For nearly 40 years, Cirque du Soleil has become one of the most identifiable live entertainment brands out there. They’ve built up a solid reputation for themselves over the years, and for good reason. In particular, their shows have become a staple in Las Vegas, known for combining acrobatics, music, and more.
But even when you’ve got a formula that is as tried and true as theirs seems to be, sometimes you still need to find ways to reinvent yourself. The question is, how??
That is exactly what they did with their new Las Vegas show, Mad Apple. Before the show even starts, there’s a pre-show that immediately sets the bar of what you can expect. In the midst of the pre-show, the stage turns into a bar, and there’s comedians and magicians, and even a sword swallowing emcee. From there, the party atmosphere is set, and with drinks fully consumed, you’re ready to have a good time.
By the time the sword swallowing emcee is done – complete with a gag where he pulls a sword-like dildo out of his bag – you realize that this is clearly not your parent’s Cirque show.
Throughout the next hour and a half, the show delivers a party like atmosphere, that is a tribute to the New York club scene. While the other Cirque du Soleil shows focus more on an overall theme, this feels like a classic Vegas-style variety show. You’ve got music, dancing, magic, and even basketball on top of the acrobatic stunts you’ve come to expect. But even beyond that, you’ve got a big emphasis on comedy.
Harrison Greenbaum is the show’s resident comic. He’s been with the show since the beginning, and manages to incorporate both comedy and magic into the show. Greenbaum’s act also consists of a lot of crowd work, which he manages to tie back together by the end of his set. Also of note, and something that Greenbaum is quite proud of: he is the first person to ever say c*nt in a Cirque du Soleil show. The sword swallower at the start of the show unfortunately beat him to being the first person to say f*ck during a Cirque du Soleil show.
Greenbaum also serves as the show’s emcee, coming out to introduce other acts and even do an additional set. As a result, this has Mad Apple giving an even stronger emphasis on comedy. There is perhaps just as much comedy in this show as their is acrobatics, which is definitely a new territory for them.
All of the performers are top notch, as is the norm for any Cirque du Soleil production. Their knack for hiring the best of the best – many of whom had worked in previous shows – is on full display here. Anyone looking for traditional acrobatics will be pleased to know that is just as much a part of the show as all of the new elements are.
All in all, it’s good to see a proven brand taking a risk with a show like Mad Apple. If you go in there expecting it to be like every other Cirque show in Vegas, the show will definitely catch you by surprise. But if you’re just looking to have a good time at a superbly well done old-fashioned variety show with a Cirque du Soleil twist, Mad Apple will definitely deliver and then some!