It’s hard to imagine one man running the many-ringed circus which is Cirque du Soleil.
But sure enough, if one were to dream up a character fit for the title, it would be Guy Laliberté.
Once an accordion-playing, fire-eating street performer, Laliberté knows how to set his sights high:
“There are three capitals of entertainment in the world: Las Vegas, New York and London,” announces Mr. Laliberté, the only person smoking in the vast campus here where two-fifths of his 5,000 employees work. “So far the only one I truly conquered is Vegas. New York and London are still on my checklist.”
But when it came to accounting for the failure, Laliberté was, well… unavailable.
Mr. Laliberté, who owns an island, a boat and seven homes, was hard to reach during some of the troubles; he was orbiting Earth, after paying $35 million to be the seventh space tourist, giving him one of the greatest excuses in the history of show business failure. “I kept hearing there are too many songs, too much like a Broadway show,” said the “Shpeel” director, David Shiner. “Guy wanted to do something different. But he was in space.”
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