“Zumanity” Closes Permanently as Cirque du Soleil Flounders

A longtime Strip show, “Zumanity,” won’t reopen at New York-New York.

Cirque du Soleil shared a Tweet about the permanent closure of “Zumanity,” saying, “Today we applaud Zumanity as the show has taken its final bow and will not be reopening. Heartfelt thank you to our talented cast, crew and staff and the more than seven million guests for taking part in this sensual journey.”

“Zumanity” wasn’t the strongest Cirque offering on the Las Vegas Strip, but many enjoyed the show featuring a sexier side of Cirque.

Zumanity closed

There’s something for everyone in Las Vegas, but “Zumanity” wasn’t for us.

The show opened in Sep. 2003 and had more than 7,700 performances at New York-New York.

The final performance of “Zumanity” was March 14, 2020, just before Las Vegas shows and hotels were shut down due to the pandemic.

Some shows have reopened since then, but no Cirque shows have returned yet.

Cirque du Soleil’s stuggles were apparent prior to the COVID-19 crisis. We called the company’s impending bankruptcy, and heard from insiders “Zumanity” was on the short list of shows (along with “Love” and “Ka”) that might not return due to a number of factors, mainly financial.

Zumanity 69

They can never take this distinction away from “Zumanity.”

Cirque is trying to get out in front of rumors about the potential of other shows closing permanently.

The company’s news release about “Zumanity” said, “Cirque du Soleil and MGM Resorts International have solidified their commitment to the partnership and the four shows remaining in the Cirque du Soleil portfolio. Contract extensions for ‘O’ at Bellagio, The Beatles ‘Love’ at The Mirage, ‘Ka’ at MGM Grand and ‘Michael Jackson One’ at Mandalay Bay have been signed. Additionally, Treasure Island and Cirque du Soleil have recommitted to ‘Mystere’ with a contract extension.”

That’s great to hear, especially for the performers, crews and venues, but if we’ve learned anything during this crisis, it’s that everything is “fluid.” Also, people are really paranoid about running out of toilet paper.

It’s tough to keep all these Cirque shows straight, so feel free to review our One-Minute Guide to All the Cirque Shows in Las Vegas.

Another Cirque-style show, “Le Reve,” closed permanently at Wynn Las Vegas.

How many brisk kicks to the nads can one town take?

Despite Cirque du Soleil’s calm outward demeanor, the Cirque world is pretty much chaos at the moment.

The company had roughly a billion dollars in debt prior to the pandemic, and the entire operation has been shut down for months.

Zumanity closed

Sometimes, photo captions write themselves.

Cirque du Soleil lost $10 million in 2017, $71 million in 2018 and $80 million in 2019. “R.U.N.” opened at Luxor in 2019 at a cost of about $62 million, the show closed after just five months.

Cirque filed for bankruptcy in June 2020. COVID-19 provided some cover for the company’s rumored mismanagement, but insiders saw the writing on the wall long before the pandemic.

We’ve heard Cirque doesn’t want to reopen its shows while the mask mandate is in place, and there’s no end in sight for those protocols.

The hope is Cirque can come back full force at some point, and performers, many who have bailed on Las Vegas, can be lured back.

The fact is Vegas isn’t really Vegas without Cirque. These iconic shows have become synonymous with Vegas and its claim to the title of “Entertainment Capital of the World.”

Our best goes out to the cast members, crew members and fans of “Zumanity.”

Enough of the circus, we want our Cirque back.

15 thoughts on ““Zumanity” Closes Permanently as Cirque du Soleil Flounders

  1. Dean

    If Cirque doesn’t want to reopen until mask mandates go away, what do they expect all cast members to do for income until 2022 or later?

    Reply
  2. Mike Alexakis

    I absolutely loved Zumanity, not only was it sex themed, it was laugh out loud funny. I will forever have a big crush on the hula-hoop trapeze lady in the schoolgirl outfit, she could have her way with me, anytime. Zumanity did not have a boring mime clown scene like most Cirque shows, “O” has a horribly long mime scene, like a “kick in the nads”… I have seen every Las Vegas Cirque show, most twice, KA three times because we got comped. I even liked Viva Elvis, they had rocking live music in that show. Cirque was bought by hedge fund vultures, so its anyone’s guess what will happen, they might fire all the performers then try to hire them back at a discount. My families favorite show was Zarkana, but since that died its Mystere, which is the Vegas show that most closely resembles the original traveling shows that started decades ago…

    Reply
  3. Bruce

    Myself, I didn’t care for Zumanity at all. A shame for the company, performers, and Vegas as a whole though.
    To hell with 2020.

    Reply
  4. brt374

    I genuinely didn’t want to like Zumanity, but it’s one of those shows that sticks with you, and is a good talking point when you speak to someone else who saw it. (I saw it a little over a year ago.) Sure, a few older people walked out of the theatre after being offended by a crude joke, but that made it a bit funnier and seemingly more risque. It’s hard to imagine it ran nearly 17 years…and people say Vegas has a short attention span.

    Reply
    1. Jackson

      Over 7,700 performances across 17 years is impressive. While they have had plenty of failures, I don’t think Cirque du Soleil gets proper credit for creating many of shows that last decades.

      For comparison, there are only 3 Broadway shows that have more than 7,700 performances: Phantom of the Opera (13,000+), Chicago (9,600+), and The Lion King (9,300+). Wicked will undoubtedly hit that mark once theatre returns as they are at 6,800+ performances right now.

      Reply
  5. MrBuzzkill

    It looks like another strip show has tossed it’s innards all over the Strat’s overflow parking lot next to the new arches. Crates, decor, props and all. Is Celestia dead, too?

    Reply
  6. Jim

    I feel terrible for the performers and staff of the show. Top notch people work in all of these shows.

    I nearly fell over when I read it went 17 years. Zumanity and Ka did nothing for me. Vegas needs the variety whenever COVID ends, so still hate to see shows close.

    Reply
    1. Mike Alexakis

      You bet your sweet bippy I remember Enter The Night, it starred Vladimir, The Man Who Flies, getting airborne when you are sporting a kielbasa in your shorts like Vlad is quite a feat, my wife obviously loved that show more than I did… Vladimir was the main attraction in traveling Cirque shows before that, I was friends with the massage trainer who traveled along, I got to meet Vlad and the founder Guy, it was about 33 years ago, when Cirque was a small operation. I think the show depicted in the movie Showgirls was a loose depiction of Enter The Night, and I think Enter The Night was one of the first Las Vegas shows that had reserved seating, prior to that you had to slip the usher a twenty dollar bill to get good seats, getting that usher job was plumb, the mafia was in charge of giving those jobs out…

      Reply
    2. William Wingo

      We saw “Enter the Night” shortly after it replaced “Lido de Paris.” Vladimir was top-billed but not the official star of the show yet. IIRC, the rest of it was still “standard Vegas.” Cirque may have started but hadn’t completely taken over yet. “O” was still on the drawing boards.
      As for Cirque, we saw “Mystere” at Treasure Island, also shortly after it opened. All I remember is a big guy crawling around in a diaper, and waiting what seemed like hours while they set up the safety nets for the trapeze act finale. Never bothered with any of the others. At the time it was described in the show listings as “un-Vegas-y.” Little did they know.
      Also saw the one at MGM that was later replaced by “Ka,” with Tommy Tune and his planted groupie in the audience; the huge opening blow-up of James Earl Jones’ face; and the 3-D glasses.
      Good times.

      Reply
  7. Stoney

    STARDUST had a Steak and lobster dinner for $7.99 or$9.99 I can’t remember, anyway we always had that before the show. And I do remember shows having a maitre d’ who got the twenty bucks and then had a usher take you to a nice booth up front. I guess it kinda classed it up a little bit. Kinda liked the night club type seating better than todays movie theater type seating, but thats just me. Hey Mike what ever happened to Vladimir?

    Reply
    1. Boulder Steve

      My first Vegas show was Siegfried and Roy at the Frontier. Was with my parents and Dad tipped the guy who escorted us to our table. He said if you don’t tip you wind up sitting behind a pole😂

      Reply
      1. Mike Alexakis

        Your Dad was correct Steve, my first Vegas show was Wayne Newton at the Sands, my Dad is a Orthopedic Surgeon and he took care of a pit boss who got us comped, full two hour show, Wayne hustles… The Frontier always had picket lines in front…

        Reply
    2. Mike Alexakis

      I have no idea what happened to Vladimir, I bet he went back to Russia… I used to get the $5.99 New York Steak dinner at the Silver Slipper, I was a young buck and would order two of them…

      Reply

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