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In The News, Andrew Kim, June 7, 2016

Tysons leaders hope Cirque du Soleil’s latest show, "Kurios - Cabinet of Curiosities," spawns a bit more curiosity, not to mention a six-figure bump, for their neighborhood's business prospects this summer.

The performance art troupe is coming July 21 to Lerner Town Square at Tysons II, an outdoor area next to the Tysons Corner Metro stop owned by developerLerner Enterprises. In return, the show's latest hosts hope it brings an economic bump to the already fast-changing city.

Amelie Robitaille, "Kurios" publicist, gave a conservative estimate that the show could generate about $800,000 in economic benefits for Tysons, including lodging and transportation spending for crew members. She said she expects roughly 150,000 people in attendance for the two-month duration of the show, from July 21 to Sept. 18. Talks of Cirque partnerships with local businesses, including Crowne Plaza in Tysons Corner, are already underway, she said.

It comes at a time when Tysons is shifting from a traditional office hub to a mixed-use urban core with the Silver Line’s arrival and new development in the works. Among other venues Cirque du Soleil surveyed, “Tysons was one of the best options we had,” Robitaille said. “It’s booming and it fits in with the company and our show.”

"Kurios" will take a total of eight days to set up, including six days of actual stage set-up and two days of ensemble rehearsal. Organizers don’t expect changes in traffic or parking during the show.

"Kurios," which premiered in Montreal on April 24, 2014, tells the story of a late 19th-century inventor named Seeker who transports the audiences to a world full of imagination and new possibilities. Michel Laprise, director of the show, said "Kurios" is a show of “optimism.” “We heard from the audiences that Cirque du Soleil started to become predictable. So, with 'Kurios,' we decided to step out of our habits,” Laprise said.

Tickets, available online, range from $39 to $170.

This is the second time a Cirque du Soleil show has come to the D.C. area in recent years. In 2014, Cirque du Soleil’s "Amaluna" was featured in Prince George’s National Harbor, similarly attracting many visitors to a newly developing area., June 7, 2016


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