Click the photo for Cirque du Soleil.
There is something new under the Las Vegas sun — Zumanity, by Cirque du Soleil, at New York-New York Hotel and Casino.
Zumanity has been artfully staged for several years, but the creative producers have revamped and literally vamped up the show to make it more contemporary, with new acts and actors and humorous storylines.
Zumanity is still the most sensual of all the Cirque shows in Vegas, filled with provocative cabaret-style sexual twists. On the cutting edge of trendy Las Vegasentertainment, the adult-themed 90-minute production blends playful innuendo with daring eroticism in the intimate Zumanity Theatre.
Zumanity is a sexual treasury of libidinous fantasies. It is all at once romantic, hot-blooded, naughty, funny, and voyeuristic. Billed as an adult show, it, explores human sexuality using mood, dance, acrobatics, and scenes that play out in artistically lustful couplings or triangulations or in groups, as in orgies, some even involving the audience. From the moment one enters the theater one’s sensual senses are aroused. What happens in Vegas probably happens in Zumanity.
On the walls, deep, rich reds bleed to burgundy with patterns reminiscent of dark watermarks. The setting is interesting, pleasant to the eye, a mental aphrodisiac that will help prepare the audience for the extraordinary show they are about to witness.
Once inside the 1,261-seat Zumanity Theater the atmosphere is charged with sexual electricity. There are love seats for two, cabaret stools, and traditional seating. The ambiance is a mix of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and a European masked ball. There is action before the action, and if you’ve brought your Zumartini or a glass of champagne, you’ll be all the more ready to let your hair down.
Zumanity’s newest version of one act plays sees once again the team work of writers and directors Dominic Champagne and René Richard Cyr, and with the collaboration of Andrew Watson, Director of Creation, and with exquisite choreography by Debra Brown.
Cirque du Soleil is famous for aerials.
Zumanity is a history of sex, sin, sensuality, and sometimes sorrow. Since the dawn of time, the joining of bodies, that thirst for each other, has always been the highest rapture, the most joyous mystery, and the greatest revolutionary force. Eroticism is a cry for ecstasy, for freedom, and in most acts Zumanity has chosen to celebrate it joyfully, naturally, with splendor and humanity.
For Dominic Champagne, the circus signifies a return to his roots. At the age of 20, penniless and alone in Greece, he joined the circus, becoming a circus boy! What did the experience teach him? “The circus is a place where fraternity is possible and where the clashing of cultures is an exceptional source of creativity. The multi-ethnic environment at Cirque du Soleil is inspiring. It feeds my creative universe.”
Zumanity has signature trapeze gymnastics that Cirque du Soleil is famous for, but the new Zumanity weaves tighter stories in with the grandiose theatrics to bring you vignettes of your core humanity, like a flashlight shining in the dark, highlighting a seductive wink, a torrid kiss, a racing pulse, a flushed face, a curious hand, or a tingle in every pore until you quiver with delight — that is what Zumanity delivers.
Many of the acts are built around beautiful and athletic bodies, exotic costumes, some nudity, live music, comedy, fancy choreography, men in drag, and impressive acrobatics.
Are drag queens sexy? There’s a whole subculture built around alternative lifestyles. Zumanity is hosted by the “Mistress of Sensuality” Edie (famed drag diva Christopher Kenney) and distinguished by an unconventional culture of artists with a candid exposition of eroticism; the production renders a tale of emotional freedom, natural beauty and acceptance of differences. I felt like I should be doing something illegal.
The show opens with “Wind” where all at once a storm sweeps over the stage as Marcela, Queen of the Wind, summons the spirits in a fevered flamenco dance. With smoldering intensity, her hypnotic dance stirs the soul, arouses the imagination and prepares the senses for an uninhibited transformation.
The brilliant lighting makes the theater warm and welcoming, and then transitions into complicated illuminations that compliment each act. The show contains some surprising sets such as the “Waterbowl”. Abandoning their innocence, two sweet and pure contortionists wash away their inhibitions and taste love for the first time. Fluidly they glide through the water, striking an amazing array of sensual poses and exploring their physical, sexual, and creative limits all at once. This is an effective device that has the audience losing all inhibitions.
2Men grapple with lust.
Zumanity is designed to open one’s mental windows, letting the air of opportunity and experimentation titillates the libido. In “2Men” lovers Gabriel and LJ dance a tumultuous tango. Through their fierce choreography, a passionate story of love and anger unfolds over a woman. Again and again they attract and repel in intense conflict until the magnetic energy between them becomes more than they can bear as it turns into a Gladiator cage fight, somewhere between wrestling and ballet. Their flawless movements thrust the two kindred spirits into a provocative tale of lust with a poignant ending.
In “Hoops” Julia brings schoolgirl fantasies to life. She gyrates and swivels as she guides her hoops up and down her lithe frame. Dreams take flight as she soars through the air, performing daring feats of aerial choreography.
Even the men in the audience came to appreciate “Rose Boy”. Willie Bronco peels away his tough exterior and tight fitting jeans to expose his weakness . . . for the ladies. He tantalizes and teases the audience by revealing his chiseled body bit by bit in a sinfully seductive striptease.
The show is multicultural with 47 cast members in the “human zoo”. The creators of Zumanity have been refining it since its opening in 2003, and they will presumably keep making changes.
The music by Simon Carpentier, as with all Cirque shows, sets the tone of many acts, such as the finale, “Extravaganza”. A fanfare of horns and drums announces the conclusion of the show. One by one, the cast members make their fashionable entrance, parading down the catwalk in costumes every bit as vibrant, bold, and diverse as their spectrum of talents and personalities. It’s an incandescent finale to the colorful cast of performers who have guided the audience on their journey into the world of Zumanity, the “human zoo”.
If you are celebrating anything to do with love, or you simply find this seductive theme fascinating, Zumanity is a hot ticket.
Zumanity performs Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday through Sunday at 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. There are no performances on Mondays or Thursdays.
To Reserve Tickets:
Call 866/606-7111 or 702/740-6815. Go to www.Zumanity.com or www.nynyhotelcasino.com. Visit the Zumanity ticket office at New York-New York or any of the MGM MIRAGE box offices. Zumanity was created for adults, 18 and over.
Groups: For group reservations of 15 or more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, visit the Cirque du Soleil website at www.cirquedusoleil.com
— Feature by Kriss Hammond, Editor, f Jetsetters Magazine. Photos courtesy of Cirque du Soleil.