Cirque's NYC production "Banana Shpeel" lasted less than six weeks. Photo via Broadway.com.
Since that announcement, the question has been, What will have the chutzpah to fill the nearly 2,000-seat Lyric Theatre, the second largest venue on Broadway?
Well, of course, Cirque du Soleil. (Bet you didn’t see that one coming.)
Cirque’s jaw-dropping feats have become staple attractions for tourists visiting Las Vegas, Orlando and Mexico. But the production company has never been able to find a stable home in New York. Its 2010 show Banana Shpeel at the Beacon Theater ran less than six weeks. And space is a source of frustration for Cirque—you can’t exactly erect a giant tent in the middle of Manhattan.
So instead of finding a venue to fit its high-flying stunts, Cirque has changed its formula to fit an NYC venue. Its new show Paramour will more or less be a musical theater production that combines dancers, actors and acrobats. Unlike most Cirque shows, this one has a plot: Set in Golden Age Hollywood, a poet must choose between love and art. Paramour will be directed and choreographed by Philippe Decouflé, who studied under Alwin Nikolais, and has choreographed for Lyon Opera Ballet and produced another Cirque show, Iris.
Paramour will begin previews on April 16, with its opening on June 2. There’s no word yet on what production will take over the Lyric Theatre in the interim.