Cirque Du Soleil – ‘Zarkana’ : NYC

Radio City Music Hall: one of the many magical places in NYC where shows can come alive. Cirque Du Soleil’s ‘Zarkana’ really was one of the new great experiences I’ve had in the place. Not just as a Cirque fan, but really, they transformed the heck out of what is already a fantastic “WOW” factor of sitting in the audience at Radio City Music Hall.

This past summer, I had the task of finding a really great show for two out-of-towners, this one was perfect and frankly, one that gave me an excuse to exercise my right to Cirque as well 🙂

I’ll admit I wasn’t sure what to expect of the show, since the only ones I’d ever attended were in the made-for auditoriums in the Vegas venues. Hearing about what Cirque considered was their ker-plop that was ‘Banana Shpeel’ a year ago, I was a bit skeptical that Cirque Du Soleil would be able to give the same feeling that I had at every show.

But true to form, they definitely stuck to their guns and created immense, colorful chaos that is ‘Zarkana’.

For one thing, the transformation of the space at Radio City (a landmark and therefore one would be unable to alter anything about it) was INSANELY AMAZING. The multicolored lighting alone on the curtain was enough to entice anyone for what was about to come. True to Cirque form: interacting with audience members and getting them hyped up before the performance. The music, the sound system, the lights.. even reaching all the way up to the very ceiling that was right above our heads (we sat in the nosebleeds) everything transformed.

Ps, THE SETS: GORGEOUS GORGEOUS GORGEOUS. Many pixelated screens creating what looked like some of the craziest digital backgrounds, but their handmade sets were also just complete works of art. Honestly, I’m in awe of how they could pack up and ship all these sets from Montreal, to Florida, to NYC!! Beyond words, my favorite set had to be the spiderweb for the acrobats. Absolutely, positively breathtaking.

And of course, the acrobatics. Won’t try to give too much away, but there is much to be seen and completely love even from the nosebleeds. Even from up there we were able to see the amazing stunts, people hoisted up in the air, and the impossible still looked crazy-possible from where we were. I will give one act away: My absolute FAVORITE act was of the woman doing sand-art seen above on the big screen to open up the 2nd act. Quite amazing.

One thing I will say though: I actually felt like there were two acts that were a tad painful to watch – the highwire walkers. Surprisingly I found them to be the most raw, and also what seemed to be the least prepared or rehearsed of the performers. Apparently they’re a family act (as many worldly circus acts are), and did fared better on another stunt which was the rotating wheels which we had the pleasure of also seeing at the other Cirque show, ‘KA’, in Las Vegas.

Overall, it was definitely some tasty candy to the soul. Cirque du Soleil: They truly are the incredible artists that continue to push the envelope of great talent, visuals, and extreme hard work that is conveyed 150%. Perhaps that’s just what keeps me coming back in the end, always wanting another taste for good memories. 🙂

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