July 6, 2020
Cirque du Soleil Announces Comeback Plans
Among the big-name acts that closed their doors at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak was the popular circus acrobatics stage show, Cirque du Soleil. At the time they suspended shows, the company didn’t know when – or if – they would be able to resume. Now, that plan is coming together, and they are excited to share that with fans.
According to a recent press release from CEO Daniel Lamarre, the circus is expecting to be back on stage in early 2021. He said: “The good news is all of our cast and crew in Las Vegas lives there, so that’s why we’re hopeful that we can open Vegas first, because the artists are ready to go… Within a couple of weeks of training and rehearsal, a show can be back on track…”
Lamarre added that Cirque’s Orlando show would also benefit from having a local cast and crew, and that this was considered in making plans for the show’s eventual return, though he acknowledged that logistics will be tougher to manage for traveling shows, saying: “We cannot open touring shows unless all the airlines are working on a regular schedule and all the borders around the world are reopened, because when we do a touring show, we tour in 450 cities…”
The comments were good news both for fans and players, coming as they did just a day after the company filed for bankruptcy protection. That, Lamarre says doesn’t mean the shows are on their way out, but instead means they are planning to invest in a bright future. He noted that, while the Montreal-based version of the show probably won’t be profitable for at least two years, the company is eager to get guests back in front of these shows as soon as they are safe and feasible, adding that, at even 50% capacity in theaters, the shows could be profitable.
He added: “We need full capacity to go back to the level of profitability we had… we’re hopeful we could open some shows before that… I can guarantee the future of Cirque du Soleil is ensured, and when normalcy is back, then all of our shows will come back…”
That’s good news for fans of live entertainment, even if, as with Broadway shows, the stage will remain empty for the remainder of the year. The coming months will give Cirque du Soleil, the Broadway League, and other organizations time to sketch out a plan to bring their product back, as well as the opportunity to craft a message that will bring people back to theaters. That’s something all live theaters are concerned about at this point. They, and their fans, are asking what will live theater look like going forward. This process is an opportunity to begin to answer that question.