The newest entry in Cirque du Soleil’s transformation of the Las Vegas entertainment scene just might be its most ambitious to date. Zarkana (“Of Art and Acrobatics”) is the seventh of seven offerings from the French-Canadian theater troupe, and it comes at a time when the Cirque brand is poised for great things. With Viva ELVIS, which Zarkana replaced at Aria beginning in November, now in the rearview, Guy Laliberté and Co. can focus on the matters at hand, namely Zarkana, which debuted at Radio City Music Hall last year and has since toured Russia and Spain, a resident Michael Jackson-themed production opening in 2013 and a new nightclub, Light, taking over the former Rumjungle space in Mandalay Bay.
So it’s a good time to be Cirque du Soleil. And if you’re taking bets, may we suggest putting it on Zarkana and the rest and letting it ride. And if you’ve got some extra time this week, allow Cirque to give back a little bit. Cirque Week (“A Peek Behind the Curtain”) returns for its third installment, eight days of behind-the-scenes experiences that take viewers into a world that can only be glimpsed in 90-minute segments every night onstage. How exactly does the pristine sound of The Beatles LOVE reach 6,000 speakers throughout the theater? And what does the cast of Zumanity really think about performing in one of the raunchiest shows on the Strip? You can find out, and then return to see the show with a new, informed perspective.
For the first time in 11 years, there is new Aerosmith (“Titans of Sound”) material in the world, and depending on how many scarves you tie around your mic stand or how you like your Randy Jackson sandwich on American Idol, this is either a very grand or very unfortunate moment in time. What can’t be denied is that Aerosmith are true rock ’n’ roll survivors with an army of hits and fans ready to fill every last seat of Mandalay Bay Events Center. Dream on? They are.