Zarkana 2014

Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana was reworked in early 2014. I like what they have done. The new show is a bit brighter and more upbeat. It also features new music. I did not like the original version (as you can see in my previous review). I am happy to recommend the new version of the show.

Zark (the magician who was the main character of the original show) is gone.  Hocus and Pocus (the 2 main clowns) and a little girl are now the driving force of the show. It is a little counter-intuitive, but by dropping Zark and his storyline, the show seems to flow better and be more cohesive.

The show still starts with clowns coming into the audience and doing some low pressure audience interactions. There are 12 featured acts as well as a few extended clown interludes. A few of the highlights are:

  • The new 2 man aerial rope act which goes over the audience. They tell a great story through movement and music.
  • The sand painter. 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.
  • The gymnast / hand balancing performer accompanied by 2 onstage pianos. His feats are impressive, but I found the incorporation of a shadowy, ethereal version of his image projected behind him to take it to the next level.

Being a Cirque show, there is a point near the end where the clowns pull an audience member onstage. It seems like they will typically try to get a female audience member.

The show seems faster than the original version, but I think that is just a factor of the new, more upbeat music and brighter overall feel of the show. If you want to compare it to another Cirque du Soleil show, I would say it is similar to, but not as good as, Mystere. I would place the new Zarkana in the middle of the pack of Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil shows.

This is a big picture type Cirque du Soleil show. You will miss some of that by sitting too close.  I recommend sitting in sections 202-204 ($155) or rows T-W of 301-303 ($130). I would avoid sections 101 and 105 ($130) since they are too close and far to the side.

Performances are at Aria 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 available online at http://www.aria.com/cirque/zarkana or http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/zarkana/tickets/las-vegas.aspx
Tickets are also available as myVEGAS Rewards, but the blackout date list is extensive. I had planned on using a myVEGAS Reward to see the show, but the dates I needed were blacked out. I was able to get a seating upgrade with my Mlife card, though.

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