Issue #186: JUL 2019

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

It’s been relatively quiet this month, hasn’t it? I mean… at this time last year we were reporting on a slew of new ventures from the Cirque: the company’s purchase of VSTAR Entertainment, the new Cirque Rosé, the announcement of BAZZAR – a new touring show for India, and the launch of CREACTIVE Family Entertainment Centers (which is still supposed to happen this September in Toronto). But this year? Nada. Okay, so we had to say goodbye to “TORUK-The First Flight” in London, England (on June 30th), saw that the White Singer in the new version of Alegría got a new dress (that’s more in-line with the original show), and casting of a new touring show for Chilean audiences, but what about news of the new Walt Disney World show, or the 2020 Big Top show? Alas, perhaps we’re in the proverbial calm before the storm, a quiet or peaceful period before a period during which there is great activity, argument, or difficulty. For next month “The Land of Fantasy” makes its debut in Hangzhau, followed by a flurry of premieres in October: AXEL (Oct 4th), MESSI10 (Oct 10th), and R.U.N (on Oct 24th). None of this takes into the Special Events + Experiences schedule, which includes REBEL in Andora (6/29 – 7/27), Hommage #5: Joyeux Calvaire in Trois-Rivières (7/17 – 8/17), VITORI in Malta (11/27 – 12/20), or the two Cirque at SEA shows (#5 and #6) to launch aboard the MSC Grandiosa sometime in late 2019. So yeah, the calm before the storm indeed! In other news…


As part of a push to expand the Cirque du Soleil global footprint via third-party IP offerings, Eric Grilly has been appointed executive head of studio alliances. In the new role, announced Wednesday by Cirque du Soleil president and COO Jonathan Tetrault, Grilly will work to develop business opportunities with Hollywood studios, IP providers and other strategic license owners to bring their content to the live entertainment stage. The position builds on Grilly’s current role as CEO of VStar Entertainment Group, which was acquired by Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group in 2018; it comes on the heels of Grilly’s partnerships with Nickelodeon and NBC Universal to produce original touring shows. To date, PAW Patrol Live! has sold 3 million tickets worldwide and is currently on a 30-city tour of China. Other projects announced include Nick Jr. Live!, the first production in a five-year exclusive content agreement; and Trolls LIVE!, based on the 2016 DreamWorks Animation release. “Eric’s intimate knowledge of third-party partnerships, his industry relationships and his expertise in live entertainment will provide immense value as Cirque du Soleil Live Entertainment Group solidifies itself as the world’s largest creator and producer of live entertainment content,” said Tetrault in a statement. “Cirque is a leader in the live entertainment space, known throughout the world for producing best-in-class theatrical productions,” added Grilly. “I am honored to serve in this expanded capacity and seek out a new set of creative opportunities for development.”


One of the most coveted party tickets in all of San Diego Comic-Con is for the event thrown by Fandom, the largest entertainment fan site in the world. This year, Fandom is partnering with Cirque du Soleil for its 4th annual Fandom Party, where fans guests will be treated to an exclusive sneak peek of R.U.N. – the first live-action thriller by Cirque du Soleil, followed by a special performance by Girl Talk. The Fandom Party will feature a specially created act inspired by R.U.N., Cirque du Soleil’s show premiering at the Luxor in Las Vegas, which will showcase a live performance by Tyler Bates, R.U.N.’s Music Composer, as well as a voice-over narration written by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. The never-before-seen performance will include pyrotechnic elements, an epic rooftop battle, adrenaline-inducing motorcycle tricking, and live-action stunts. A limited number of fans will be able to attend.

More? Keep reading!