by Asuka Spangler, JOUR 3000
|This all changed last month.
Now, appearing on stage in bright colorful costumes, everything
from body contortionists and trapeze artists to Polynesian
dancing and statue acts will be presented in the New Cirque
Hawai‘i has never seen this kind of show before,” said
Miwa Ogletree, Cirque Hawai‘i assistant manager for sales
and marketing. “I can guarantee it’ll be a huge success
. . . something totally different,” she added.
According to company literature, Cirque Hawai‘i is “a
multimillion dollar, state- of-the-art theatrical entertainment” and “a
show sure to tickle your senses, showcasing world-famous and
With up to 70 vertical feet available for aerial apparatus and
a one-of-a-kind stage exclusively designed for the show, as well
as featuring surround sound and spectacular lighting, Cirque
Hawai‘i lends itself to dramatic use of aerial performances.
The show will be “a talented and exotic blend of strength,
balance, humor, skill, beauty, and grace. Cirque Hawai‘i
will be sure to appeal to audiences both young and old alike
for an hour and a half,” according to company literature.
It is a modern circus stage show,” said Tuffy Nicholas,
producer of Cirque Hawai‘i, who confirmed that it is much
like the famous Cirque du Soleil. In fact, both the general manager
and director of Cirque Hawai‘i previously worked for the
more famous show.
Cirque Hawai‘i will bring together more than 40 performers
and 15 world-renowned acts, Nicholas added, including clowns,
bungee jumpers, contortionists, trapeze artists, Polynesian warriors,
and more. Some of the more famous acts include the teeterboard,
transformation, flying silk, Russian bar, skip rope, and statues.
This show will [also] feature Polynesian dancing, and that really
shows the influence of having the show in Hawai‘i,” said
Kala Mia, sales and marketing manager. “No where else will
you find a finale such as this one, except in Hawai‘i.”
The Polynesian warriors portion will feature native dancing from
Hawai‘i, Samoa, New Zealand, and Australia.
Mia works for Best International Marketing, a company that deals
with the majority of optional attractions available to tourists,
handling everything from dolphin cruises to Society of Seven
So why Hawai‘i? Nicholas, smiling, said “for several
reasons.” After touring with the Moscow State Circus and
traveling to Hawai‘i to do a show, “We saw a potential
for live stage shows. We were just lucky enough to find a suitable
I think this is an excellent idea for the tourists,” Mia
added. “It’s great because it’ll appeal to
everybody, not just the Japanese. It’s also a show that
a grandfather could watch with his three-year-old grandson, and
they’ll enjoy it just the same.”
They only thing I’m upset about is not thinking of an idea
like this myself,” he added.
Not everyone shares the group’s expectations of success.
Nori Nobuyuki, a tour agent at the Honolulu International Airport,
said: “I don’t think the show will be that successful.
We see stage shows come and go all the time in this industry.
Take the John Hirokawa magic show for example,” Nobuyuki
continued. “When it first came out, even all the locals
were crazy about it, and that’s why it was able to be located
in the Hilton. But they had to change the location of the show
to a smaller place, the Waikiki Beachcomber, where it is now,
because, in my opinion, it was not making enough revenue.”
Linda Hirokawa, assistant manager of planning and contracts at
Jalpak, one of Hawai‘i’s leading Japanese tour companies,
said: “It’s hard to tell, although I think it will
do well. The stage shows that we have now, like the magic show
and the one at the Princess Kaiulani Hotel, although they are
great shows, they’ve been on for a long time now, so I
think it’s really good to see something fresh.” She
added: “It’s also nice to see something that’s
not your typical Hawai‘i Polynesian show. Although the
show doesn’t really have a Hawai‘i theme, I still
think that it’ll do really well among the Japanese tourists.”
Cirque Hawai‘i opened Dec. 17 with a black tie, invitation-only
grand opening on Jan. 6. The show offers three different packages
ranging from $55 to $130 a ticket for two shows nightly except
for Wednesdays, at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. For reservations call the
box office at 808-922-0017.
I’m stoked to see the show,” said Kerry Say, a student
at Honolulu Community College. “Before this you only saw
this kind of stuff on TV.” She has already ordered tickets
for the show.