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Banana Shpeel

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Creative Team


Foot Juggling
Tap Duo
Hand to Hand
Hat Juggling
Modern Dance
Tap Routine




A riot of HA-HAs, LA-LAs, and TA-DAs
It's a New Twist on Vaudeville!

From a fan perspective, the impetus for “Banana Shpeel” resides in part with Cirque’s plans of expansion into the Asia/Pacific region (specifically the People’s Republic of China Special Administrative Region of Macao), and with the company’s desires to “storm Manhattan,” as it did Las Vegas. Cirque saw such success in the Asian market that Daniel Lamarre, President and then COO of Cirque, was quoted as saying: "I wouldn't be surprised if we had four or five shows in Macao within five to seven years." And so Cirque began working on future concepts. One of them (dubbed “Macau II”) was rumored to be a re-invention of the variety show.

Unfortunately, Chinese gamblers did not take to the western-style show and ZAIA began to falter. Limited admittance to Macao from the Chinese mainland, as well as the voracious gambling appetite of those that were admitted, meant the audiences Cirque expected didn’t materialize. Thus Cirque shelved its Asian expansion plans and attempted to nurture its show back to health. But in the meantime, with some success found in New York with WINTUK, Cirque decided to dust off the variety show concept originally designed for Macao and see if it could find success in New York twice - Banana Shpeel was born.

Banana Shpeel is the latest show from producer extraordinaire Marty Schmelky and features a colorful array of slapstick comedy, eclectic dance and unique acrobatic acts. The larger-than-life personality presents the diverse talent he has gathered from around the world, as zany characters spread chaos throughout the theatre.

In his long and illustrious career, Schmelky has created such unforgettable hits as The Phantom of the Banana; Annie Get Your Banana; Fiddler on the Banana; The Best Little Banana in Texas; Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Banana; and Gentlemen Prefer Bananas. With Shpeel, Schmelky is moving in a new direction from his previous shows. "I'm mixing together lots of different ingredients in a big blender that will combine dance, comedy and circus arts in the fancy schmancy Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side."

Banana Shpeel is a roller-coaster mix of styles that blends comedy with tap, hip hop, eccentric dance and slapstick, all linked by a hilarious narrative that ignites a succession of wacky adventures. This is not circus, or a musical or a variety show, or even vaudeville. It is Banana Shpeel!

Premiere: Nov.19.2009 (Chicago)
Apr.24.2010 (NYC)
May.21.2010 (Gala)
Sep.14.2010 (Tour)
Type: Touring / Venue
Location: No Longer Performing
Finale: October 10, 2010 (Toronto)

Creative Team

Artistic Guide
Guy Laliberté
Artistic Guide
Gilles Ste-Croix
Director & Writer
David Shiner
Director of Creation
Serge Roy
Simon Carpentier
Sound Designer
Harvey Robitaille
Costume Designer
Dominique Lemieux
  Set and Props
Patricia Ruel
Props Co-Designer
Jasmine Catudal
Lighting Designer
Bruno Rafie
Jared Grimes
Make-up Designer
Eleni Uranis
Comic Act Designer
Stefan Haves


  • Chicago, IL: 11/19/09 - 1/2/10
  • New York, NY: 4/29/10 - 6/27/10
  • Toronto, ON: 9/14/10 - 10/10/10


"Schmelkey Productions"

Cirque Corner