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‘Mad Apple’ by Cirque du Soleil celebrates New York City’s culture in Las Vegas debut

by Susan and Simon Veness

“Mad Apple,” Cirque du Soleil’s newest Las Vegas production, made its debut performance on May 26, 2022 at New York-New York Hotel & Casino, marking the first time Cirque has added stand-up comedy to its high-energy shows.

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Photos by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for Mad Apple

Headliner comedians Brad Wilson and Harrison Greenbaum joined freestyle comedy rapper Chris Turner in a lineup of rowdy improv along with music, dance, and high-flying acrobatics for which Cirque shows are known.

“Mad Apple” celebrates the best of New York City’s music scene, past and present, led by musical director Xharlie Black and backed by five lead vocalists and a five-piece band.

Also featured are six daring acrobatic acts, blending the concepts of circus, live entertainment, and New York nightlight culture into one 48-cast-member performance.

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“We are thrilled to get the joyous ‘Mad Apple’ party started in Las Vegas,” said Simon Painter, executive producer and co-creator of “Mad Apple.” “From the moment guests enter the theater, they are whisked away to one of the most beloved cities in the world with a show that fuses hilarious acts from multiple comedians and daring acrobatics with the entertainment and eclecticism of New York City. It’s a crazy celebration straight away, and we can’t wait for guests from around the world to see it.”

The “show” begins even before the main show starts as guests are welcomed into the theater 45 minutes prior to the curtain rising, for a pre-show party with a Studio 54 vibe. The party features booze-fueled drinks at the DownStage and UpStage Bars, talented bartenders, up-close magicians, entertainers, and live music.

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During the main performance, audience members are transported to all five of New York City’s boroughs, from Uptown to Downtown, and to the tips of skyscrapers and “everything in between,” with Lady Liberty’s 31-foot-long signature headpiece as the inspiration for a feature at the top of the stage.

To kick off the show, the DownStage Bar transforms into the stage, with the Chrysler Tower as its backdrop.

The UpStage Bars, designed to look like an upscale New York club, features 600 bottles lining the bar’s wall, which illuminate with a color-changing LED liquid throughout the show.

“Mad Apple” is a collaboration between Black, co-creator Simon Painter, Neil Dorward, Cirque du Soleil, and Painter’s company, The Works, which was purchased by Cirque du Soleil in 2019.

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“‘Mad Apple’ is a completely new approach to Cirque du Soleil entertainment,” said Eric Grilly, Cirque du Soleil president of resident and affiliate show divisions. “It’s an action-packed experience designed for today’s audience, who increasingly want to consume entertainment as they do content – in an exciting, highly compelling, and ever-shifting manner. With ‘Mad Apple’ you never know what’s coming next, from vocals, off-script comedy, and live music with our horns and drum line, to acrobatics, all wrapped up in an incredibly fun party atmosphere that differentiates it from other shows.”

Due to the adult-oriented nature of the show, children under the age of 16 are not permitted. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

“Mad Apple” performances take place Friday-Tuesday, with two shows nightly at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Schedule varies on select dates.

Tickets are $59 per person and are available on MadAppleLV.com.

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