Rumor: Days Are Numbered for “Ka” at MGM Grand

We’ve been hearing chatter for weeks that “Ka,” from Cirque du Soleil, is closing at MGM Grand.

Now, we’ve also heard Guy Laliberte, co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, is sharing privately “Ka” will be shuttered. Laliberte is no longer involved with Cirque, but he knows people. Also, it’s a well-known fact Canadians never lie.

The grapevine doesn’t always get it right, but Cirque is trimming the fat in Vegas, and “Ka” looks to be next on the chopping block.

We shared a passive-aggressive Tweet about “Ka” a couple of weeks back, advising fans see the show again soon, as the end might be near.

It’s an interesting time for Cirque in Las Vegas.

“America’s Got Talent Live” (a partnership between Cirque and Simon Cowell) closes at Luxor on May 11, 2024.

The Beatles “Love” closes at Mirage on July 7, 2024. The stated reason was due to looming construction at Mirage as it transitions to Hard Rock Las Vegas, but “Love” was reportedly the worst-performing of the big Cirque shows.

We’ve always really enjoyed “Ka,” but it tends to get mixed reviews. Like most Cirque shows, “Ka” is extraordinarily expensive to produce, so it’s likely the show no longer pencils out.

So, what’s happening?

There’s an argument that Cirque has sort of hit a glass ceiling in Las Vegas, a saturation point. Some Cirque shows have been in Las Vegas for decades, and if people were going to see a Cirque offering, they’ve already done it.

The real culprit is more likely a changed entertainment mix in Las Vegas, all competing for limited dollars. Increased competition includes sports, superstar residencies and The Sphere.

The pandemic was a big hit to live production shows, and it’s pretty clear things haven’t rebounded. Travel from Asia hasn’t really snapped back, either, and Cirque has always been huge with foreign travelers. That’s one of the reasons Cirque shows don’t have a lot of dialogue, you don’t have to speak English to enjoy them.

All this on the heels of a big personnel change in Las Vegas, that wasn’t widely reported (other than Johnny Kleptometes at the Las Vegas Review-Journal confirming our scoop and “breaking” the news later without attribution, of course).

In January 2024, Eric Grilly, President of Cirque’s Resident Show Division, was reportedly fired. We described him as “polarizing,” but we’ve yet to find anyone who liked him.

Cirque du Soleil has had its ups and downs over the years, including a bankruptcy.

Cirque has tried diversifying its trademark vibe, but largely unsuccessfully. “R.U.N.” lost $60 million or so at Luxor, the biggest financial disaster in the history of Las Vegas.

Cirque nearly ruined Criss Angel’s spotless record of spectacular success with their collaboration, “Criss Angel Believe.” Angel now distances himself from the production, so you know it was bad. Angel’s “Amystika” was also a fail, but that show was a collaboration with Franco Dragone, known for his work with, wait for it, Cirque du Soleil. Seeing a pattern here?

Franco Dragone died in 2022 at the age of 69. We are only mentioning the age he died because of our respect for his body of work. Again, he died at 69. Too young.

Cirque has always been a money-making machine, and several shows still do very well. The recent and upcoming closures may just be a course correction, adjusting to the changing market in Las Vegas.

Cirque du Soleil is a beloved Las Vegas institution, employing thousands of people as performers, crew and support staff.

“Ka” will a huge loss to us, but probably not to Cirque. It’s unclear if Cirque will pitch a new show to MGM Grand, or if the theater will be used for another form of entertainment, like a headliner residency. We vote Duran Duran.

Expect an announcement about “Ka” in the not-too-distant future. Yes, that’s vague, almost as if we’re covering our ass because we don’t know when “Ka” will close. Do you know this blog at all?

{ SOURCE: Vital Vegas }