I had never seen a Cirque du Soleil production and was very eager to see what all the fuss was about when we planned our trip to Las Vegas. My husband wasn't too sure what to make of it: Acrobats? Dancing? Huh? Nudity? Well, okay then!
I would first of all describe Zumanity as the least spectacular of the four Cirque du Soleil performances currently playing in Las Vegas ("Ka," "O," and "Mystere" are the others). The website describes the show as, "a provocative, cabaret-style production with a Cirque du Soleil twist. The adult-themed, 90-minute production is unveiled at New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas." Reviews of the show were mixed; some patrons didn’t like the humor, sexual themes, or lower-key production. Because I had nothing to compare it to, I didn’t expect to be disappointed. That was an understatement, I would say!
The theater is not huge and even offers intimate love seats in various areas for some patrons. Our seats were in the third row, off to the side of the long, narrow stage that protruded into the center. The experience began immediately as members of the troupe dressed in outlandish, sexy costumes intermingled with the crowd taking their seats. The different characters began to emerge: the MC as a caricature of the sleazy, preening Romeo, cracking funny jokes at the expense of a few patrons; the chubby French maid pushing her way through the seats, rubbing her bottom or bosom on everyone; the naïve country girl brandishing enormous rubber… "toys!" All this before the show officially began!
When the lights dimmed and the MC explained the "concept" of the show, how different takes on sexuality would be portrayed, it was hard to know where to look. Everywhere in the theater, not just on stage, the performers were standing, dancing, and walking around. The music was excellent, modernistic but well-suited for the action on stage. The "acts" were very different from each other. My favorite was the trapeze and aerial stunts. The acrobats were truly astounding, flying through the air on various materials. This was not your parents' Ringling Circus! The performers were stunningly beautiful, the men so muscular and the women athletic. Some women performed topless and sometimes their costumes were suggestive of nudity, but there were certainly no overtly sexual acts or anything "worse" than a typical strip club. The most erotic act consisted of a woman simulating bondage in an athletic, but riveting, solo sequence. There were also some very funny parts between the dance and aerial shows that were keeping with the cabaret theme. For each act, the stage was constantly being transformed into visually stunning playgrounds for the performers. Two women even swim in a large fishbowl at one point!
I truly loved this show and would recommend it for open-minded adults. If this supposedly isn't the best that Cirque du Soleil has to offer, I can’t wait to see more!