Issue #208: JUN/JUL 2021

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

INTERMISSION IS OVER!

Over the last few weeks, Cirque du Soleil has been very happy and quite pleased to announce its long-awaited return to the stage through a number of announcements made about its touring and resident shows. So much so that it has our heads spinning! So far, and at press time, Cirque has announced the following shows will be returning with tickets already on sale for many of the restarting shows:

• MYSTERE – Performances began on June 28, 2021
• “O” – Performances began on July 1, 2021
• MICHAEL JACKSON ONE – to begin on August 19, 2021
• THE BEATLES LOVE – on August 26, 2021
• ALEGRIA: IN A NEW LIGHT – on November 18, 2021 in Houston, TX
• LUZIA – on January 12, 2022 in London, UK
• KOOZA – on April 28, 2022 in Montreal, QC

And although there are touring dates listed for KURIOS, CRYSTAL, and CORTEO, official announcements have yet to be made regarding these shows. Additionally, we as yet do not know the fates of BAZZAR, OVO, AXEL, MESSI10, KA, or DRAWN TO LIFE. However, we’re relatively certain that KA and DRAWN TO LIFE will have restart announcements soon. (KA is tentatively on track to return in October, Lamarre said to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.) Our Itinéraire section has been re-added and updated to include these new dates and, of course, you can read these announcements in full within. Stay tuned for more!

THE SUN RISES… DOCUMENTARY?

On July 1st, “O” returned to the stage in grand fashion with a visually spectacular processional throughout the Bellagio. Led by a carousel horse, the cast and crew paraded and performed through the resort fully outfitted in the show’s surreal costumes as they readied themselves to make their first appearance back in the aquatic theater. Bellagio employees and Cirque du Soleil fans lined the parade route to officially welcome “O” back to the resort. Following the processional, the cast and crew were met in the theater by the CEOs of Cirque du Soleil and MGM Resorts International who delivered remarks on the significance of the flagship show’s return to the stage, having performed more than 10,000 shows in front of more than 17 million guests. Perhaps most interestingly is that the “O” return was captured for a documentary by MGM Studios, which is controlling the production, editing, distribution and messaging about the project. Lamarre was featured. Otherwise, he says, “There’s very little I can say other than we are shooting right now, and we are waiting for MGM Studios to come back to us and tell us who the buyers are going to be.” There should be worldwide interest in such a project, he says. So… Cirque du Soleil Returns coming to a streamer near you?

10 YEARS AND 10 SHOWS IN THE OLD PORT?

In the exciting announcement that Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA would “come home” to Montreal in the Spring of 2022 (the announcement of such you can read within), did you happen to catch this line? “Cirque du Soleil is also pleased to count on a strong partnership with the Old Port of Montreal and to confirm its presence in Montreal with new productions, as well as the return of some of its classics, every year for the next 10 years.” WHOA. While we’re not quite sure what this means in terms of “classic shows”. Does this mean the return of Kurios, Totem, and Luzia – the company’s more recent touring shows – now deemed classics? Or, could we see restagings of Saltimbanco, Quidam, Dralion, or even Varekai – the company’s true classic shows – under the big top once again? At this point who knows… but we do know that in addition to “classic” shows, Cirque is also committed to producing and releasing NEW productions in Montreal. And it all begins in 2022!

AND 10 MORE YEARS IN LAS VEGAS FOR…

Another show is also getting 10 more years… Mystère! Lamarre informed the “Mystere” cast after Monday’s relaunch that the company and Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin had extended the show’s contract by 10 years. Specifically, a five-year extension with another five-year option. This negotiation from June 2020 lasted like 10 seconds. “In the middle of the crisis, I talked to Phil Ruffin, he called in the middle of that, and said, ‘How can I help?'” Lamarre said. “I said, ‘It would be great to expand our contract.’ “How many years do you want?” Ruffin said. “Ten?” Lamarre said. “Done,” Ruffin said. “This is what it’s like to do business with Phil Ruffin,” Lamarre said. “When he first bought the hotel, the first thing he said to me was, ‘I love ‘Mystere’ and I want it to run forever.'”

OTHER MUSINGS

With Cirque du Soleil making its grand return to the stage, we here at Fascination will be getting back to our regular monthly publication schedule. Although we were able to continue publishing through the initial months of the pandemic (thanks to content written to be published during that time), the last few months have been rather lean. But with the intermission over at Cirque du Soleil, we’re looking forward to getting back into it! Besides, and as I mentioned, we still have yet to learn the fates of OVO, BAZZAR, MESSI10, AXEL, and UNDER THE SAME SKY. We’ve also not really heard much about the Special Events side of the company. Cirque was planning to launch more CIRQUE AT SEA shows, had events planned in Malta, Trois-Rivières, and, much more. But we know Cirque du Soleil is taking its time — as it should. So, until next time…

Enjoy!

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