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Members say: Entertaining, Great staging, Ambitious, Cliched, Delightful
43 reviews
689 reviews

World-renowned circus company Cirque du Soleil makes its Broadway debut with this brand-new musical extravaganza.

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'Paramour' spins the tale of a beautiful young actress forced to choose between love and art in the glamorous world of Golden Age Hollywood. Featuring eye-popping acrobatics and sumptuous music and dance, this one-of-a-kind spectacle transports audiences to a sublime world of emotion and awe as it walks the exhilarating tightrope of the heart.


Reviews (732)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

The New York Times

"Simultaneously frenetic and tedious…The athletic circus acts that are laced throughout the show provide the real entertainment, and make the surrounding book scenes and songs feel even more bogus and synthetic…There’s no denying the breathtaking magic of seeing bodies swim through the air with such apparent weightlessness. Too bad the musical surrounding them feels just as weightless, and far more forgettable." Full Review


"Cirque du Soleil delivers a show that is acrobatic, operatic, and completely entertaining. This is musical theater as an extreme sport...This highly stimulating barrage of talent is undeniably entertaining. When it comes to telling a story, however, it's deadly...'Paramour' was written and designed specifically with the intention of using circus performance to tell a new story, and occasionally, it succeeds in doing just that, to thrilling effect." Full Review

Time Out New York

“A desperately mediocre (if extravagant) song-and-dance affair tricked out with specialty acts that are far more engaging than the dopey romantic triangle meant to hold our attention...The real fun (and beauty) happens when the hokey dialogue ends and the artists get to show their wares...You leave wishing the creative team had hired proven talents from real Broadway musicals or else, like shrewd moviemakers, left half of the material on the cutting-room floor.” Full Review


"The show has a book (corny), a score of show tunes (mindless), and a cast of singing and dancing actors...More happily, it also has those aerialists, acrobats, jugglers, and tumblers we love—and plenty of spectacle...On occasion, smart connections are made between the stage acts and the movie romance...A jaw-dropping high-wire act performed by the phenomenal twin aerialists is more authentically beautiful and sensually alluring than any of the claptrap going on below.” Full Review

New York Post

“Rather than play up what it does best — eye-popping stunts and trippy visuals tied together by a loose concept — Cirque went for a Franken-show made up of misshapen parts: circus, dance, musical numbers, interactive projections...The first act is tantalizingly close to working, especially if you can blank out the godawful dialogue...The second act devolves into an incoherent mess topped off by an interminable rooftop chase involving trampolines.” Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

“Fitfully thrilling and consistently baffling...A work this extravagantly misguided generates its own excitement. The mind can’t rest as it struggles to make sense of a woman warbling the title song as a man balances an umbrella on his head...If ‘Paramour’ has all the elements of a traditional Broadway tuner, they are jumbled together in so topsy-turvy a fashion as to achieve a perverse originality, a three-ring circus of artistic muddle, miscalculation and mayhem. And zombies.” Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

“They seem to have gone out of their way to produce as banal and generic a musical as possible. Featuring atrocious dialogue and forgettable songs, it feels more like a parody than the real thing...The show does have some imaginative, thrilling sequences...But no matter how many times the action spills out over the stage and into the auditorium, it's not enough to draw you into the mess.” Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"It's more like the idea of a book, an un-fleshed-out concept with lines that sound like placeholders…The songs often sound like they were translated from another language without a grammar check…When 'Paramour' gets down to what Cirque du Soleil does best, it becomes an entertaining show…It may verge on being a shambles, but the acts are genuinely thrilling…It's certainly possible to have a good time at 'Paramour' -- as long as you know what you're getting into." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"Though 'Paramour' features some spectacular circus acts, there’s something ludicrous about its efforts to marry them to what’s supposed to be a traditional Broadway musical...Indeed, every scene or song is accompanied by specialty acts or special effects that range from the peerless to pointless...All the dexterous derring-do acts not just as a distraction from the dopey dialogue, uninspired lyrics and largely generic music, but as pretty much the only good reason to see this show." Full Review

Theater Life

“Nothing more than a tissue-thin excuse to trot out the various acrobatic routines for which the Canadian troupe is famous. If you go looking for clever dialogue or memorable songs, you won’t find them. However, if you come in expecting spectacular circus-themed joy, it’s here in abundance...With so many stagers involved, it’s no wonder the production is confusing...Fortunately there is enough high-flying pizzazz to make the overall show worth enough 'ahhhs' to justify your time." Full Review

Front Row Center

"'Paramour' is a thinly disguised excuse to put these gymnasts/dancers on the stage. Noted. The story is a combination of every old plot you can shake a stick at...Indeed there seems to have been a bit of overthinking with this story. This is unfortunate because everyone on that stage is bringing their 'A' game–and they are a formidable collection of talent...Is 'Paramour' brilliant? Not quite. Did I have a great time – you betcha." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

“A piece that excites only intermittently as a circus attraction and never as a theatre piece...Many second-rate movies or plays goes at least this deep and, sadly, many go deeper...Yes, the show fails where it counts most. But it's gotten everything else right. The music is lush, brassy, and sumptuously evocative of period excess...The show could not look better...Some substance is ultimately required, but there's nothing to be found beneath ‘Paramour's’ bewitching surface.” Full Review

The Huffington Post

"In between the predictable plot lines, the $25 million production offers inventive stage acts...Most of the visual elements...are dazzling. Director-conceiver Philippe Decoufle keeps the action flowing, and every now and then, the stage performances and the romance connect...The twist, and the downside, is the story itself, which is banal. That doesn’t mean the show isn’t entertaining—or the leads don’t deliver. Just that as Broadway musicals go, it’s more Las Vegas than Great White Way." Full Review

AM New York

“A middling, mindless diversion that awkwardly combines circus feats with elements of traditional musical theater...Cheesy dialogue and forgettable new songs are thrown in...All things considered, ‘Paramour’ is a lame, harmless alternative for international tourists who want to see a Broadway show but would prefer something with the Cirque du Soleil imprimatur than a long-running hit like ‘Chicago,’ ‘The Lion King’ or ‘The Phantom of the Opera.’ Frankly, I think they can do better.” Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

“A bizarre mutant entertainment bred from the worst traits of Vegas circus shows and Broadway musicals. If you love either of those things, you’ll hate this...A series of clichés about humanoids accompanied by sounds...The daring acts are performed with evident skill. For Cirque fans there are too few of them. For the rest of us, the problem is that with only one exception they have nothing to do with the ‘narrative.’” Full Review

New York Daily News

"Cirque du Soleil’s first-ever Broadway spectacle boasts high-flying aerialists and acrobatic flippers — but the show still flops...Disposable songs, a schizophrenic tone and nonsensical scenes don't help matters. This hapless hybrid of Cirque and the Great White Way does something unexpected: it makes you want to run away and not join the circus." Full Review


"This is the show with which the Montreal-based global franchise plants its standard on Broadway, promising—and, in spades, delivering—a mashup of '42nd Street' backstage romance, non-stop 'Ziegfeld Follies' and Cirque’s brand of acrobatic arts. It’s as eye-popping as Christmas at Radio City, if not quite as intimate or touching...Audiences may wonder why that annoying story kept stopping the action dead in its computer-assisted tracks...We’ve come for the visuals." Full Review


"While there's a story as well as the acrobatics for which Cirque du Soleil is known and show-enhancing video and film elements, that story falls way short of being captivating. And the dazzling visuals not only upstage that story but often seem more wedged in than smoothly interwoven...Given the money spent to bring 'Paramour' to Broadway and the talent behind the scenes and on stage, one can't help wishing they'd come up with something less derivative and, alas, dull." Full Review


"Awesome acrobatics and first-rate Vegas/Busby Berkeley visuals are not anything Cirque needs to prove...As a musical, alas, the awkward story is a Golden-Age Hollywood cliché, the choreography is generic and the serviceable music dips lavishly into retro-bombastic influences...The book is dull padding between the wows...We have to wait until someone has a dream ballet or A.J. has a nightmare in order for the creators to justify the marvelous physical virtuosity." Full Review


"The production is a bumpy, swerving ride. It begins with an assault on the senses, with vast musical routines...If the goal is disorientation, the numbers succeed splendidly...The tone of the story, which has groaningly awful dialogue, veers uncertainly between broad satire and semi-seriousness...'Paramour' gives the sense of being created by a group, with everyone tossing in something." Full Review

The Wrap

"'Paramour' is most successful when it just chucks the plot entirely…By the second act, the three very uncharismatic leads and their generic tunes have definitely worn out their welcome…Wonderful is a chase across Manhattan rooftops. It’s most wonderful because the three leads are now gone completely...The number puts much needed bounce back into 'Paramour'...'Paramour’ features one of the most outlandishly awful big musical numbers ever. Yes, ever!" Full Review


"A hybrid musical combining a conspicuously familiar plot with a series of genuinely thrilling athletic sequences…'Paramour' goes heavy on the company’s signature stunt sequences to our relief, because there isn’t much to be extracted from the often eye-glazing book and score…Kushnier makes the most of his cliché-ridden role, exuding confidence and hubris as needed. Lewis has a beautiful voice and gamely follows the worn path laid out ahead." Full Review

The Associated Press

"Sometimes overstuffed and awkward but it always finds its footing when it highlights its soaring, rubber-bodied stars…Unlike other Cirque shows, this one does a really fine job of integrating the acrobats into the narrative…It's thrilling stuff…It's got a cliche-ridden, lumbering plot and dialogue that veers from leaden German operatic to kiddie jokes…A lot of 'Paramour' looks like too many cooks were tossing in ingredients…When the show works, it works." Full Review

Woman Around Town

"The directorial credo of 'Paramour' appears to be more is better. Scenes are overstuffed with competition for our attention, perhaps in order to distract from a thin book and bland/utilitarian songs, few of whose lyrics are intelligible...For anyone particularly interested in the medium, however, the show is a must on the basis of both imagination and technical expertise...All in all a spectacle the sum of whose parts are not larger than the whole." Full Review


"Philippe Decouflé hasn’t managed to make the plotline gel into a sensible, dramatic whole, but he certainly keeps the pace up with the help of the lighting designs of Patrice Besombes and Howell Binkley, the projections of Olivier Simola and Christophe Waksmann and Pierre Masse’s rigging and acrobatic equipment which had to be carefully—and safely—integrated into the scenery." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Enchanting, Disappointing, Great singing, Great staging

See it if If you like acrobatics and great singing.

Don't see it if If you want a strong story line

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you like romances

Don't see it if you don't like romances

Absorbing, Masterful, Quirky, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you enjoy see good looking people doing impossible things such as acrobatic tricks, good singing, and a show with a light plot.

Don't see it if if you want a dramatic plot, hate acrobats, don't like musicals

Ambitious, Dizzying, Romantic, Overrated, Fluffy

See it if You like Cirque du Soleil and romance.

Don't see it if You like well-told stories.

Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy cirque du soleil. This show is more entertaining for the acrobatics than the story. Unique show.

Don't see it if you want to hear incredible signing and see outstanding acting. Again, this is mostly entertaining because of the acrobatics.

Ambitious, Dizzying, Entertaining, Great staging, Uneven

See it if you're drawn to the show primarily for the impressive acrobatics and spectacle - it's worth seeing for this aspect of the show

Don't see it if you're expecting a high quality Broadway musical; the story is lacking and isn't an effective backdrop for the physicality of the show

Ambitious, Dizzying, Cliched, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you can ignore a weak plot to enjoy the spectacular acrobatics and impressive theatricality, plus the eminently watchable Jeremy Kushnier.

Don't see it if you require any sort of story worth investing in. There simply isn't one here (unless "who will the bland girl choose?" qualifies.) Yawn.

Delightful, Must see, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you like cirque du solei and musicals. good to see a cirque show presented in was wonderfull

Don't see it if cant think of a reason not to

Entertaining, Cliche, Trivial-story-telling, Mesmerizing performances, Mindless-froth

See it if you've seen everything on Broadway and want to put your mind away and enjoy the physical feats of the performers. Don't come for a story.

Don't see it if you're seeking something remarkably thought-provoking or even new in story-telling. It's all about the spectacle. The Cirque troupe stuns.

Enchanting, Great staging, Jaw dropping

See it if The music is fun and classic 1920s Hollywood, the actors are gorgeously dressed; what you see will SHOCK YOU.

Don't see it if You don't like acrobatics.

Ambitious, Dizzying, Riveting, Disappointing, Great staging

See it if you want to be dazzled my amazing acrobatics and INCREDIBLE staging. Full use of theater and amazing costumes

Don't see it if you want a thought-provoking, innovative storylines, or are looking to be surprised by the ending.

Also The acrobats were AMAZING. I sat there in awe and sometimes fearful fo... Read more Read less

Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if you don't mind a completely unoriginal story (if it can even be called a story), sub-par circus acts, and bad singing that doesnt make sense

Don't see it if you want a plot, good theater, don't want your experience of Cirque to be ruined by a horrible show, you want to be entertained.

Also It was horrible. I was excited to see it because I love Cirque de Sole... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Fluffy

See it if You want to see half of something. It's half a broadway musical and half a Cirque show.

Don't see it if You want something that feels full. I recommend just seeing a Broadway musical or a Cirque show. Not this hybrid of the two.

Disappointing, Slow, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to see acrobatic stunts. A bit boring in parts, but some stunts were wonderfully choreographed.

Don't see it if you're expecting something new from Cirque de Soleil. They really did not present anything new they haven't done in their standard shows.

Ambitious, Delightful, Great staging

See it if you're a fan of Cirque du Soleil and impressive acrobatics.

Don't see it if you want an interesting story.

Confusing, Disappointing, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if You get free or super cheap tixs, You love acrobatics; have no need for coherent story driven by music, love Cirque

Don't see it if You want a musical, this is a cirque show loosely tied together with a few songs; action constantly stops for performers to bow

Also Only see if you have gone to every other bway show first; singers/lead... Read more Read less

Spectacular acrobatics. insipid, dated plot.

See it if you adore high wire acts. It has breathtaking accuracy in rope work, unicycles, trampolines and gymnastics. Singing-meh. Plot-bad.

Don't see it if you're a theater sophisticate or if gender cliches bother you. But take an out of towner or teen who can leave snobbery at the door.

Indulgent, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Fluffy

See it if you like Cirque du Soleil, big budget musical productions with a gorgeous set in a beautiful theater, want an evening of light entertainment

Don't see it if you want a good story or serious theater. The story is silly and cliche, the writing pretty bad, but it can still be a fun night.

Also The tricks and the acrobats are incredible. The costumes are nice, the... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Fluffy, Great acrobatics

See it if you want a feast for your eyes. The set design, costumes and acrobatics are dazzling and fun to look at.

Don't see it if you expect an original or clever plot. The actors have great voices, but the songs are not that memorable.

Epic, Well-crafted, Amazing, Bright, Bouncy

See it if you like some amazing feats of grace and athleticism wrapped around a fairly uncomplicated story.

Don't see it if you need a meatier story line, or you have seen the full Cirque du Soleil show, as this only gives a taste of what they can do...

Also A very simple plot. Singer wooed by star director must choose between ... Read more Read less

Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Cliched, Dated

See it if You have nothing better to do. It's simply a cruise show on land. Not much to recommend it.

Don't see it if You have something better to do.

Excruciating, Cheesy, Messy, Really bad

See it if If you're a tourist who has never seen a broadway show or a Cirque Du Soleil show you might be entertained since you have nothing to compare

Don't see it if Just don't. The show is a total mess. Acting/Writing is horrible. The circus tricks weren't even very impressive. Don't waste your money

Boring, Disappointing, Slow, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if you want to see a few very cool tricks.

Don't see it if you want to see an interesting story. The plot is nothing new and I would have rather seen more tricks and less of a story.

Indulgent, Disappointing, Excruciating, Cliched, Insipid

See it if for some reason you wouldn't rather see a better Cirque show or a better plotted show, preferring instead the worst of both.

Don't see it if you could see anything else on Broadway. To say it's mildly diverting is generous.

Disappointing, Excruciating, Baffling

See it if you must see every single Cirque Du Soleil show.

Don't see it if just don't. This is a real mess. Neither a real, good or skillful Cirque, nor a Broadway show. Writing is embarrassingly cliched & dated.

Also It really doesn't deserve to be in the amazing Cirque legacy. The Cirq... Read more Read less