So THIS is happening this weekend:
SHOW CLOSES JAN 19! Huh?! WHY!!!!!???? That’s fucking insane!
IRIS is Cirque du Soleil’s first resident show in Los Angeles, a $100 million production that premiered in September 2011. It’s hosted at the Dolby Theatre, formerly known as the Kodak Threatre (you know, where they hold the Academy Awards every year). Here’s the kick-ass poster:
So good! They also spent $40 million just to update the theater so it could host the show under a 10-year contract. And now 500 performances/16 months later, it’s over. Shame! What the fuck went wrong?
I got to watch IRIS back in November 2011. It was magical and amazing. And trust me, I’ve seen pretty much every Cirque du Soleil show, and I would say most of their recent shows are NOT very good. So please take my word when I say IRIS is jaw-dropping! To see it close so early really pisses me off.
The show was supposed to turn the seedy part of Downtown Hollywood around. I guess the area has been pretty dirty and gross for a while. Someone figured a Cirque du Soleil show would do the job (not to mention a perfect place for a cinema-inspired show), but now it’s closing due to low ticket sales. But DUH, of course it’s closing, people from LA or people who go to LA aren’t theatregoers. They go for other shit, like surfing and Disneyland and cocaine and stuff.
Sad thing is, this is the 5th Cirque show to close in the past year. Lots of people are losing their jobs! That can’t be good! These four shows have recently closed:
Goodbye, Circuses. You’ve had a good run, except nobody wanted to watch you!
Every show closed due to low demand. I remember when Cirque shows were all the rage. NO MOH! The japan earthquake/tsunami led to the closing of ZED at Tokyo Disney. ZAIA closed in Macau, China, after a 3.5 year run because nobody gave a shit. VIVA ELVIS was a tribute show with more dance than acrobatics (and probably got eaten alive by the other better Cirque shows in Las Vegas). SALTIMBANCO retired after being around since 1992.
I’ve seen SALTIMBANCO and VIVA ELVIS. SALTIMBANCO certainly felt dated, while VIVA ELVIS was more of an acquired taste (much like Elvis’ music) and felt a bit lazy.
I personally think they majorly fucked up with VIVA ELVIS. They didn’t try hard enough and ended up making a mediocre show. Very dance-based, not so much a circus. If anything, Las Vegas is the perfect place for an Elvis tribute show. No location problem here (unlike IRIS) and still, it bombed!
VIVA ELVIS closed because it wasn’t very good. People expected more from Cirque, especially a Vegas Cirque show. They want stuff to loose their shit over! And if you aren’t giving it to them in that department, the show better be fucking beautiful, much like Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE show, based entirely on music from The Beatles. It isn’t full of crazy stunts, but it’s a pretty good looking show. VIVA ELVIS was cool, some parts amazing, but overall, lackluster.
However, there isn’t much of a pattern here: IRIS was amazing and it closed. Viva Elvis was crap and it closed. I heard both ZED and ZAIA were great, and again, they closed. And while CRISS ANGEL’s BELIEVE show is pure garbage, THAT somehow, is still playing! A bad show doesn’t mean it will close, and an amazing show doesn’t mean it will live forever. Oh, such is life. There isn’t a perfect formula.
And one more thing, I just watched Cirque du Soleil’s AMALUNA this past weekend in Vancouver:
This is Cirque du Soleil’s newest show. Super girly. The storyline is vaguely based on an island with a bunch of acrobatic goddesses. Um, okay.
Is it good? Not really. Is it going to close? Probably not, because touring shows always make money. They come to people instead of the other way around. Their limited run in cities all over the world means people can’t (and won’t) wait around to see it. They must buy a ticket before the show packs up and leaves. Urgency = ticket sales. Good for them! But at least show us you’re worth the $150-dollar ticket!
With that said, I certainly think they fucked up yet again with AMALUNA. It was an insane amount of lost opportunity. While one or two acts felt fresh and unlike anything I’ve seen before. It also felt cheesy and underwhelming at parts. They could have pushed the envelope on this one. But they didn’t. COME ON, CIRQUE, get it together.
Anyway, enough ramble. My point is, IRIS is probably the most magical show I’ve seen in a long time. The soundtrack by Danny Elfman is fucking genius. And it’s upsetting to see it go. Hopefully they’ll find it a new home soon. Or at least give me a sequel, yeah?
Later, yo! In motion we trust!