Acrobats and traditional Broadway performers merge for the new show ''Paramour.''
NATURAL ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Canadian theatrical performance company Cirque du Soleil will send Broadway to new heights when it makes its debut on opening night, May 25. Acrobats and traditional Broadway performers have been brought together for a musical about a love triangle between a young actress and the two men who fight for her attention, set in the golden age of Hollywood. At a press preview for the show, Scott Zeiger, president and managing director of Cirque du Soleil Theatrical said the production is not so much equal parts Cirque and Broadway, but rather seamless. "We have 22 acrobats on stage, world class acrobats that we've cast from every major country literally in the world, from China to Russia to Brazil to Canada. And those 22 acrobats have been woven into singing, dancing, acting core of 16 traditional performers. And together they tell the story. And I would think that aside from a few specialty skills, the overall core looks like one seamless group of performers," said Zeiger. Rudy Lewis is the show's female lead and one of the traditional Broadway performers. "I'm happy to bring song, dance and story. And then the acrobats come in, they have choreographed the acrobatics to just heighten the story. And it's really, really beautiful and unique in that way. And it's been wonderful to build together because we've created it from the ground up." Lewis admits the death-defying acts of the acrobats sometimes leave her speechless. "It's hard not to drop character and just like, you know, mouth or gag when I'm watching the acrobatic stuff. It's still unbelievable to me, what they are capable of doing." Tomasz Wilkosz and Rafal Kaszubowski, who are "Russian bar" performers, have been with Cirque since the 90's and said they are happy to merge their talents with Broadway actors. "It's something new and something that's never been shown on Broadway - that's the most exciting part. We're bringing something new, something fresh and something exciting for the audience," said Kaszubowski. Cirque du Soleil started over 30 years ago as a ragtag group of street performers in Canada and grew into a global circus and entertainment colossus. Previews for "Paramour" will begin on April 16 at the Lyric theater.