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Mystère is a resident Cirque du Soleil production written and directed by Franco Dragone. It is the seventh Cirque du Soleil production since 1984, the first Cirque du Soleil permanent resident show, and the longest-running production to date. Mystère is about the origins of life and the human preoccupation within the universe.[1] Mystère premiered on December 25, 1993, at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, in Las Vegas, NV.

History[]

The following are performance milestones Mystère has achieved:

  • Mystère celebrated their 20th anniversary on 25 December 2013.
  • Mystère celebrated their 10,000th show on 27 December 2014.
  • Mystère celebrated their 11,111th show on 17 May 2017.

Production[]

In 1990, Guy Laliberté pitched to the executives of Caesars Palace a resident show based around the themes of Greek and Roman mythology. According to Laliberté, the initial plans for the resident show were scrapped. "Mystère was developed for Caesar's Palace, but during a presentation to the board, they said it would be too risky and esoteric for a town like Las Vegas", Laliberté stated.[1]

According to Mystère set designer Michel Crête, "Las Vegas was still very influenced by Les Folies Bergère with the scarves, feather boas, etc. There was a European culture already in place, oddly enough, not an American one. The people who opened the door for something new were Siegfried and Roy. They were the first to move away from the Folies Bergère thing."[1]

Due to the previous partnership with The MGM Mirage with the resident touring show Nouvelle Expérience, Steve Wynn was interested in creating a permanent show at the upcoming new casino; the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino. In the beginning, the creative team was under tremendous pressure due to Mystère being the first permanent resident show and the MGM Mirage's investment into the project.[1] The themes of Greek and Roman mythology were expanded upon into themes of general mythology, the universe, and the origins of life.[1]

After seeing a preview of Mystère, Wynn was less than convinced about its prospects. "Steve Wynn said 'You guys have made a German opera here' ", Laliberté recalled," 'Franco answered. 'You just gave me the best compliment I've ever heard'."[1]

Mystère premiered at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino on December 25, 1993, becoming the first permanent Cirque du Soleil resident show in Las Vegas Nevada. Mystère now is currently one of seven Cirque du Soleil productions in Las Vegas.

Set and Technical Information[]

MystereStage.jpg

The Mystère theater was created by set designer Michel Crête and the Montreal-based Theater Design group Scéno Plus. The theater seats 1,541 audience members and measures 74,000 square feet.[2] The stage measures 121 feet wide by 70 feet deep. The floor of the stage is made from a layer of Base Mat which helps performers during tumbling. The Base Mat is held together by polyurethane adhesive and covered with thousands of gallons of liquid that dries onto the surface. The circus ring has a diameter of 36 feet and includes a 28-foot revolving stage. The revolving stage rotates up to 10 revolutions per minute. Behind the ring, there are three computer-controlled stage lifts with a capacity of 300 lbs. per square foot.[2]

There are 1,100 spotlights in the showroom with 731 lighting cues. The audio system contains 78 speakers controlled by custom-designed software by Level Control Systems. In the audio booth, a computer technician is able to draw on a computer screen the sound trajectory through the speakers.[2]

The inflatable snail called "Alice the Escargot" was created by Big Air Productions.[3] The snail is controlled by four puppeteers inside the snail to which they control her eyes, torso, and tail. The puppeteers move the snail around by following markings on the floor since there is no see through the mesh on the puppet.[4]

The taiko drums in Mystère are created by the Japanese company Asano Taiko, located in Mattō, Ishikawa Prefecture. The largest drum in Mystère is the ōdaiko, which is 6 feet (1.8 m) in diameter and 15 feet (4.6 m) in length, and weighs half a ton. Due to the large size of the drum, it had to be brought into the theatre during construction. Since the completion of the theater, the drum can not be removed, as no door is large enough to accommodate it.[5]

Costume Design[]

Costume designer Dominique Lemieux was inspired by nature to create the costumes of Mystère. The firebird costume has red feathers and accents to give the impression of embers flying through the air. The Spermatos and Spermatites costumes are elongated costumes which bulge in the center and have a tendril-like feature on the head. To give the characters an organic nature, spandex/lycra was used in conjunction with fringes and borders[6]

Characters[]

Current Characters[]

  • Moha-Samedi ( The Pink Guy ): Named after the first day of the new millennium, he is the narrator of Mystère that nobody listens to.[7]
  • Les Bébés ( Les Épouvantables ): Two babies that represent the primitive human states of hunger and selfishness.[8]
    • Bébé François ( The Big Baby ): A giant baby boy with a bottle, pacifier, and baby bonnet. He plays with a giant rubber ball.
    • Baby Girl: A young girl dressed in pajamas and pig slippers with a pink bow on her head. She carries a stuffed animal named Alice the Escargot.
  • Brian Le Petit: An outsider to the world of Mystère. He is a trouble maker who takes audience members to the wrong seats, dumps popcorn on people, and interrupts and mocks the show.
  • Chanteuses Plumes: The singers of Mystère.
  • Red Bird ( The Firebird ): The Red Bird attempts to fly even though he physically can't. They perform during the Plache act.
  • La Vache à Lait: A symbol of fertility, La Vache à Lait is the protector of Les Bébés. When they sound their horn, it heralds a rebirth and a new beginning.[8]
  • Inti X & Y ( Spermatos/Spermatites ): Symbols of the seeds of life. They perform during the Plache act.
  • La Belle: La Belle represents the mystery of beauty, timeless and fleeting.[8]
  • The Black Widow ( The Black Virgin ): The Black Widow is the contrast to La Belle. She destroys the dreams of her victims.[8]
  • The Mountain Man ( Gabriel ): Finest of the Les Laquais, he is ready to sacrifice everything.
  • The Green Lizards: The Green Lizards are mischevious chameleons.
  • The Double Faces ( The Asicots ): The Double Faces hid their identities in constant search of their own identities. They perform during the Chinese Poles / Hand Balancing Act.[8]
  • Les Laquais ( The Archangels ): Foot soldiers of Mystère. They perform during the Plache Act.
  • The Birds of Prey ( The Pets ): The Birds of Prey soar throughout Mystère. Graceful, but aggressive when hungry.[8]
  • The Yellow Bird ( Stas / La Puce ): A yellow imp who performs during the hand balancing act.
  • The Palmtrees ( Les Palmiers ): A group of four floral women.
  • The Frogs: Yellow frogs that are witnesses to the birth of time. They roll on rolling globes.
  • The Bungee Warriors: Two performers who perform during the Bungee Act.
  • The Tribe ( Les Pagnes ): Drummers of the Taiko Drums Act.
  • The Giants: Gentle creatures of the world of Mystère. They contain The Pumpkin Giant, The Giraffe Giant, The Egg Giant, and The Fly Giant.
  • Mephisto and Vénus: Part of the Giants race though they are aggressive, devilish, and want to create chaos. They spawn underneath the world of Mystère.
  • Alice the Escargot: Faithful companion of Baby Girl. Alice grows in size throughout the show.

Retired Characters[]

  • Egon Egli (1993- 1994): A young kid with glasses who rides his bike throughout the show. Appeared on stage during the preshow.
  • Benny Le Grand ( 1993 - 1995, 1996 - 2000 ): The original clown of Mystère. A troublemaker who would guide audience members to the wrong seats, harass ticket holders, examining the content of women's purses, throw popcorn at the audience, and interrupt and mock the show. He was also the original character to drive a go-cart with an audience member on stage.
  • Alfredo et Adrenaline (1995 - 1996): Originally from the Cirque du Soleil production Le Cirque Reinventé and the Circus Knie collaboration Knie Presents Cirque du Soleil, Alfredo & Adrénaline are a clown duo that would often bicker during their performance, but makeup in the end.
  • Alex El Sobrino ( 1998 - 2000 ): The Spanish nephew of Benny Le Grand. Would understudy for Benny. Portrayed by Alex Navarro.
  • The Prince of the Darkness ( 1993 - 1994 ): The prince of the darker side of Mystère.
  • La Banane: A yellow creature with a large head representing a Tube coral.
  • The Shaman: A mysterious man who creates the sounds of the world.
  • The Medusa ( 1993 -1995 ): A long-appendaged creature.
  • The Satyr ( The Green Man ) ( 1997 - 1998 ): A curly-horned creature.
  • The Living Doll ( Tony ) ( 1993 - 1995 ): A living doll who originally performed the hand-balancing act. The Doll would also perform a handstand on an audience members hands.
  • The Zucchinis: Two inflatable marionettes appeared during the trapeze setup.

Acts[]

  • Pre-Show: Brian Le Petit wanders through the audience showing people to the wrong seats and dumping popcorn on people.
  • Welcome / Ventriloquism: Moha-Samedi comes out on stage and states Mystère's theater policies and fire safety codes.
  • Opening: La Vache à Lait sounds his Shofar Ram horn to signal the birth of Les Bébés. Taiko drums descend from the ceiling.
  • Clown Act: Baby François / Baby Girl: Baby François or Baby Girl is left on stage by himself. They decide to plays ball with the audience. They name one of them as their "mother" or "father".
  • Aerial Straps Duo: Two artists perform an aerial straps duo act.
  • Chinese Poles / Hand Balancing: The Double Faces perform on Chineses Poles as the Yellow Bird hand balances on canes above. Hand balancing was originally done by the character called The Doll.
  • Clown Act: No Photos Allowed: Brian ascends from the stage via a ladder and starts taking pictures of the audience. Moha-Samedi reminds Brian of the no photographs policy.
  • Clown Act: Bottle: Baby François is high above the stage. He tries to reach for his baby bottle hanging below.
  • Hand To Hand: Two artists perform a hand to hand routine on a rotating dome.
  • Aerial Silks: An aerialist descends from the ceiling to perform on aerial silks over the hand to hand dome.
  • Bungee: A group of aerialist performs a choreographed bungee sequence.
  • Interlude: Go Cart: Baby François or Baby Girl drives a go-cart and picks up his or her "mother" or "father" and drives them on stage dressed like them. ( Originally done by Benny La Grand. )
  • Planche ( Teeterboard / Power Track ): The Les Laquais, the Red Bird, The Spermatos, and The Spermatites perform on the Teeterboard, and on a power track.
  • Interlude: Deus Ex Machina ( Contemporary Dance ): The Green Lizards and The Birds of Prey perform a dance on stage before the stage descends.
  • Clown Act: Box Trick: Brian Le Petit invites an audience member on stage to perform a trick. Moha-Samedi has had enough of Brian's shenanigans. ( Original act had The Mystère Usher instead of Moha-Samedi. )
  • Flying Trapeze: Originally from the Cirque du Soleil production Zed, a group of trapeze arts swings between trapezes. Each side has two trapeze bars.
  • Taiko Drums: A group of drummers performs on Japanese Taiko drums.
  • Finale: Alice the Escargot is displayed on stage as the cast comes out for the final bow.

  • Aerial Straps: The Black Widow or La Bella performs on aerial straps.

  • Aerial Cube (1996, 1998 – 2017): An artist ascends from the stage to perform in the air with a cubed frame.
  • Aerial High Bar (1996 - 2012): A group of acrobats performs on six aerial high bars and swing from one cradle to another below.
  • Bolero / Paint ( Clown Act ) (1995 - 1996): Alfredo & Adrénaline are trying to perform a musical number. The two start fighting and throwing paint at each other. Originally performed in Le Cirque Reinventé and in Knie Presents Cirque du Soleil.
  • Birds of Prey ( Contemporary Dance ): The Birds of Prey and the Green Lizards perform a contemporary dance duet on the hand to hand dome. This was a replacement by the Aerial Silks Act.
  • Flying Man in Silk ( Flying Man ) (1997): An performer flies above the audience in a flying man act.
  • Manipulation ( 1993 - 1995 ): The original opening act where three jugglers manipulate various juggling balls. This act includes contact juggling and juggling a ball on bent metal plates. The act was moved to the touring show Quidam in 1995.
  • The Mime ( Clown Act ) (1995 - 1996): Alfredo starts performing as a mime, but Adrénaline keeps interrupting. Originally performed in Le Cirque Reinventé and in Knie Presents Cirque du Soleil.
  • Planche ( Teeterboard / Trampoline / Power Track) (1993 - 2017): The Les Laquais, the Red Bird perform on the Teeterboard, a set of trampolines, and on a power track.

  • Music[]

    The music for Mystère was originally composed by René Dupéré who had previously worked on Cirque du Soleil's early productions. On November 8, 1994, a studio recording of the Mystère soundtrack was released containing music for the early acts of Mystère.

    In 1995, Mystère went under an overhaul changing the acts, characters, and music. The renovation of the music was redone by Benoît Jutras. For the 25th anniversary of Mystère, another live album was produced for employees in a very limited quantity.

    For more information on the original songs featured in Mystère, please visit Mystère (Soundtrack). For the 1996 live recording of the Mystère soundtrack, please visit Mystère: Live In Las Vegas. For the 25th anniversary live recording of the 2018 Mystère soundtrack, please visit Mystère: Live 25.

    Vocalists:[]

    The Chanteuses Plumes:

    • Singer 1
      • Nathalie Gauvin: December 1993 to December 2005
      • Jeannette D' Armand: 2000
      • Mirjana Milovanovic: January 2006 to July 2007
      • Sarah Boucher: July 2007 - September 2009
      • Silje Marie Norderhaugh: September 2009 to January 2013
      • Anna Bille (On extended leave): January 2013 to December 2014, August 2017 to Present
      • Kailee Ann: December 2014 - August 2017
      • Mackenzie Thomas: April 2018 - Present
    • Singer 2
      • Elise "Gouin" Velle: December 1993 to September 1994
      • Wendy Talley: September 1994 to December 1997, 1998
      • Chantal Hamel: December 1997 to July 1999
      • Stacey Beth Sanford: July 1999 to December 2000
      • Dina Emerson: January 2001 to January 2002, April 2007 to June 2017
      • Rochelle Collins: January 2002 to 2003, May 2007
      • Briana Rossi: June 2017 - Present
    • Singer 3 (Retired): Luis Perez: Dec 1993 - 1996

    Filmography[]

    Mystère was apart of the 2010 PBS documentary Flowers In The Desert. The documentary explores the various Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil shows at the time with a behind the scenes interviews and backstage tours at each of the shows. Shows included in Flowers In The Desert are Mystère, O, , The Beatles: Love, and the recently premiered Viva Elvis. The documentary also showed sneak peeks to the then-upcoming shows Zumanity and Criss Angel: Believe. Flowers In The Desert aired on PBS on December 2010.[9][10]

    The Mystery of Mystère is a 2013 documentary about the meaning of the universe and life itself and with behind the scenes look at the Las Vegas show Mystère. The Mystery of Mystère was released on DVD and Blueray on July 2013.[11]

    In Popular Culture[]

    Gallery[]

    Promotional

    Characters

    Performance

    Behind the Scenes: Alice The Escargot

    Videos[]

    Trailers

    Behind The Scenes

    Teeterboard Update

    Related Videos

    References[]

    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Babinski, T. (2004). Cirque du Soleil: 20 years under the sun. New York: Harry N. Abrams.
    2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Treasure Island Theatre. Retrieved from https://scenoplus.com/en/projects/detail/treasure-island-theatre/.
    3. Works, F. C. Retrieved from http://www.3dair.com/alice.htm.
    4. Reed, Cindi (2010). "Mystère explores the intricacies of the life cycle and all its components". Inside Cirque du Soleil. Fall 2010: 26–27.
    5. Keene, Jarret (2011). "Drumline". Inside Cirque du Soleil. Fall 2011: 18–19.
    6. Clément, Ronald (2009). Cirque du Soleil 25 Years of Costumes (in Chinese, English, French, and Japanese). Canada: Dépôt légal, Bibliothèque et Archives Canada. pp. 28–33. ISBN 978-2-9803493-4-8.
    7. Mystère by Cirque du Soleil. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/Mystere/photos/moha-samedi-named-after-the-first-day-of-the-new-millennium-he-is-the-narrator-n/10154000465344919/
    8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Mystère. Retrieved from https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/press/kits/shows/mystere
    9. By. (2010, November 30). Cirque du Soleil: Flowers In The Desert. Retrieved from https://www.kpbs.org/news/2010/nov/30/cirque-du-soleil-flowers-desert/.
    10. Cirque du Soleil: Flowers in the Desert: Trailer: PBS. (2010, November 9). Retrieved from https://youtu.be/zkbHF82fRKI.
    11. Cirque du Soleil: The Mystery of Mystere. (0AD). Retrieved from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3107608/.
    12. Knocked Up. Retrieved from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478311/faq
    13. Soleil, C. du. (2013, November 4). Imagine Dragons perform Radioactive with Mystere by Cirque du Soleil. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMDbY996c34
    14. NiGHTS into Dreams .Com. Retrieved from http://www.nightsintodreams.com/?p=1343

    External Links[]

    Official Site

    Treasure Island Official Site

    Mystère Facebook Page

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