|Zarkana's ridiculous LED screen portraying roses falling and images of performers in white costumes which created the appearance that performers were floating in the air. AMAZING!!|
For those of you who have seen any of the Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas you understand how unbelievably over-the-top some of these acts can be. Many of their traveling shows can't compare to their sister shows in Vegas, due to the fact that the show is usually built around the venue like O with the large pool or Ka with the stage that can turn vertical suddenly, which allows for a WOW factor you can't get under a big top. The traveling big top shows all have different aspects that make them interesting wether it's the story line, the costumes or a particular act that's never been done before, but they never have that originality like the Vegas shows so I didn't expect some of the jaw-dropping acts in Zarkana.
As I briefly mentioned, the storyline of the show is minimal, which didn't surprise me. Cirque's last resident show in New York City, Banana Shpeel, was a total flop due to the show being more of a narrative act which is not what Cirque is known for. This being said, the main focus was on the acts. There were the Cirque du Soleil staples which included the russian bar (2 individuals holding a bar while performers do flips across the bar), high wire and aerial hoops. While Cirque's go-to acts still amaze me, they did right by finding some breathtaking new acts to incorporate like the group who juggled large, weight flags that they tossed back and forth amongst the group. There was something about how the flags filled the full height and width of the stage that was fascinating. Additionally, there was an act which I've never encountered before and that was a sand artist who created these absolutely stunning images by moving, and at times, tossing sand at a projector that showed the images on the large screen above her head. One act that is a recycle from Ka and Kooza is the called the"Wheel of Death". While this is a re-used act, you don't see it very frequently and really is appropriate for the large stage in Radio City. I don't even know how to explain this act, so below is a link to a video of the Wheel of Death in Ka.
Wheel of Death
The music is decent, but there's so much going on between the acts and the digital screen that it's easy to overlook the hard-rock music and deep-voiced singer that rings through out the theater. One thing that is impossible to overlook is that the lyrics are in English, and not the special Cirque du Soleil language that is typically used. This was also done in Wintuk which just finished it's contract at Madison Square Garden this past holiday season. It's an interesting change but my personal opinion is that the nonsense language typically used helps to create that "I've entered an alternate dimension" feeling you get when watching a Cirque du Soleil show.
Overall, this is a show worth seeing! The tickets are pricey, upwards of $125 per person, but if you're looking for a show that will keep you on the edge of your seat then it's worth it.