1683888928 Cirque du Soleil stays firmly in the saddle in Vegas

Cirque du Soleil stays firmly in the saddle in Vegas – La Presse

The love show will be suspended at the end of 2024, but long-term agreements have been made for six more productions

Updated yesterday at 6:00am.


Cirque’s Beatles tribute show, Love, which has been performing at The Mirage hotel-casino in Las Vegas since 2006, will be “indefinitely suspended” at the end of 2024.

The suspension of The Beatles, Love, will allow the Mirage’s new owner, Hard Rock International – who acquired the hotel-casino last December for the hefty sum of $1 billion – to make big changes.

The news was confirmed to us on Wednesday by Daniel Lamarre, now Executive Vice President of Cirque du Soleil.

In a press release issued at the time of the acquisition, Hard Rock International had indicated that the Cirque show would end in 2023. “We gained an extra year,” says Daniel Lamarre, who hopes Dominic Champagne’s “Love” will continue the poster afterwards. The contract should be signed in the next few days.

Cirque du Soleil stays firmly in the saddle in Vegas


Model of the transformed Mirage leaning on a guitar

“We have a great relationship with them. I met the CEO of Hard Rock [Jim Allen] several times. They have several other activities in Vegas, so let’s see what we can do together. What will it culminate in? I don’t know yet, but it changes from month to month. »

Work on the Mirage, which is expected to last at least two years, will begin in 2025. In particular, the hotel-casino will take the form of a guitar.

19 more contract years… total

The other Cirque shows in Las Vegas are in full swing. And for a good reason. La Presse also learned that the Cirque’s new CEO, Stéphane Lefebvre, and his predecessor, Daniel Lamarre, have entered into long-term agreements during the pandemic with MGM and Treasure Island, the hosts of the six Cirque shows on the Strip, as well as the Blue Man Group show (which belongs to him).

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Cirque du Soleil CEO Stéphane Lefebvre with his predecessor Daniel Lamarre, Executive Vice-President of the Board of Directors

MGM owns the MGM Grand, New York-New York, Mandalay Bay, Bellagio, Luxor and, until recently, the Mirage (sold to Hard Rock International). Treasure Island, owned by billionaire Phil Ruffin, hosts Mystère, Cirque’s first show in 1993.

“There was a lot of uncertainty during the pandemic,” recalls Daniel Lamarre.

Our task at the time was to demonstrate this [où la pandémie serait] Then the circus could regain some stability. In this context, we have added contract years to our shows. A total of 19 years [si on additionne les ajouts d’années de chacun des six contrats].

Daniel Lamarre, Executive Vice President of the Cirque du Soleil Board of Directors

Cirque would not disclose the number of years of contract renewal for each of its shows.

Mad Apple got off to a good start

A year after its launch, the Mad Apple Show – which replaced Zumanity in New York-New York – is doing well, assures Daniel Lamarre. “It’s a great success,” he said. We are talking about an occupancy rate of over 80%. The cabaret formula with regularly changing dance, music and comedy numbers works very well. »

1683888919 459 Cirque du Soleil stays firmly in the saddle in Vegas


Mad Apple premiered in May 2022.

As for Kà, which was created in 2004 at the MGM Grand in a Robert Lepage production, there is no question of removing it from the Vegas schedule for the time being.

“As we speak, it’s not in the plans. Kà still performs reasonably well, but there is constant dialogue with MGM. We constantly have to have projects in our boxes for new shows that we can take to Vegas, Orlando or somewhere else. »

Right now we have two or three new concepts that we are looking at to make sure Cirque will fill them as soon as a theater becomes available.

Daniel Lamarre

As for O, the Cirque à Vegas star show—created by Franco Dragone in 1998—it went on with a vengeance.

“This show is incredible,” says Daniel Lamarre. We’re never below 90% [de taux d’occupation]. The Phantom of the Opera sold 1.4 billion tickets. O has achieved sales of 2.4 billion since its inception. It is a worldwide unique success. »

Diversify the offer

While Las Vegas has always been a major source of revenue for Cirque — we’re talking about 50% of company profits — management is now trying to diversify its markets to “better balance” its show portfolio.

We have a responsibility to penetrate other markets.

Daniel Lamarre

“We will be launching a permanent cabaret-style show in Hawaii, but we want to target other tourist markets like we did with Joyà in Playa del Carmen, Mexico,” explains Daniel Lamarre. Talks are currently ongoing for four or five shows. »

So tourist destinations, but not forgetting the big entertainment metropolises like London or New York, are always on the Cirque’s radar.

However, the Cirque has no intention of giving up its place in Las Vegas. “As long as we have MGM theaters available, we will not hesitate to add shows. Six is ​​a minimum for us. I could well imagine that we have seven or eight shows. »

To realize these show projects, Stéphane Lefebvre and Daniel Lamarre can now count on Matt Nichols, who has been appointed Director of Creation and Production, and on Michel Laprise (Drawn to Life), who is now appointed as the new creative guide of the circus.

The circus now in Vegas

  • Mystery (1993), on Treasure Island. Directed by Franco Dragone.
  • O (1998), at the Bellagio (MGM). Directed by Franco Dragone.
  • Ka (2004), at the MGM Grand (MGM). Directed by Robert Lepage.
  • The Beatles, Love (2006), at the Mirage (Hard Rock International). Directed by Dominic Champagne.
  • Michael Jackson One (2013), in Mandalay Bay (MGM). Director: Jamie King.
  • Mad Apple (2022), New York-New York (MGM). Directed by Simon Painter.
  • Blue Man Group (2015), at the Luxor (MGM).

Some important old Vegas circus shows

  • Zumanity (2003-2020), New York-New York. Directed by Rene Richard Cyr and Dominic Champagne.
  • Criss Angel Believe (2008-2016), at Luxor. Director: Serge Denoncourt.
  • RUN (2019-2020), in Luxor. Director: Michael Schwandt.
  • Viva Elvis (2010-2012), in Aria. Directed by Vincent Paterson.