Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cirque Du Soleil: ZARKANA @ Radio City Music Hall

"Trend-setting bloggers who like Theater, Entertainment, and/or New York Cultural Events"

Cirque du Soleil has once again returned to New York City, however, this time the craziness has been unleashed in the “Showplace of the Nation” – Radio City Music Hall.  Zarkana, being marketed as “An Irresistibly Odd Escape,” is just that ~ a strange and twisted escape into a world of snakes, spiders, clowns, and space creatures that are all impossible to resist.  With acrobatics, jugglers, aerialists, and a sand painter all meshed together with that signature Cirque du Soleil flare, this latest creation is the perfect summer show that the whole family will love.  Zarkana is the perfect summer attraction!
Known for its complex storylines, Cirque du Soleil pulls back a little bit for Zarkana gearing the show towards families.  Zark, a magician who has lost his magic powers, is going on the adventure of a lifetime in order to find his lost love, Lia.  Along the way he discovers a world that is truly bizarre.  Launched from an abandoned theatre filled with clown ghosts with tons a humor, an amazing juggle, and a high climbing ladder-balancing duo, Zark soon finds himself in a land filled a gracious aerial duet, a death defying Russian bar, a quartet on a high wire, and images of his love in both flower and snake form.  Before the audience even has time to process the jungle that they are in, two lead clowns Hocus and Pocus are blasted into space with creatures that are masters of the cyr wheel and aerial hoops.  If at any point the audience gets lost, there is no need to fear; a sand painter comes up from the bowels of the theatre to recreate the entire show in sand.  With no means of stopping, Zark now envisions his wife as a spider amidst a high flying grand volant team.  Close to finding his love, Zark now passes through two daredevils on a “Wheel of Death,” a gravity defying hand-balancer, and a team of leaping and balancing banquine. At the end of this twisted world, will Zark regain is powers and find his one true love, Lia?
In creating the exciting world of Zarkana, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté assembled a team of highly skilled creators and designers all lead by writer and director François Girard (films The Red Violin and Silk).  Girard does a fantastic job of bringing this idea from paper to stage, creating images that are a true feast for the eyes.  While the story was simple, it jelled the different world class acts together perfectly, allowing for stunning transitions that were filled perfectly with the comedy styles of performers Daniel Passer and Wayne Wilson as Hocus and Pocus.  The backdrop to this is created by Nick Littlemore (member of art-rock band Teenager and close producer to Sir Elton John) who provides the lush rock n’ roll score.  With songs that advance the storyline and add an element of awe and wonder to the acts, Littlemore goes above and beyond the work of some of today’s best composers.  Bringing this new world to life is a team of extremely talented designers.  Stéphane Roy dazzles with an extremely large and complex set that fills the large space of Radio City Music Hall perfectly; Alan Hranitelj provides costumes that are bright, vibrant, and perfectly weird; Alain Lortie sets the mood for this rock opera with a great blend of concert and theoretical lighting; and, Eleni Uranis makes the whole cast pop with a make-up design that forms just who these characters in the unique world truly are.  The whole piece is done with normal Cirque du Soleil flair – which is definitely a good thing!
Zarkana comes to Radio City Music Hall this summer with death-defying stunts, beautiful design, and amazing talent.  This is without a doubt the perfect summer show for the entire family!  This summer, skip Dorney Park and treat the whole family to a day in the Big Apple with tickets to the performing arts!


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