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Paulanne Simmons

“Zarkana” Is Back - Don’t Miss It

Cirque du Soleil, "Zarkana" - Nostalgic Old Birds. Costumes by Dominique Lemieux. Photo by Al Seib.

Written and Directed by Francois Girard
Radio City Music Hall
1260 6th Avenue
From June 6, 2012
Tues. thru Fri. at 8pm, Sat at 3pm & 8pm, Sun. at 2pm & 7pm, Wed. matinees at 2pm
Tickets; $59 - $125 (866) 858-0008 or cirquedusoleil.com/zarkana
Closes Sept. 2, 2012
Reviewed by Paulanne Simmons June 14, 2012

For those who missed “Zarkana,” Cirque du Soleil’s surreal, acrobatic spectacle, there’s still a chance to enter into its exotic world. “Zarkana,” has returned to New York City this summer for a limited engagement at Radio City Music Hall, which ends September 2, 2012.

In the fashion familiar to anyone who has seen Cirque du Soleil productions, “Zarkana” blends mystery, magic and music in a breathtaking extravaganza that keeps both young and old on the edge of their seats.

Writer and director Francois Girard has gathered a troupe of aerialists, acrobats, clowns, singers from all over the world. Dressed in glittering, flamboyant costumes and surrounded by smoke, fire and colored lights, these men and women fly through the air, balance on the high wire and jump rope on the “Wheel of Death.” In between these death-defying feats, clowns engage in crowd-pleasing antics.

One particularly unusual act is Erika Chen’s sand painting of bizarre and beautiful pictures, which are projected on a screen above the stage. And Anatoly Zalevskiy’s hand balancing proves that there is no limit to what one can do with the human body.

The ringmaster is Zark (Christian Goguen), who strides across majestically the stage singing strange “Cirquish” (the invented language Cirque du Soleil has made famous) songs with unfathomable words. Meetu Chilana, the female lead singers, adds her powerful voice to the musical mix.

“Zarkana” runs 90 minutes, just long enough to enthrall, and has no intermission that might break the spell. The important thing is not to blink or you may miss something.

This fall “Zarkana” will take up permanent residence in Las Vegas. That’s a long way from New York City. Don’t wait.

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