Cirque du Soleil’s “Zarkana” to Close at Aria Las Vegas

Aria Resort has announced its Cirque du Soleil show, “Zarkana,” will close on April 30, 2016.


Fun fact: “Zarkana” has approximately 1,100 percent more WTF than other Las Vegas shows.

“Zarkana” is the second Cirque show to close at Aria Las Vegas due to deep and abiding amounts of suck, the first being “Viva Elvis” which closed August 31, 2012, after a two-year run.

News of the “Zarkana” closing was discreetly inserted at the end of an announcement about a $154 million expansion of Aria’s convention space, after lots and lots of words.



“Zarkana” is presumably closing because the convention space will take the place of the Aria’s theater.

If you think “Zarkana” is closing because of a convention space expansion, you have never seen “Zarkana.”

“Zarkana” is this blog’s least favorite of all the Cirque shows in Las Vegas, a baffling mash-up of the weirdest parts of every other Cirque show, plus characters with some sort of debilitating dermatological infection.


“Zarkana” is a combination of “bizarre” and “arcana” (mysteries). The biggest mystery is how this befuddling fustercluck of a show managed to remain open so long.

Hints of trouble at “Zarkana” were confirmed in December 2013 when the show closed for a “refresh.”

Prior to the “refresh,” a key element of “Zarkana,” the “Wheel of Death,” was removed from the show. If you’ve seen “Zarkana,” you’ll no doubt agree this wasn’t a case of a performer accidentally falling from the Wheel of Death, but rather a desperate attempt to avoid having to watch the show again.

Lovers of the typically-excellent Cirque shows will still be able to find a metric ass-ton of them in Las Vegas. In fact, there are so many, it’s sometimes difficult to tell them apart, so check out our One Minute Guide to All the Cirque Shows in Las Vegas.

Construction of the expanded convention space, by the way, is scheduled to start May 2016 and to be complete in February 2018. There are no plans to replace “Zarkana” with another show.

8 thoughts on “Cirque du Soleil’s “Zarkana” to Close at Aria Las Vegas

  1. Funkhouser_1

    Any Cirque show is going to fall to a matter of personal taste. I actually liked the show, and found myself falling asleep and completely bored by ‘O’. I think this story is a bit brutal in its critique of Zarkana. Besides ‘Believe’ still holds the record for the crappiest Cirque show in Vegas and only exists due to a hefty buyout clause to Chris Angel.

    1. Scott Roeben

      Completely agree everything is subjective! I quite enjoyed “Believe,” although it seems to be suffering from its initial iteration, which from all accounts was the worst show in the history of ever. Unsuccessful shows don’t survive this long in Vegas, so it’s selling tickets. It’s not for everyone, of course.

  2. JeffinOKC

    I thought the Michael Jackson show at Mandalay Bay was the worst. Hellish, post apocalyptic black and gray sets and imagery, bottom loaded sound mixes with 5 minute rhythm section only inserts in the middle of every song, destroying the melodic beauty and flow of every. single. song. 90 minutes of people flying around on big rubber bands.

  3. Jason

    My daughter and I watched this show and I was floored how awesome this show was and We continued to watch other shows and We love La Reve the most of all. But Zarkana forever remember in my mind and I loved the show because it was so visible and creative show of all. I was saddened to find out this has been closed since 2016. I am 3 years behind. I was planning to take my girlfriend there. Shoot.


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