Zumanity, the Cirque du Soleil show playing regularly at the New York New York in Las Vegas, is… interesting. There are some amazing acrobatics, and every seat offers a great view of the stage. However, you need to know what you are getting into. The show bills itself as a celebration of human sexuality, and it certainly isn’t appropriate for children. To give you a better idea of what to expect, I will divide this review into two sections. First, I will describe what happens before the show. Second, I will describe the show itself. A word to the wise: Sit on the upper level if you don’t want to become involved in the show.
We arrived approximately 20 minutes before the door opened, and there was already a line. If you already have your tickets in hand, however, there is no reason to get there early. The line goes quickly, and once into the theater you will be able to quickly find your seat. Please know that on the night we went, the line at Will Call was quite long. It would be better to print your tickets before arriving.
Once you arrive, decide if you want a cocktail. There was no waiter service during the show, and the only bar I noticed on the second floor was at the back. Prices, of course, were quite high. More surprisingly, the cocktail options were very limited. I picked up a few things for our group and quickly made my way back to our seats. That brings an important point: For most of the show, Zumanity does not allow photography. If you want shots of the theater, you need to do it before the performance starts or during the finale.
Well before the posted start of the show, some of the performers come on stage to start to warming up the audience. There are a few jokes, and the performers quickly make their way into the audience. Some audience members had the chance to come on stage. They asked others questions about their lovers or the random person accompanying them to the show. If you do not wish to participate in the show, it would be far better to sit on the second level. Reserve your seats accordingly.
Once the show started, there were some amazing performances. Yes, many of the performers are naked. Others are very nearly so. However, that is eclipsed by the sheer stagecraft of it all. The stage has several spots where the performers can rise from the floor. At times, performers literally swing from the rafters. The acrobatics were incredibly impressive.
Where this show may get uncomfortable is in its portrayal of human sexuality. The audience became involved in the act, and that clearly made at least one man profoundly uncomfortable. The actors did not respond to that. He was brought on stage while a series of women laid around him. He had a look on his face saying he wanted to leave, and the person with the microphone kept poking fun at him. In another instance, one member of the audience laid down on a bed while another member of the audience straddled him. They both had on all of their clothes. However, I can imagine that the partners with whom they were attending the show might well have been uncomfortable.
In summary, I am glad I saw this show. This was my first big production show in Las Vegas, and it was incredibly well done. That said, it turns out that I am just not much of a theater guy. I also felt bad for the people called up on stage, and I don’t think I was prepared for the content. I think I will go to a bar instead the next time I go to Las Vegas. (News Flash: Las Vegas has bars and other things to do!) If you go, get your drinks before the show starts, enjoy the incredible acrobatics, and know what you are about to see.