Monday, August 1, 2011

The circus is a great show especially the acrobats that seem to fly effortlessly above you. No extra charge for these finely trained athletes that swirl above the clowns and the elephants doing their thing. A wonderful experience that the entire family can focus on any of the varied things going on. Young children love the clowns, middle schoolers love the highly trained animals from dogs to horses, teens love the beautiful and muscular men and women prancing around in tight fitting cloths. Everyone loves the cotton candy and candied apples that you can’t get mostly anywhere else and can indulge in such bad sweets. All American Fun. Then the French came to America and changed everything.
They call themselves Cirque Du Soleil. They don’t even translate their name for us stupid Americans. We think it is a piece of fillet of sole cut into a circle and should be on the menu at some fancy French restaurant!
What they are is $200 a ticket to see! The English translation is “Circus of the Sun.” A product of a French-Canadian who came to America. It has taken acrobatics to another level of entertainment that puts it in a category of its own. It has a show now being performed at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in which the sets weigh 800,000 pounds. Very different from the athletes in the circus that do their thing with ropes and nets.
The show in New York has a $50 Million dollar budget for 6,000 seats that have to be filled everyday. The director Fran├žois Giraud calls his latest production Zarcana. The make-up artist provides photos to the performers as to how they should put on their make-up each night, the natural look does not apply here, these performers look exotic.
Cirque Du Sole redefined the Circus. They made it wildly flamboyant, added state of the art special effects, feature acrobats and clowns but don’t have any animals. This new brand of entertainment has sold 100 Million tickets since Cirque was founded in 1984. Revenue this year alone is expected to be a Billion Dollars. The only time the Cirque money machine slowed down was this past season’s show called Banana Shpeel that was more like vaudeville heavy on the story with clowns and was a flop.
The shows founder is a 51 year old former street performer, Guy Lilaberte who believes in taking risks. He used to breath fire in shows and now he is a Billionaire. He does not believe that you can achieve great things unless you take great risks. You can see him on TV taking part in high steaks poker tournaments. He’s won big but lost a lot too over ten years dropping over $10 Million dollars.
In 2009 he paid 35 Million dollars to become Canada’s first space tourist traveling on a Russian rocket to the international space station. His wealthy empire took Circus work to the next level. Now when the circus comes to town, think big. Worldwide Cirque has 5,000 employees from 50 different countries. They have groups that specialize in contortion.
He has the coach of the Soviet National Acrobatics Team on salary. His job is to change athletes into artists. All in the effort to deliver a “WOW.” Each performer has a cast made of their head so that each hat is custom made to the exact size of the head. By the end of 2011, 22 different Cirque Du Sole productions will be running simultaneously around the world. Seven shows in Las Vegas alone.
Is the founder worried that there is too much Cirque around? No, he is more worried that the reputation stays solid. When people buy a ticket they are sure to see a new and more exotic show. He is already scheduled to spend the next 5 summers in New York. He has a show called IRIS at the cost of $80 Million dollars to produce that will be shown at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles for the next 10 years.
When all is said and done, I’m happy at the old Circus where I still have money in MY pocket and the pretty girls sway back and forth over my head for awhile and the entire family is happy.

No comments:

Post a Comment