Aria expansion forces Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana to close

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — One of Cirque du Soleil's eight Las Vegas shows is closing next year as part of a convention center expansion at the Aria resort and casino.

MGM Resorts announced Wednesday that the theater occupied by the show Zarkana would be turned into a four-story 200,000 square-foot expansion to Aria's convention center. Construction begins in May and is expected to be finished by February 2018.

Zarkana is ending April 30.

Cirque du Soleil spokeswoman Ann Paladie says the company hopes to redeploy as many of the 175 members of the cast and crew as possible. The show opened at Aria on Nov. 9, 2012.

The expansion will give Aria more than 500,000-square-feet of meeting space and is expected to cost $154 million.

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