Troubled Cirque show closes early
Looks like Cirque du Soleil has officially slipped on “Banana Shpeel.” The vaudeville showcase will shutter its Gotham run at the Beacon Theater two months ahead of schedule.
Production has had a rep for being troubled since it was delayed and significantly retooled following a poorly reviewed tryout run in Chicago last year. In New York, notices also were generally downbeat.
Cirque has made no secret in the past of its desire to establish a year-round outpost in Gotham similar to the org’s slew of sit-down productions in Vegas. New York is regularly visited by Cirque tours, and holiday offering “Wintuk” has played an annual run at the theater at Madison Square Garden since 2007.
The shuttering of “Banana Shpeel,” written and directed by David Shiner (“Fool Moon”), seems to call into question the viability of a permanent Cirque show in Gotham. Still, it’s said the previously announced plan of bringing an annual summer offering to Radio City Music Hall next year remains on track.
According to reps for the show, “Shpeel” will head out on a national tour this fall.