Hawaii will say aloha to its first Cirque du Soleil show soon.
The Outrigger Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel and Cirque du Soleil Entertainment announced a joint venture to produce a multi-year resident show fusing “the world-renowned acrobatics and innovation that Cirque du Soleil is known for with the natural beauty and unique culture of the islands,” according to a news release.
“This collaboration with Cirque was years in the making and perfectly aligns with Outrigger’s brand elevation strategy, which includes a promise to provide authentic live music and signature experiences in renowned beach locations,” President and CEO of Outrigger Hospitality Group Jeff Wagoner said in a statement.
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Award-winning Native Hawaiian musician Aaron J. Salā is the show’s creative cultural producer. He’ll work alongside other prominent Hawaiian talents, such as kumu hula (hula teachers) and fashion designers, to create the show’s storyline, Salā told USA TODAY.
“What we are committed to doing is paying specific attention to the story of Oahu, the story of Waikiki and this particular parcel in Waikiki – it’s actually Queen Emma’s land,” he said. “We definitely see the need to be not only honorific of how important this … particular land to Native Hawaiian health (is) but also looking at the mission of the Outrigger, which is to be in-tune with voyaging…and being mindful of, ultimately, the ocean that we’re surrounded by.”
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“The way Cirque tells stories and bringing that together with the powerful nature of Hawaiian storytelling, it’s an opportunity to engage with the world,” Salā said.
The show is slated to be held in the Outrigger Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel’s 20,000-square-foot showroom – the largest space in Waikiki, offering 800 seats. For three decades, the venue was used for the now-defunct Magic of Polynesia dinner show, which ended during COVID.
Starting in the 80s, there are now over 20 Cirque du Soleil shows worldwide, ranging in themes from ice skating to Michael Jackson and Egyptian spirituality.
The target date for the Hawaii show’s debut is December 2024. The show’s name, creative concept and ticket sales date will be announced in the coming months.
Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at [email protected]