Las Vegas Sun

August 24, 2019

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Curtain Up: Behind the scenes of Cirque du Soleil’s new ‘R.U.N’ and more


Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group

R.U.N” cast members rehearse a fight sequence at Cirque du Soleil’s Montreal headquarters.

While the Luxor was providing a glimpse last week of what new Cirque du Soleil show “R.U.N” might feel like via a very cool construction-wall mural by local artist Troy “Tiki” James, Cirque’s Montreal headquarters was hosting a video shoot and cast and crew interviews during rehearsals to continue to spread the word about the upcoming action thriller. If you’re not already following the “R.U.N” Instagram account, it’s not too late to catch some footage and imagery of electric motorcycles, people on fire and more people going through fight training sequences and choreography.

“It’s been really important to us to start educating people right away on what the show is,” said Lou D’Angeli, Cirque’s vice president of marketing and public relations, back in Vegas at Luxor. “The day after we announced the show we started hosting educational sales sessions for everybody who sells our tickets. We don’t want anybody to call up and say they want to see a Cirque show and expect [the elements] we’re known for.”

Judging from the Montreal sneak peek, where creative director Stefan Milijevic, show director Michael Schwandt and others detailed the show’s overall vision while showcasing pyrotechnics, stunts, costume design and more, “R.U.N” looks so different from Cirque’s beloved, longtime Las Vegas Strip offerings, it might not be instantly recognizable as a Cirque show. But D’Angeli and his team are dedicated to generating a new kind of excitement while keeping the brand connected.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about that. To truly differentiate the brand, Cirque needs to be on it,” he said. “Where we’re going, we have to evolve but there’s a lot of credibility when you see that name. That also puts a lot of pressure on us to deliver in everything we do, from production to ticket sales to marketing.”

One thing is certain: The Luxor team couldn’t be more hyped about the new show, which opens on October 24.

“The employees are incredibly excited to have something new for the company and specifically for Luxor,” said Cliff Atkinson, the resort’s president and COO. “We have the Esports Arena and the Raiders coming, but this is the crème de la crème, a new show. We’re incredibly excited to sell it and be a part of it and go see it, and to tell all our customers not only at Luxor but all MGM resorts to come check out something you really haven’t seen anywhere else.”

Click to enlarge photo

Nellie Norris as Cyndi Lauper in "Legends in Concert."

Cirque du Soleil fave and Las Vegas native Brandon Pereyda, also known as Axle in his death-defying aerial chains act in “Zumanity,” will be in New York City this weekend to take part in the largest Pride celebration in the world. He’ll perform a version of his act during superstar DJ and Wynn Nightlife resident Kygo’s set at the Pride Main Event on June 30 at the Javits Center.

"Brian Newman: After Dark" was an unmitigated hit at the NoMad Restaurant during Lady Gaga's recent residency run and her bandleader, an incredible trumpeter and singer in his own right, is coming back for more. Newman has signed on for 20 more dates at the Park MGM hot spot starting on October 17 and running through December 30. Tickets for this jazzy soiree go on sale June 28.

A new comedy showroom downtown? Believe it. The Downtown Grand has opened the Spare Room, its first-ever showroom venue located near the lobby and the Art Bar. The intimate space seats less than 100 and its first two shows, Don Barnhart’s Hypnomania and Delirious Stand-up Comedy, are presented by Trending Vegas, which also launched “All Shook Up at Planet Hollywood’s V Theater. Barnhart’s interactive and improvisational hypnosis show plays at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday while the stand-up show takes the stage at 9 p.m. on the same days.

Crooner Matt Goss has announced new dates for his show at 1 OAK Nightclub at the Mirage. He’s been playing there Sundays with his band, singers and Dirty Virgins dance troupe when he’s not touring his native U.K., and he’ll be back August 4, 11, 18 and 25 and September 1. Showtime is 8 p.m.

“Legends in Concert” is rolling along full-steam since moving from the Flamingo to the Tropicana in February and the summer season brings a new roster of impersonated artists. Starting July 3, Nair Cardoza will portray Adele, Tino Ilback does Stevie Wonder, Daniel Durston plays Elvis Presley and Nellie Norris brings a truly colorful rendition of Cyndi Lauper. On July 10, John Anthony joins the cast as Rod Stewart. “Legends” runs at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Summer is here and that means more Jeff Civillico in Las Vegas. The incredibly busy entertainer’s “Comedy in Action” show at the Anthony Cools Theater at Paris Las Vegas has shifted to a summer schedule of two shows every Wednesday at 4 and 7 p.m., offering more family-friendly fun for Vegas visitors and locals, too.

Christina Aguilera, who will return to her Zappos Theater residency on September 20, will be the honoree at the Shade Tree’s Mask Off Gala on October 3 at Mansion 54 in downtown’s historic Sixth Street district. The superstar singer has been supporting the local organization by donating a portion of ticket sales to assist the women’s shelter.