Created especially for the landmark Radio City — the home of the Tony Awards in recent years, but not this year, owing to Zarkana — the new Cirque show takes us to "a fantastically bizarre world where we follow the adventures of Zark, a magician who has lost his love and, with her, his powers," according to production notes. "As he cries and begs for her return he is plunged into a world inhabited by surreal creatures. The diverse cast of 71 international artists transports the audience into a fantastical and suspenseful world, blurring the boundaries between the real and imaginary."
The name Zarkana is a fusion of the words "bizarre" and "arcana" (arcana means "mystery" or "secret"). The twisted fictional world of Zarkana "is an elusive destination that is fantastic yet bizarre." The name refers to "the irresistibly odd and delightfully strange aura of this place and its inhabitants."
Presented by iShares, Zarkana is written and directed by acclaimed film and theatre director François Girard ("The Red Violin," "Silk").
The creative team, consisting of 12 creators under the artistic guidance of Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, includes Line Tremblay (director of creation), Stéphane Roy (set and props designer), Alan Hranitelj (costume designer), Nick Littlemore (composer and musical director), Debra Brown (choreographer), Elena Kolyadenko (choreographer), Alain Lortie (lighting designer), Raymond St-Jean (image content director), Steven Dubuc (sound designer), Florence Pot (acrobatic performance designer), Danny Zen (rigging and acrobatic equipment designer) and Eleni Uranis (makeup designer).
Composer Littlemore is an Australian musician and producer, known as frontman of acclaimed electronic act Pnau (with Peter Mayes) and one part of electro pop-duo Empire of the Sun (with Luke Steele). He is also a member of art-rock band Teenager (with Pip Brown a.k.a Ladyhawke). As a producer, he has worked with Sir Elton John, Groove Armada, Ellie Goulding, Robbie Williams, Flora Purim and many others. This new production is his first collaboration with Cirque du Soleil. According to Cirque, "Sir Elton John will be guiding his protégé Nick Littlemore through the creative process of this new production."
Opening night is June 29. Tickets range from $47 to $130 with a limited number of premium tickets available for all performances. Cirque Club membership is free, and benefits include access to advance tickets, special offers and exclusive behind the scenes information. To join, go to www.cirqueclub.com.
For tickets, call (866) 858-0008 or visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/zarkana.
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is now a major Quebec-based organization with 5,000 employees, including more than 1,200 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.
For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com.