Cirque du Soleil has had a rough start to 2020. Its latest show in Las Vegas is set to close Sunday, marking the shortest run and highest-profile failure for the Cirque on the Strip. R.U.N., which opened in late October, was supposed to be performed indefinitely at the Luxor Hotel & Casino.
There are also serious creative problems plaguing Under the Same Sky, the Cirque show that is set to have its world premiere under the big top in the Old Port in Montreal on April 23. Executives at Cirque du Soleil were not pleased after a preview performance at Cirque headquarters in St-Michel last week.
This led to animated discussions between the executives and the show’s high-profile writer/director/production designer Es Devlin, who was not happy with the criticism. Cirque reps insist the London, England-based artist is still part of the show, but her role is now described as providing “conceptual support.” Cirque du Soleil president and CEO Daniel Lamarre said Devlin — who has worked with Beyoncé, U2, Adele and Kanye West — will be given full credit for her work on the show.
But he confirmed the Cirque has brought in a new director, Mukhtar O.S. Mukhtar, who has worked on previous Cirque shows, notably Messi 10, a show inspired by the life of football superstar Lionel Messi. He will begin work on Under the Same Sky in the coming days. Devlin is home resting in England, but will return to the show, according to Cirque officials.
In addition, the Cirque has had to close down its resident show The Land of Fantasy in Hangzhou, China in late January as a result of health concerns following the outbreak of the coronavirus. The Montreal-based circus has also cancelled the Hong Kong tour for the show Amaluna, which was supposed to be taking place in May.
Lamarre confirmed rumours that for the past six months, Cirque du Soleil has been contemplating a public-share offering, but that is off the table for the moment given the turbulence of financial markets, he said.
Read more about the challenges Cirque du Soleil is facing at the original source of the article from Brendan Kelly at the Montreal Gazette.