A Truly Mad Affair: Cirque Du Soleil’s New Las Vegas Show Mad Apple To Debut at New York-New York Hotel in May

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Featuring Comedian Brad Williams, Mad Apple will be a Wild NYC-Inspired Night with Comedy, Acrobatics, Music, Dance and Magic

With nearly four decades at the forefront of groundbreaking entertainment, Cirque du Soleil will debut a completely new and, in their own words, “wickedly funny” Las Vegas production – Mad Apple – at New York-New York Hotel & Casino on May 26, 2022. The production will be a Cirque du Soleil cocktail of music, comedy, magic and mayhem that puts NYC nightlife under the Las Vegas lights.

Brad Williams Mad Apple Lead Comedian Photo by Denise Truscello

Featuring comedian Brad Williams, freestyle rapper Chris Turner and vocalist Xharlie Black amongst the incredibly talented cast of 39 people, Mad Apple will no doubt be a nonstop New York thrill ride from the moment guests enter the theater. From pre-show magic and boozy libations at the stage bar, to the band playing hits inspired by NYC’s most famous musicians and composers, Mad Apple may well blur the lines between circus, live entertainment and New York nightlife culture.

Mad Apple concept creator and executive producer Simon Painter Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for Cirque du Soleil

“Mad Apple will deliver a night of joy and entertainment with the thrilling backdrop of New York City,” said Simon Painter, Mad Apple concept co-creator and executive producer. “We’ve taken inspiration from the city’s rich musical history, legendary comedy scene and unrivaled nightlife, and combined it with the wow factor of Cirque du Soleil to create an experience that will feel like a giant party from start to finish.”

Mad Apple is the first Cirque du Soleil production in creative collaboration with Painter and Neil Dorward, the show’s co-creator and director. Painter and Dorward have created several celebrated productions including The Illusionists. Painter’s company The Works was purchased by Cirque in February 2019.

Photo by Denise Truscello

Featuring six brash acts and a creative makeup of musicians, dancers, comedians, magicians and circus performers, Mad Apple creators say that have rewriten the script for Cirque du Soleil entertainment. Each act will reflect a different nocturnal side of New York, brought to life by underground stars, high-flying acrobats, street performers, up-and-coming entertainers, and the biggest musical hits to come out of the City.

Eric Grilly, Cirque du Soleil president of resident and affiliate show divisions, said, “We’re excited to share a completely reimagined experience from Cirque du Soleil with a show that fuses the spirit and creativity of the two ‘Cities that Never Sleep.’ Cirque has long been known for celebrating the limits of human ability, and Mad Apple will continue this revered tradition. To this, we’re adding acts and artists you wouldn’t expect to find on a Cirque du Soleil stage. The end result will be exactly what we’re known for – creative, astonishing and enjoyable live entertainment.”

New York-New York’s president & COO Mike Neubecker said, “There couldn’t be a better fit for a resort inspired by New York City than Mad Apple. We are beyond thrilled to welcome this new evolution of Cirque du Soleil and know our guests will be in for the time of their lives.”

Headlining Cast Members

  • Lead Comedian Brad Williams. Marking the first time a standup comedian will headline a Cirque du Soleil production, Mad Apple will debut with comedian Brad Williams. Once described as “Prozac with a head” by the late Robin Williams, Brad William’s ability to make humorous observations on disability, relationships, sex and race have won over audiences and proven anyone can overcome their shortcomings.
  • Freestyle Rapper Chris Turner. Well-known for his jaw-dropping freestyle raps, Chris Turner makes his Cirque du Soleil debut with Mad Apple. Turner is a regular at New York’s world-famous Comedy Cellar and became the first British comedian to perform on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in September 2021.
  • Musical Director and Lead Vocalist Xharlie Black. A character from the mind of Eddie Cole, who inherited his velvety voice from his great-uncle Nat King Cole, Cole’s alias Xharlie Black will lead a group of musicians and singers to reimagine the most iconic songs from New York’s storied history of music. A multi-talented musician and producer, Cole has spent the past 10 years touring the world as drummer/vocalist and then co-musical director for the New York legend Nas. Xharlie Black is an homage to Nat King Cole and cousin Natalie Cole, and the many artists with whom he’s had the honor of sharing the stage.

Previews for Mad Apple begin on May 12, with tickets starting at $49. Mad Apple will celebrate its Mad Apple LV premiere May 26; tickets are available for shows beginning May 27 and start at $59. Tickets are now on sale at Mad Apple LV.

Feature photo by Denise Truscello


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