Zumanity is a cabaret style show that celebrates human sexuality. Unlike other Cirque Du Soleil shows which have enormous stages, Zumanity is housed in a small intimate theatre. Upon entering the theatre ushers greet patrons dressed in shirts that have a near nude print of a chest on them. One of the more portly ushers probably wished he had the six pack abs printed on his shirt.
As with all Cirque shows, a pre-show began fifteen minutes before curtain time. The entertainer, a man who would easily fit into the chip-n-dales lineup, did some mediocre raunchy interaction with several patrons. Several other cast members walked around the stage and two plump identical twin sisters fought over the chip-n-dales dancer. The mediocre comedy was a strong foreshadow to the rest of the show.
Unfortunately for Zumanity, the best parts of the show are done within the first half hour. The opening main circus act is the famous water bowl where two topless female contortionists do some amazing bending, flipping, and diving into the water. A soothing saxophone song plays during this act, probably the best musical piece of the show. Following this was the hula hoops act; the performer dressed in a school girls uniform was hoisted high above the stage and spun dozens of hula hoops.
The rest of the show was very mediocre, a big disappointment. Between the circus acts the "clowns" perform skits. One skit in particular was very annoying and it consisted of creating an illusion of larger breasts by filling ziplock bags with scotch and taping those bags to ones chest (scotch tape act). This monologue went on for at least ten minutes as the performer continued to rant about having larger breasts and being able to drink from them. Only the obviously intoxicated patrons laughed as the other patrons seemed anxious for the monologue to finish.
The host of Zumanity is a drag queen. I had seen Zumanity back in February of 2009 and the drag queen was one of the more traditional classy drag queens. However the cast change created a Rocky Horror Frankenfurter style host. This change was probably done to create a more entertaining experience, but yielded a host performing with the same annoying crass found at a local gay bar drag queen show.
Rarely are there times I wish to walk out of a theatre, but one act disgusted me. A performer hoisted herself up onto two ropes and began to whip herself on them. A very orgasmic soundtrack began to play, something likely found on a telephone sex line. Nothing special seemed to occur, the performer was holding onto the straps and did nothing but orgasm very loudly.
Zumanity was not a total lost cause after the first part of the show. A duo ballet was performed by a male and female that demonstrated their strength and passion for each other. A very attractive male performed a human flag and hand balancing act. Many of the acts in Zumanity could be found in a regular circus show without the sexual façade which was often over the top (no pun intended).
Perhaps I am too prude, but I felt Zumanity was too raunchy and would be a much more enjoyable performance if it was performed in a more artistic tasteful manner. One important note is the Zumanity soundtrack is music inspired by the show, therefore none of the songs on the CD are found in the show except the water bowl song.
Fri.-Tue. 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.
New York New York Resort & Casino
Tickets: $69 - $137.50