It does, however, have a title, an “aesthetic” and, most important, a theater — which these days counts for a lot on Broadway. Paramour, the Montreal-based circus-acts-and-Nembutal-music bot’s first show fabricated specifically for Times Square, will even play in a Times Square theater — the Lyric, formerly known as the Foxwoods and before that as the Hilton and the Ford Center For The Performing Arts, and currently home to On The Town, which is concluding its run there.
Paramour previews are set to begin April 16, 2016, with a press opening on June 2 at the 42nd Street house. The producer is Broadway veteran Scott Zeiger, now head of Cirque du Soleil Theatrical.
Originally a non-profit experimental troupe, Cirque Du Soleil has evolved into a global commercial enterprise — it’s been taken over by TPG Capital and Bosun and it’s working with NBCU on the upcoming live telecast of The Wiz — with sit-down shows in Las Vegas and tours in major cities, under familiar blue-and-yellow tents. But a New York-centric product has proved elusive; Banana Shpeel was a 2010 failure.
Zeiger’s announcement calls Paramour “a landmark production for Cirque du Soleil, blending the best of Broadway with Cirque du Soleil’s signature style, to provide a new experience for both traditional Broadway musical theatergoers and Cirque du Soleil’s fans. The show will have many of the elements beloved on Broadway: a book-driven love story narrative, live musicians, and professional actors in lead roles; but with the Cirque du Soleil aesthetic integrated throughout the show: visionary production design on a grand scale, world class entertainment, and acrobatic feats that defy the imagination.”
If all that ambition seems awesome for one show, Cirque’s “aesthetic” is revealed in the latter part of the announcement: “Set in the glamorous world of Golden Age Hollywood, this groundbreaking event spins the tale of a beautiful young poet forced to choose between love and art. Featuring a cast that blends the best in circus arts and musical theatre, Paramour will transport you to a world of sublime beauty and emotion as it walks the exhilarating tightrope of the heart.”
Nowhere in the many paragraphs introducing Paramour is mention made of several elements typically expected in the announcement of a new Broadway musical, namely a dedicated book writer, composer and lyricist. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Still…)
“Under the artistic guidance of Jean-François Bouchard (Creative Guide), Paramour is directed by French stage director and choreographer Philippe Decouflé,” per the announcement. “Along with Decouflé, the creative team includes Pascale Henrot (associate creative director), West Hyler (associate creative director and scene director), Jean Rabasse (set designer), Philippe Guillotel (costume designer), Bob & Bill (composers), Daphné Mauger (choreographer), Patrice Besombes (lighting designer), Anne‐Séguin Poirier (props designer), Olivier Simola (projection designer), Christophe Waksmann (projection designer), John Shivers (sound designer), Shana Carroll (acrobatic choreographer), Boris Verkhovsky (acrobatic performance designer), Pierre Masse (rigging and acrobatic equipment designer), Nathalie Gagné (makeup designer), Pavel Kotov (casting – Montreal), and Telsey + Co (casting – New York).
Casting for the planned 38-member company of actors, dancers, aerialists, acrobats, and circus arts performers who will appear in Paramour will be announced shortly.