Cirque du Soleil is already all over the Las Vegas Strip, and it’s about to have an even bigger presence.
The company is set to launch “Mad Apple” this spring at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino. It’s an appropriate venue for the show which producers describe as a gigantic New York-themed party.
“The best way of describing this show is the first time you ever went to New York,” co-producer Simon Painter told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “You have the greatest night out of your life. You saw the funniest comedian, you saw the craziest bands, you heard someone singing the most beautiful jazz ever, and then you saw somebody doing triple back-flips off the Brooklyn Bridge — all at 4 o’clock in the morning. That’s what this show is.”
The show will open Memorial Day Weekend and give Cirque six active shows on the Strip. It joins “The Beatles Love” at The Mirage, “O” at Bellagio, “Mystere” at Treasure Island, “Ka” at MGM Grand, and “Michael Jackson One” at Luxor.
Mad Apple will use the theater at New York-New York formerly used by another shuttered Cirque production, the adult-themed “Zumanity.” The theater seats a little more than 1,100 spectators.
“Mad Apple will deliver a night of joy and entertainment with the thrilling backdrop of New York City,” Painter said in a statement. “We’ve taken inspiration from the city’s rich musical history, legendary comedy scene and unrivaled nightlife, and combined it with the wow factor of Cirque du Soleil to create an experience that will feel like a giant party from start to finish.”
The show will feature six different acts as well as musicians, dancers, comedians, magicians, and circus performers. The rotating cast will include comedian Brad Williams, rapper Chris Turner, and lead vocalist Xharlie Black, the great-nephew of Nat King Cole.
Painter said the show is a major departure for audiences used to a certain style of Cirque performances.
“It’s still a Cirque du Soleil show because it features fantastic and incredible acrobatics that will really wow the audience,” Painter told the Las Vegas Sun. “I think the differentiation is where we’ll have stand-up comedy, the type you don’t see at Cirque or other shows, and it will be in this much more intimate showroom where the audience will be closer to the action than any other Cirque show.”
Despite the differences, Painter said “the DNA is still Cirque.”
While most Cirque shows lull audiences into a sense of awe and wonder, Williams told the Sun that Mad Apple will move at a rapid, frenetic pace.
“It’s great for people who have ADD,” he said. “If you don’t like something, wait 5 minutes, because there’s going to be a completely different type of unreal, awesome performance coming next.”
The show’s runtime will be about 80 minutes, producers said.
Cirque president Eric Grilly said, while the show is different, in the end, it provides guests with an experience they won’t forget.
“We’re excited to share a completely reimagined experience from Cirque du Soleil with a show that fuses the spirit and creativity of the two cities that never sleep,” Grilly said. “Cirque has long been known for celebrating the limits of human ability, and Mad Apple will continue this revered tradition. To this, we’re adding acts and artists you wouldn’t expect to find on a Cirque du Soleil stage. The end result will be exactly what we’re known for — creative, astonishing, and enjoyable live entertainment.”
Tickets for the show, which start at $59, are on sale now. Preview performances start May 12, with the actual launch on May 26.
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