That line caught my attention in an article in the Globe and Mail today about two of Cirque du Soleil’s new shows that have apparently been ‘plagued by rewrites, firings and plain old bad buzz’.
The line is from Mike Weatherford, a long-time Las Vegas observer who has followed Cirque du Soleil's fortunes for the Review-Journal.
From the Globe article:
He suggests that Cirque needs to conquer new areas of entertainment if it wants to continue to grow without cannibalizing it own audience. As well, he adds, the company's new projects need to move away from Cirque's colourful, gibberish-filled comfort zone. “Viva Elvis , much more than the Beatles's Love , will have to show that they can Americanize their production and aesthetic,” says Weatherford. “An Elvis show can't look French-Canadian.”
Will Cirque du Soleil be able to turn around Banana Shpeel and Viva Elvis in the next two months, before their official openings finally take place? Laliberté's team does have a long and storied history of saving the day, so don't call either show a flop just yet.
Interesting observation. I always thought that the Cirque was French-Canadian beyond its name no matter where it performed on the planet. Its performers may come from around the globe but its DNA is distinctly French-Canadian. You feel it in several small details including the accent of the announcer reminding you to turn off your cell phone before the show begins. I always thought that it was part of its global appeal. We’ll see how it can expand its appeal without losing that part of its DNA. It’s worth noting that Celine Dion lost the accent on Céline but never lost her accent. That does not seem to have been an issue for her fans around the world - many I presume are also Elvis fans.
By the way, while an Elvis show can’t perhaps look French-Canadian, a French-Canadian can most definitely look like Elvis. Just ask Elvis Gratton.