
– The Flying Act is being replaced by a Paradise-like act (from Corteo)
– And the all-female Acrosport team is being replaced by an acro-trio (two males and one female)

And on Friday, March 17th, press conference at the Lake Charles City Hall was held to introduce southwest Louisiana to Cirque du Soleil. In these pictures it appears that many of the cast is back with us, ready to launch another era for OVO! And we wish them all the luck in the world. Now, it is no secret that OVO is not my favorite Cirque du Soleil show, but I don’t hate it either. It took some time for me to warm up to it and I can safely say I enjoy it for what it is meant to be. I’m actually quite interested in seeing all the new changes… what about you?

[Check out the following video on these new changes ( and don’t forget to check the ITINERAIRE section for OVO’s tour!]

We talked a little bit about OVO’s return in the second episode of CirqueCast. What is CirqueCast? 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 Twitch 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 our second episode, we talked about changes to the Las Vegas shows, One Night for One Drop, the scoop on what’s going on with Luzia, and a look at OVO returning. And for our feature this month, Jose visits Cirque’s IHQ in Montreal. All this and more so check our our second episode here:

In other news, Criss Angel BELIEVE will close on April 17th to be replaced by “Mindfreak Live” on May 11th, which will move Cirque into a production role rather than a creative one – learn more about that inside this month. Cirque du Soleil execs have hired lawyers to sue pop superstar Justin Timberlake over his song “Don’t Hold the Wall” from his album “20/20 Experience” claiming the Grammy-winning singer sampled one of its original performance songs, “Steel Dream,” in its show “Quidam.” Cirque wants $800,000 in a New York federal court for copyright infringement. [Check out the news article within for a link to the song in question.] PARAMOUR also had a moment in the spotlight this month with the press debut of the show’s Western Scene (featuring Russian Bar and Korean Plank: While it’s going to be interesting to see how much of this show has been re-imagined from its IRIS roots, I’m not much of a fan of the cowboy bit! And don’t forget ZARKANA closes this month as well; it’s final show will be April 30th, so if you’re interested in seeing it… you better go now!

There’s plenty more to read about Cirque in this month’s issue too: with the debut of the new E-boutique we thought it was time to have a talk with Cirque about merchandise, so Keith reached out to Ann Paladie, Las Vegas PR Director. Last month he began the conversation about merchandise with Audrey Tillman, Director of Merchandising and Operations, Resident Shows Division, Cirque du Soleil (Las Vegas) by talking about the recently-debuted redesign of the Cirque eBoutique < > and several Las Vegas show boutiques, which have recently come under direct Cirque management. In our second (and final) installment, we go into the various categories of merchandise – how they’re categorized, created, designed, and priced. Plus, we find a Seattle connection! And we finish up exploring Guy Laliberte’s Poetic Social Mission with “Back on Earth – Mission Success!”. And more!

So, let’s get started!