This is a review of the original Zarkana show at Aria. The show has been reworked. Please visit the Zarkana 2014 page for my review of the current show.
A few weeks ago I used a myVEGAS Reward to get a free ticket to Zarkana. Since the seat was a non-Premium myVEGAS Reward seat, it was in section 402 in the center of the balcony. It did give a good vantage point to get the big picture, but it was surprisingly far from the stage. When I picked up my ticket I inquired about getting an upgrade due to my Mlife status, but was told that since it was a myVEGAS Reward, it could not be upgraded.
The show follows Zark, the ringmaster, as he brings his haunted circus back to life.
He has visions of his lost love throughout the show as well. That storyline wasn’t enough to connect the various acts. The show moves randomly from one activity to another. Even though the show had toured internationally before moving to its home at Aria, it seemed like Cirque threw it together quickly. The acrobats and performers are all extremely talented, but most of the acts also appear in other Cirque shows. You have your jugglers, clowns, balance beam acts, acrobats, wheel of death, etc. The one act that did stand out, though, was the live sand painting act. The artist is onstage, using sand to quickly ‘paint’ highly detailed images. The paintings are projected above the stage so that the audience can get a good look at what the artist is doing.
About half of the audience seemed to enjoy it and a few more of us provided polite applause. If you have not seen a Cirque du Soleil show, this might be enjoyable for you since all of the acts will be new to you. I cannot recommend seeing it if you have seen any other Cirque du Soleil show, though. I would recommend seeing Mystere or Ka instead.
Performances are at 7pm and 9:30pm Friday through Tuesday (dark on Wednesday and Thursday). The running time is about 90 minutes.
Ticket prices range from $69-$180. Tickets are also available as myVEGAS Rewards and are occasionally available from Tix4Tonight.
My seat in the balcony was valued at $99. I would have been very disappointed if I had paid full price for it.