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Countywide : Circus Tickets Sold Earlier Than Planned

With tickets for Cirque du Soleil selling faster than expected, officials of the touring big top show recently jumped their own starting gun by prematurely selling tickets to a two-week extension of the circus’ engagement at South Coast Plaza.

Instead of putting the 55,000 tickets on sale Sunday at 9 a.m., as advertised and announced in news releases, circus officials authorized Ticketmaster to begin selling them after Christmas. Marc LaFont, a local publicist for the Montreal-based circus, said Wednesday that he had heard of “a handful” of complaints from Cirque enthusiasts who called Ticketmaster on Sunday only to learn that they couldn’t get the locations and dates they wanted.

“There are still good seats available for all the extended performances,” LaFont said, but “the very best” may not have been available for each performance when buyers relying on the Sunday announcement began calling.

Marie Beauchamp, assistant to Cirque du Soleil’s marketing vice president, Jean David, said Wednesday that circus management found itself in a bind around Christmas because tickets to the originally announced four-week engagement of shows from Jan. 24 through Feb. 19 were selling out sooner than expected. Rather than turn away ticket buyers who called in late December, she said, Cirque du Soleil authorized Ticketmaster to begin selling tickets for additional shows scheduled from Feb. 21 through March 5.

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Beauchamp said that because of the Christmas holiday, Cirque du Soleil was unable to correct newspaper advertisements and news releases announcing the Sunday on-sale date for the extended run.

Cirque du Soleil is a touring troupe with an international cast of acrobats, clowns and other circus performers. It will perform in a tent that seats about 2,500 people, set up in the South Coast Plaza parking lot.


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