HomeEventsREVIEW — Cirque After Dark: Zumanity (Las Vegas)

REVIEW — Cirque After Dark: Zumanity (Las Vegas)

Cirque du Soleil often steps into the bizarre.

These productions are peculiar fantasies, usually gracefully strange and admirable in their eccentricity. And then there’s Zumanity: a risqué cavalcade of what-the-fuck-ness.

Described as “a celebration of sexuality and love” and the only adults-only Cirque show in Vegas, Zumanity is the sensual side of Cirque du Soleil and an orgy of sex humor and innuendos — sometimes clever, usually crass — with every joke or gag relating to human anatomy or sex acts. One doesn’t have to be a prude to be unamused by the low-hanging fruit that is Zumanity’s style of comedy, more suiting of an episode of Family Guy than a Las Vegas stage show.

Photo credit: Pierre Manning
Photo credit: Pierre Manning

Zumanity tends to go overboard with its unrestrained “R” rating, like a hormonal fourteen year old: everything is sexualized, everything is made dirty. Despite the show’s mature rating, what comes across is a juvenile level of immaturity unexpected of Cirque, whose other productions — namely Michael Jackson ONE, KA, The Beatles LOVE, and Mystère — manage to entertain and delight without coming across as unsophisticated.

Zumanity takes an unabashed ownership of its sexuality, sometimes embarrassingly so and without a trace of shame, its provocative sexual edge lending a kind of paranoia to the proceedings as performers prey on unsuspecting audience members, roping and groping Jane and John into the cast’s bubble of sexual deviance.

Photo credit: Pierre Manning
Photo credit: Pierre Manning

“Do you want to see some titties?” asks Dick, half of the Dick and Izzy clown duo, to a resounding “yes” from the audience. Surprisingly tasteful and restrained male and female nudity follows in-between the impressive feats of physicality and skill Cirque’s talented performers are best known for, with acts that include a sensual contortionist pairing in an oversized fishbowl, a rocking aerial chain swing, body dislocation, a hand to hand balancing act, pole dancing and walking, a cage and pole fight, a whip dance, aerial straps with a BDSM bend, and a pint-sized performer taking to the skies on nothing more than a sheet.

To more conservative show goers, Zumanity may be whittled down to raunchiness and perversion. To less conservative show goers willing to embrace a little less inhibition, Zumanity is a fun Thursday night out. Part cabaret and part burlesque, Zumanity is host to almost inhuman ability; the performers are as talented as you’ll see anywhere in Vegas, even if much of the talent on display is often overshadowed by F-bombs and bawdy one-liners.

Photo credit: Pierre Manning
Photo credit: Pierre Manning

The 18+ Zumanity can only be found at New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Tickets.

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