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Évolution & Visuals

Milestone Date Time
Concept Announced 9/14/2010 n/a
Name Registered 10/26/2010 n/a
Show Unveiled 11/9/2010 n/a
Press Preview 5/24/2011 n/a
Preview Performances 6/9/2011 n/a
Replacing Viva Elvis 3/7/2012 n/a
Opened at Aria 11/9/2012 n/a
Asked to Close 12/15/2015 n/a
Final Show 4/30/2016 9:30pm
After planting the first one of many flowers in the desert of Las Vegas, Cirque du Soleil worked to expand their empire beyond Vegas by placing resident shows in places like Orlando, London, Tokyo, Miami, Singapore, New York City, and Shanghai. Although many of those ideas failed to materialize, Cirque did manage to break into both the Asian market (with 2008’s ZAIA in Macau and 2008’s ZED in Tokyo) and the New York City market, by forming a partnership with Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSG), as announced on November 20, 2006. That first New York City show, 2007’s Wintuk, went on to garner a certain level of success for Cirque and MSG, which led to further discussions between the two.

On April 29, 2009, the New York Times ran a story reporting that Cirque and MSG had come to an agreement on the future of Cirque in the City: “In February 2010, Cirque plans to bring a new show to the Beacon Theater in Manhattan for a multiple-month run that it hopes will become an annual institution. And in 2011 Cirque is to establish a four-month summer extravaganza in Radio City Music Hall as a warm-weather counterweight to the ‘Christmas Spectacular’ - sans Rockettes, but populated with acrobats and clowns. These will be in addition to the company’s touring tent productions.” The February 2010 production became the ill-fated BANANA SHPEEL, of course. The 2011 production became ZARKANA.

[ ÉvolutionVisuals ]

A Summer Extravaganza?

    Rumors regarding the show’s director began to crop up not long after the initial announcement, settling early on with François Girard who had just come off of a hugely successful opening of Cirque du Soleil’s ZED in Tokyo. But would he do it? When we next heard from Cirque (on September 14, 2010) he was confirmed to direct. On October 26, 2010 Cirque du Soleil trademarked the name ZARKANA and by November 9, 2010, announced it and the show’s theme to the world:

      Zarkana is a fantastically bizarre world where we follow the adventures of Zark, a magician who has lost his love and, with her, his powers. As he cries and begs for her return he is plunged into a world inhabited by surreal creatures. The diverse cast of 71 international artists transports the audience into a fantastical and suspenseful world, blurring the boundaries between the real and imaginary. The name Zarkana is a fusion of the words “bizarre” and “arcana” (arcana means “mystery” or “secret”). The twisted fictional world of Zarkana is an elusive destination that is fantastic yet bizarre. The name refers to the irresistibly odd and delightfully strange aura of this place and its inhabitants.

    Zarkana would go on to have its official press release on May 24, 2011 with preview performances beginning June 9th.

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