At 2:22 p.m. on February 22, Cirque du Soleil announced its newest resident show, "Mad Apple." The announcement was made with a press conference on the "Brooklyn Bridge" facing the Las Vegas Strip. Cirque du Soleil fans, press and bystanders all watched excitedly as an exclusive sizzle real was shown on a large screen above the stage. We heard from Co-Creator and Executive Producer Simon Painter about what audiences can expect when "Mad Apple" takes the stage this May.
A Look at "Mad Apple" by Cirque du Soleil
What is "Mad Apple"?
While the name clearly indicates a New York theme (a perfect fit with host venue New York-New York Hotel & Casino), fans might be wondering what's in store for them at "Mad Apple." Painter explained, "It's New York City's wildest night out coming to Las Vegas in a celebration of the city. It's breathtaking acrobatics, of course, because it's Cirque du Soleil. Acrobatics infused with the city. It's breathtaking, beautiful music—it's the soundtrack of New York from Gershwin to Billy Joel to Run DMC and everything in between. It's world-class comedy, amazing musicians, dancers, a bit of magic and a lot of mayhem."
The artistry of Cirque du Soleil shows is certainly no stranger to Las Vegas, with numerous resident shows up and down the Las Vegas Strip. So how long is a show conceptualized before hitting the stage? "It's a culmination of lots of things. We produced, over the last 15 years, some really big entertainment pieces," Painter told us, "So it's a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but the theme of New York has really been over the last couple of years. We really came up with that because of the building and the theme and also just the fact that New York is the best sort of backdrop to create a show around."
The Showroom & The Pre-Show
While "Mad Apple" takes over the space previously occupied by "Zumanity," fans likely won't recognize much. "The shell was good," Painter told us, "It was my favorite room already, just because the shape of it was conducive to doing something intimate."
"The whole room is built around these amazing bars that you can come and be at before the show. And at those bars, you'll find a host of incredible characters, close-up magicians, all the dancers and all the band are hanging out at this incredible bar show. We've changed this showroom to be a sort of pre-show spectacle, so you turn up early, you get a drink, and you're entertained before the show starts. We've done a lot of work on the room and spent a lot of time and effort making it into an incredible space for entertaining."
What makes "Mad Apple" Unique?
Fans of Cirque du Soleil can still expect classic elements; Painter promised, "The acrobatics are still front and center. It's a Cirque du Soleil show, so it has to wow. It's got to blow your mind acrobatically. It also has its own elements that are very important like the music and the comedy." Audience members were treated to a performance by the show's singers, including Xharlie Black.
"The comedy on this show is a huge, huge part of it. We want people laughing; it's time to laugh, right? At the end of these crazy few years, it's time to celebrate. And part of this show, we have an incredible, incredible host of comedians," he explained.
We got a sneak peek at the comedy aspect of the show when comedian Brad Williams took the stage for a short set that had bystanders and members of the press laughing. Freestyle rapper Chris Turner also delighted the crowd with a freestyle masterpiece (his source material from audience members included Gordon Ramsay, fire, paper clips, toothpicks and Brexit).
"Mad Apple" looks to be the perfect culmination of an ideal night out, blending the best of Cirque du Soleil with a New York night on the town (no plane ticket required). Painter elaborated, "We really wanted to create a celebration as the world opens up. It's time for us to party, I'm sure you guys will agree, and this show is exactly that—it's a party from start to finish."