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Things to know about Cirque Du Soleil’s ‘Zarkana’ before it ends Saturday

On Saturday, Cirque du Soleil will close the curtains on “Zarkana” at Aria to make way for a $154 million convention center expansion.

With the performers taking their final bow, here are a few things you may not know about the show described as a “Rock-Opera Circus”:

Here, there and everywhere

When “Zarkana” closes, the show will have had 2,053 performance. Of those shows, 381 were performed in New York City, Madrid and Moscow, while 1,672 were at Aria in Las Vegas.

When it was time for “Zarkana” to replace Aria’s original Cirque show, “Viva Elvis,” transporting the shows elaborate set from Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall to Las Vegas required a fleet of 65 tractor-trailer trucks.

Additionally, the team of 77 performers of “Zarkana” is comprised of 14 nationalities, coming from the U.S., Russia, Lebanon, Switzerland and Kazakhstan. Of these artists, four performers have never missed a single show.

“Zarkana” covers some ground

One of “Zarkana’s” most beloved acts, the “wheel of death,” will have traveled 780 miles in rotations by the time the curtains close. Per show, the wheel generally spins 50-54 times.

If that isn’t interesting enough, take this for a spin.

When the “wheel of death” artists are outside of the wheel, they’re 30 feet up from the ground.

The art of “Zarkana”

To help actors achieve such dramatic, circus-like appearance with their make-up, most of the looks require at least 20 different products.

As a result, the show runs through approximately 30 pairs of false eyelashes per month. Since making its debut at Aria in late 2012, about 1,260 pairs of false eyelashes will have been used to outfit performers.



Three more makeups! #zarkana #cirquedusoleil #endings #newbeginnings #makeup #castafiore #cirque

A video posted by Briana Rossi (@ollieandmecho) on


Handcrafted masterpiece

To maintain the more than 250 custom-made costumes that are produced at Cirque’s headquarters in Montreal, the wardrobe team does 26 loads of laundry per day. That’s more than 20,000 loads since opening at Aria.

In addition to custom-made costumes, every wig that is worn in “Zarkana” — 35 are worn in each show — is made by hand to specifically fit each performer.

With the process requiring a precise mold be made of each actor, it takes 40-50 hours to build a single custom wig.

It’s all in the details

• The apprentice’s coat, which is only seen on stage for 90 seconds, has 58 useable pockets.

• There are 65 to 80 foam balls attached to the “Jovian” costume with velcro.

• It takes 7,200 square feet of fabric to create the red “comets” seen flying across the stage during the finale.

• The musicians’ costumes, known as “the Litz,” have 8-foot-long tails on the coats.

• To create the more than 150 feet of “snakes” on the “Zarkana” arches, designers carved snakes out of styrofoam, then covered the 8- to 12-foot sections in plaster that were then covered with resin. To finish it off, each mold was hand-painted.

• Each “cyr wheel” weighs about 45 pounds and is custom-made for the performer based on their height



A photo posted by @skyconcerts on


For fans looking to catch the show one last time before it closes Saturday evening, head to: www.cirquedusoleil.com/las-vegas.

All numbers and information courtesy of Cirque Du Soleil.

Contact Caitlin Lilly at clilly@reviewjournal.com. Find her on Twitter: @caitielilly_

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