MINNEAPOLIS (CelebrityAccess) Cirque du Soleil has acquired Minneapolis-based VStar Entertainment Group, the kids-based entertainment company with flagship stage production PAW Patrol, making it the first significant investment in family entertainment in Cirque’s 34-year history.
Vstar produces its shows through licenses with Nickelodeon, Spin Master and other companies, and the deal includes VStar’s subsidiary Cirque Dreams, which specializes in spectacles for tourist venues, according to Deadline Hollywood. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Cirque CEO Daniuel Lamarre told Deadline the VStar acquisition and that of Blue Man Group last year are a recent shift in strategy.
While “circus arts will always be at the core of our creative offering,” Lamarre said the company wants to broaden its tent.
“We have an amazing distribution machine, touring in 450 cities around the world with each show that we develop,” he told Deadline. “This distribution machine can distribute more than just Cirque.”
The official press release called the purchase “plug and play.”
VStar, formerly Vee Corp., is also known for shows like “Sesame Street Live,” “Barney” and “Kidz Bop Live.” It has produced more than 39,000 performances over its more than 40-year lifetime, drawing an annual crowd of 2 million people. “Race to the Rescue,” the latest iteration of PAW Patrol Live, toured to 250 cities in 18 countries last year.