Banana Shpeel is a new show from Cirque du Soleil its creators say is "not quite circus, or musical comedy or variety show, or even vaudeville."

But director David Shiner says he was inspired by vaudeville-style and clowning comedy, as well as tap-dancing, hip-hop and breakdancing when he wrote and staged the new show, which will tour Chicago and New York later this year.

Banana Shpeel tells the story of Schmelky, a cruel and irritable producer who toys with Emmett, an innocent and romantic actor who auditions for him.

Schmelky dangles fortune and fame in front of Emmett, who is quickly enmeshed in his anarchic world.

Banana Shpeel opens at the Chicago Theatre on Nov. 19 and runs until Jan. 3, 2010. It will then travel to the Beacon Theatre in New York, where it will premiere on Feb. 11, 2010.

This is Shiner's second Cirque du Soleil show. He created Kooza, an acrobatic clown show currently on tour in the United States.

With files from The Canadian Press