President of Cirque, Daniel Lamarre, should go on tour as a motivator. He got this writer seriously fired up. Here’s the take aways from him and all the other Cirque staff members who spoke candidly and insightfully --
●You have to be really, really, really good to get hired. But, you end up truly loving your job. (Yes, we know that doesn't explain Criss Angel, but we'll ignore that.)
●It always goes back to “safety.” There is some genuinely scary stuff going on stage.
●The “Resident” division for non-touring Vegas shows is housed in a building out by McCarran Airport. Mysterious.
●The never-heard Beatles' multi-tracks are locked up at the The Mirage. They never leave the building. Maybe there’s potential for an Oceans 11-type heist about stealing those unheard recordings. Did you know there’s a small thematic sub-text of Love being the band’s last concert? Or, that the floor that opens up on stage is shaped like the Union Jack flag? They tell you this stuff.
●Viva Elvis is still an “ongoing conversation.” Inside talk from the week has Cirque staff from the closing Tokyo production, ZED, being integrated into next year’s version of Elvis. Of course, we now know that the final curtain is approaching.
●The Michael Jackson show that will open at Mandalay Bay in 2013 will be very different from the current touring version at, um, Mandalay Bay. Hopefully, more than just moving to the old Lion King theater.
●Seeing the sets in full lighting, out of context, is still amazing. If Cirque built weapons, they’d have invaded the U.S. and we’d all be Canadian, eh.
●If you want to appear as an artist (we’re so hip to the lingo now) in a Cirque show, pay the price. Get in line. Walk up to the mike at one of these events and tell them. You’ll get a very helpful, honest and enthusiastic explanation of what to do. Good luck to the two who had the guts to turn up and do just that.
●The physical performers are constantly rehearsing, exercising, healing, working and training. Its exhausting just thinking about it. But Cirque theatre seats are also very relaxing. We’re fine, thanks.
●Gentlemen, you may find yourself texting your special lady friend over-informed descriptions of the Thierry Mugler fashions on display. Nothing to be ashamed of. The pendulum swings back your way at the Zumanity rehearsal.
●Stat porn overload: Number of wigs, lighting cues, crew members, budgets,etc. The answer to any question should probably just be, lots.
●The next un-seen Cirque production is directed by Diane Paulus and is women-centric. In theme and staffing. They showed clips. Now, someone is really jealous.
●Mimes? Yeah, you might not get over your problem that Cirque likes mimes. And, clowns.
So, bottom line? If you are thinking of coming to see a number of Cirque shows and want to delve deeper, Cirque Week is a no-brainer. All week there was talk of how to improve the event for future years. We believe them. Start saving now for the 2012 edition.