The fuse has been excruciatingly long, spanning the globe and smoldering for more than a year. But Cirque du Soleil is eager to set off a firecracker on the Fourth of July by reopening its long-running aquatic hit “O” on the Las Vegas Strip.
“I think at this point, we feel we need to draw a line in the sand because of the amount of time it would require for us to return to work, given the complexity of our shows and the physical performance, getting our artists back in the show in ready condition,” Cirque Senior Vice President Eric Grilly said in a phone interview Thursday. “We’re planning to open this summer. I’m being hopeful. I would love to open by July 4th weekend.”
Grilly, who was named to his executive role in Cirque in November 2019, confirmed the tentative order of progression of reopening would be “O” at Bellagio, followed by “Mystere” at Treasure Island, then a still-to-be-determined procession of “Love” at The Mirage, “Michael Jackson One” at Mandalay Bay, and “Ka” at MGM Grand.
Starting in July, a Cirque show would open every month, roughly, through the end of 2021.
To conceive this reopening plan, Grilly has worked with MGM Resorts International execs, led by that company’s president of entertainment and sports, George Kliavkoff, and the management team at Treasure Island.
“With MGM Resorts, I think we’re very much aligned that ‘O’ will be the first show that we relaunch with them,” Grilly said. “And our partnership and Treasure Island has expressed great interest in the return of ‘Mystere,’ so we’ve sort of identified those two shows that would be the first that would reopen … We presented a staggered approach to opening the shows, but we really don’t have a schedule beyond that.”
Cirque theaters would likely be at reduced capacity with spaced seating for social-distancing requirements. But the shrunken houses would not be a deal killer for Cirque shows. Company CEO Daniel Lamarre and Kliavkoff have both said Cirque could run its Strip shows at 50 percent, and still edge into the black…
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