Cirque du Soleil taps Zarkana to replace Viva Elvis

Trapeze act from "Zarkana." Photo by Jeremy Daniel, Richard Termine.


Cirque du Soleil is heading to the sky to replace “Viva Elvis” at Aria Las Vegas with “Zarkana.”

“Zarkana,” one of Cirque’s touring shows that has appeared in Madrid, Moscow and Radio City Music Hall, is an acrobatically and aerially intense show, featuring trapeze, the wheel of death, high wire and more.

“The main intention was to really give the public the highest level possible for acrobatics,” explained Philippe Aubertin, head coach of creation for “Zarkana,” in a Cirque du Soleil’s promotional video.

Zarkana’s hand-balancing act  was recently featured in the 2012 Oscars ceremony.

“ ‘Zarkana’ is a production of the perfect size and scope for the beautiful theater at ARIA,” says Cirque du Soleil president and CEO Daniel Lamarre. “With a high level of acrobatic performance, the show has garnered public appeal around the world. We are pleased that visitors to Las Vegas will be able to experience the show and feel that Zarkana is a perfect complement to the portfolio of Cirque du Soleil shows on the Strip.”

The Cirque du Soleil website describes Zarkana as an acrobatic rock opera that follows Zark, a magician who has lost his powers and the love of his life. In his quest to rediscover them both he encounters an abandoned theater filled with off-the-wall characters, mutants, sinister sirens and more.

Banquine act from "Zarkana." Photo by Jeremy Daniel, Richard Termine.

In November MGM Resorts asked Cirque to replace “Viva Elvis.” A statement from the company stated: “As attendance levels have not been meeting expectations, we have asked our partners at Cirque du Soleil to replace the show.”

“(Zarkana) is unlike any Cirque show in Las Vegas,” Lamarre told journalist Robin Leach. “It’s a sure bet. We are sad that ‘Elvis’ ends, but we are happy that MGM trusts us to bring in our ultimate, best show. It fits beautifully with the modern architecture of CityCenter. It fits with the young target group staying at Aria.

“The beautiful thing is we have to do nothing. We have to build nothing. There’s only two inches of difference between the Aria stage and the Radio City Music Hall stage, so everything fits perfectly.”

Viva Elvis ends its run on August 18. Zarkana will have its grand opening on Nov. 8.