Las Vegas is an ever-changing landscape of new restaurants, slot machines, hotels and entertainment. Cirque du Soleil for years has dominated the strip with a whopping seven shows for quite some time now. Their newest show “R.U.N”, which has been in previews for weeks and officially opening November 14, has gotten some scathing feedback online from those who have seen early performances.
“R.U.N” (which stands for “Are You In?” *groan*) steps far outside the box from what you’ve come to know and love about Cirque du Soleil since Mystere debuted on the strip in 1993. Instead of a show made up of mostly acrobats, jugglers and trapeze artists, “R.U.N” is a 90 minute live-action stunt show.
Keep in mind, this new show debuting at the Luxor replaces Criss Angel’s previous 10-year run at the pyramid shaped resort. That show (in it’s various iterations and formats) was one of the worst rated entertainment options on the strip. “R.U.N” uses the exact same (yet modified) theater and so far, it seems that it may be rated even worse by the general public on review sites.
Keep in mind, in 2019 most people rely on word of mouth via friends or websites like TripAdvisor where people can leave honest reviews. At the end of the day, you and I may not agree on what constitutes as a show being worth your entertainment dollar, but these review sites are a pretty good indicator of how well a show is liked or disliked by the general public. “R.U.N” doesn’t seem to be doing so well.
Pictured above are the overall scores for “R.U.N” on TripAdvisor as of the writing of this article. Out of the 58 reviews so far, 43 out of 58 people rate the show as poor or terrible. That’s truly abysmal for a company like Cirque du Soleil that cranks out hit after hit. So what are people saying?
Ron N mentions a common theme most negative reviews complain about, loud music and effects. Good news, staff members are ready to hand out earplugs whenever necessary!
John B says he’d rather see a show put on by a class of Kindergartners. However, he echoes the same sentiment that nearly all the negative reviews have mentioned thus far: this doesn’t live up to the Cirque name. More on that in a minute.
Most importantly, there seems to be a decent amount of people walking out of “R.U.N”. It’s pretty terrible that lost of reviews mention theater patrons leaving before the performance is over. Especially from the company known as the biggest name for entertainment on the Las Vegas Strip.
Now we move on to the handful of positive reviews for this show. I’m not saying that there is foul play here, but some of these reviews strike me as suspicious. Like the one above. It almost reads like a press release in the form of a review.
Again, “I felt like I was on a ride, I was just waiting for our seats to move” feels a bit… forced… from someone who randomly bought a ticket to this show. Without question this review seems a little defensive in nature. As a matter of fact, most of the positive reviews are not only over-the-top glowing, they seem to come from a defensive position.
At the end of the day, the point of this article is not to poke fun of Cirque du Soleil for a show that seems to be getting pretty terrible reviews right out of the gate. To the contrary, it’s stories like these that themed entertainment can learn from. Was it too big of a risk stepping so far out of their comfort zone? Are audiences ready for something this far out-of-the-box on the Las Vegas Strip?
Most importantly, how will Cirque du Soleil react if these reviews (and their own data collection) skews towards negative? Without question, they knew this was going to be a gamble stepping outside of their usual acrobatic box.
Seeing what happens in the coming weeks and months with this show will be very interesting. What tweaks can be made? Can they convince an intellectual property to be involved with a working show already in place? (I have no doubt those conversations happened during the design phase.)
What do you think? Should companies like Cirque du Soleil step so far outside of their box that the public doesn’t know how to react to a show like “R.U.N.”? Or is the concept fine, but show itself is just not relatable enough for a Las Vegas audience?
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