For those who’ve seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, the critically acclaimed “Varekai” will be a much different experience than any you’ve had before. The show plays April 22-26 at the Maverik Center in West Valley City.
Since its debut in Montreal in 2002, “Varekai” has played in 72 cities since its inception 13 years ago. By the nature of its title, which means “wherever” in the Romany language of the gypsies, “Varekai” is the powerful story of a young man finding his way through an adventure that’s both absurd and extraordinary.
“This production is different from many Cirque shows, in that it’s very theatrical,” said Vanessa Napoli, publicist for this production that is touring the western United States. “If you’re looking for deep meaning, it’s here. The show features great acrobatics, of course, loosely based on the story of Icarus.”
Icarus is a character in Greek mythology who, despite warnings, flew too close to the sun and fell to his death.
“The writer and director, Dominic Champagne, asked, ‘What if I could change the story, change the ending? What would that be?’’’ Napoli said. “How do you stand up after a fall? Varekai lands in a magical forest where he gets to know himself, wants his wings, and is in a bit of denial. It’s this story of rediscovery that leads him to a newly-found wonder of life’s mysteries.”
Napoli said the original show was refreshed a bit three months ago, and visually has changed quite a bit. She has personally seen the production “over a hundred times, and every time I watch it, I pick up something different. The show is constantly evolving, something you can see when you work with the cast every day like I get to do.”
Champagne said the production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to those whose quest and infinite passion leads along the path to Varekai.
More than 50 international performers and musicians, hailing from 19 different countries, make up the cast. There are currently 18 different Cirque shows being performed around the world, some of them permanent, such as those in Las Vegas, and some touring like “Varekai.”
“The challenge is always to create new shows that still awe people, while being different from our other shows,” Napoli said. “I think Utah audiences are going to love and be awed by ‘Varekai.’”
There will be a total of eight shows at the Maverik Center, with 7:30 p.m. performances April 22-24, two April 25 shows at 4 and 7:30 p.m., and three shows on April 26 at 1:30, 5 and 7:30 p.m. Ticket information is available at www.maverikcentertickets.net