Previews begin on July 21 and the official premiere is Sept. 25, but Hollywood businesses are already planning what could become a lucrative - and long-running - attraction. Well, at least that's the idea. Cirque du Soleil's "Iris," which is being directed by Philippe Decouflé, looks at the history of movies through dance and acrobatics. The important point is that "Iris" will be at the Kodak Theatre on an ongoing basis, with plans for at least eight and as many as 10 performances a week. Good news for a venue that has been dark much of the year (the show will go down about a month before the Academy Awards). Local restaurants and hotels are counting on a bump in business - the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel has announced a package that includes room, free breakfast and valet parking, and 25 percent off the regular ticket price. I'm sure there will be others.
Here's some background from the Montreal Gazette on how it will come together:
The budget for IRIS is about $100 million, [Cirque du Soleil's François Bérubé] said, including renovations to the Kodak Theatre. These include the building of stage lifts and training rooms. Mostly behind-the-scenes stuff. At the historic Kodak Theatre, one does not mess with the look. This is no ordinary venue. The landlord (CIM Groupe, which has owned the theatre and the surrounding Hollywood and Highland Center since 2004) is the Cirque's partner in this enterprise. Bérubé described the arrangement as "a time-sharing condo" with the Cirque in residence for 10 months of the year, until the time for the Academy Awards approaches. Although IRIS cannot play anywhere else, because of its complicated mechanics, it has to stand ready to vacate the premises. "We need to remove everything once a year to let the Oscars happen," Bérubé explained. "We need road cases to put the equipment away, to put it on trucks and store it for a few weeks."