Why didn't Cirque du Soleil make it in Los Angeles?

The decision by the Canadian-based entertainment troupe to pull the plug on its "Iris" production in January is a big disappointment, considering that the show was supposed to stay in L.A. for 10 years - and only lasted 16 months. So what happened? I laid out some possible explanations on KPCC's Business Update:

Mark Lacter: You might recall this was supposed to have been a game changer for Hollywood - a huge economic infusion for the area because of the potential ripple effects: so, if you went to see Cirque du Soleil, you might have chosen to have dinner nearby, or shopped in a store. That sort of thing.

Julian: Why didn't it click?

Lacter: Could have been the high ticket prices, good - but not spectacular - word of mouth, or the fact that Hollywood remains a work in progress as far as being a true cultural destination, or maybe the whole idea of having a permanent show in L.A. was unrealistic in the first place. You know, there have been big stage events that came to L.A. and stayed a long time ("Phantom of the Opera" was here for four-and-a-half years), but the Cirque du Soleil production hadn't come from Broadway - hadn't come from anywhere. Everyone was just assuming that because other Cirque productions had been so successful - especially in Las Vegas - this one would be successful here as well.

My other item was on the latest report on L.A.'s creative industries from the Otis College of Art and Design, in concert with the Economic Development Corporation.

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
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Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
Recent Business Update on KPCC stories:
Naysaying emerges in wake of LAX shootings*
Holiday shopping: On your marks, get set... spend!
What to do with all that bad chicken?
Why it's hard to gauge progress of health care programs
Why L.A. isn't being hit too hard by shutdown - for now

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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