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Anyone Else Notice Michael Jackson Is Everywhere These Days?

August 30, 2012 at 8:23 PM | by | ()

Michael Jackson lives. Again. This week, Wacko Jacko would have turned 54 years old. Yet, in death, he haunts Vegas with a renewed vigor. And, it will slowly get worse. Like a song you can't get out of your head, once you start to notice, you'll be seeing Jackson 'round every corner, from single-glove bedecked impersonators panhandling on The Strip and progressive slots to the building publicity for the arrival of an all-new Michael Cirque du Soleil show next year.

We've cataloged the rampant scary attraction theme that is currently sweeping this town, but we've also noticed Michael Jackson a great deal. Cirque's Viva ELVIS closes this week, ushering in a new era of celebrity hagiography. Appealing to a subsequent generation that was too young for The King, but now adulates a King Of Pop.

We first pondered the Jackson invasion during a recent performance of Frank Marino's Divas. Amidst a celebration of female diva-ism, a photo montage of Jackson popped up with Marino expressing his love for the performer and how "we missed him." Interesting for us, was how it's now assumed Jackson is a universally beloved character. We discussed this with journalists last year during the limited run of Cirque Due Soleil's Michael Jackson The Immortal at Mandalay Bay, and our curiosity at how no one was mentioning a large elephant in the room.

For a certain section of the general public, despite the accolades, Michael Jackson was twice accused but never convicted of child molestation. In a previous lifetime, this writer worked in television news and spent a great deal of time working on stories connected to these cases. It's the first thing that pops into our minds when we see or hear any mention of Michael Jackson. It's a strange disconnect. One we know will continue to grow over the next nine months.

At Mandalay Bay, preps for the Cirque show escalates. Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL currently tours the country and the world but, as we are promised by the Cirque team, the final permanent production will be very different and much grander in scale. Currently, the theater is a hard hat construction area as they strip all remnants of the previous tenant, The Lion King. Marquee posters and a couple of statues mark the territory until the show arrives in May 2013. For the moment, the Jackson promotional push is subtle. The gold accents of the Lion King campaign, replaced by a sedate, blue tinted color scheme. We foresee a much brasher hard sell nearer opening night.

And, we'd been eying the space formerly occupied by Rumjungle for a while. We'd heard that Cirque's planned nightclub dropping into that space would also be heavy on the MJ theme. A wicked whisper, yet again this week, suggests the club won't be as Jackson-centric as we'd previously been told. And, the art on the newly erected construction plywood hedges at the ultimate final focus and content of the club.

A very popular progressive Micheal Jackson slot machine is now abundant on The Strip. The 3D cut-out displays and the banks of visually arresting dance clips are drawing in players. The consistently high progressive jackpot totals also help. It's meant we frequently hear Smooth Criminal while walking through resorts. (As we noted, both Chippendales and Thunder From Down Under love that song.)

You can find other little MJ blips all over town. At Silverton, Foreverland, a 14-piece Michael Jackson tribute band from San Francisco recently played a pool party. And, Lavo just held their 3rd Annual Moonwalk Competition. The winner received a $3,000 Grand Prize. Over at The Rio, MJ Live a Jackson impersonation tribute show has managed to survive the Crown Theater upheavals. On billboards around town, the advertising copy for this show promotes "kids free." Again, promoting Jackson as a kid-centric performer that just strikes some folks as uneasy.

In the window of Regis Galerie in the Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes, a sequence from a Martin Bashir documentary Living with Michael Jackson shows Jackson entering their store and buying and browsing with fervent abandon. The clip is subtitled "Our friend Michael, you will be missed." The Jackson unveiled in the rest of this documentary is more unsettling than a man with an eccentric home decorating style. Jackson's quotes on film regarding his relationship with children were the basis for charges in a criminal complaint by the Santa Barbara District Attorney's Office.

Maybe it's just this writer, but we face a curious situation where we are witnessing the growth of a new celebrity icon for this city. And, we are in a minority for wishing it were someone else.

Archived Comments:

Well said....

Thank for for having the guts to address the "elephant in the room".  Much like carrying a dirty secret, I've been forced to listen to the constant adulation at parties, karaoke, impersonator shows, etc, all while watching the hair stand up on my arms and hiding my contempt.  Never having enjoyed his music, I find this mass amnesia to his circus-lifestyle nonsense to be disheartening at best, disgusting at it's worst.  You have my admiration for opening this subject up. Now, get ready for all of the detractors....

^^Well Said

It's an interesting situation as the majority (strangely) disconnect the person from the music.

Props for noticing while people like me just look the other way for something more interesting to do in town (like eat/drink/gamble). :)

and don't forget....

the impersonator / "Dealertainer" MJ at Imperial Palace.  Seems like a nice enough guy, but it's still damn creepy to talk to him, looking like that.

@ericrz/off topic

I can wait for the dealertainers to be gone. They all creep me out...even Taylor Swift. :)

Shame on you, ECG

Don't be talking smack about my "Taylor." :D

Another failed "news" person

Considering that the currentt traveling show of Cirque's Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour was the #6 grossing Tour in the world earning $140 million in 2012, it is a wise move to have a permanent show in Las Vegas. Jackson was a powerhouse creative genius whose life was made miserable by a lazy and greedy media and other greedy people. If the writer of this nasty piece was a part of that feeding frenzy that bears no resemblance to the actual facts as presented through insurance documents, grand jury proceedings, court transcripts, FBI files, and child protective services documents, then his credibility is not worth much. The facts of extortion are out there for anyone with a keyboard. There's no elephant in the room since it is referred to incessantly by tabloid media. But, isn't all media tabloid today? Las Vegas will earn millions of dollars from people who love Michael Jackson who have faced that elephant in the room and understand it well. Jackson was a great artist whose music will stand the test of time. Get over it because his admirers are here to stay.

Another failed joke

Who is Wacko Jacko? Richard Lane makes a fool and don't know the facts. P.S.He wasn't twice accused of child molestation.


Thanks, Mr. Lane, for every bit of information about Jackson in Vegas.  My family, ages 6 through 70, are so looking forward to the Mandalay show and thrilled that we all...ready for it...love the man and his music. We don't subscribe to the snarky moniker that you bothered to italicize for effect and we figure it's about time to celebrate not only the artist but an always innocent man. Oh, and by the way, Elvis moved a 14 year old girl into his home and the media romanticized, and still does, the obvious pedophilia. How about that elephant in the room?

... one thing about 'elephants

Vegas is known for The Big Shows with Major Wow Factor, and its gilt-edged tawdriness. While never my cup of tea, I will be visiting ONLY to see the Cirque de Soleil tribute to Michael Jackson. The columnist here seems conflicted. He promotes the Big Show with guaranteed spikes in tourism and revenues on which his city depends,  yet can't resist using Wacko Jacko and other sarcastic, tabloidist descriptors. Get a grip. Visitors to Immortal know about Michael Jackson's very big and panoramic life -- all of its triumphs and tribulations and have put them in perspective. I made the effort as have many others. Remember one thing about the hackneyed phrase 'elephant in the room'. Standing back from what first appears as a massive specter, we actually see head, trunk, eyes, body, feet, and tail -- not as parts but as ONE with everything in perspective. Make an effort to learn about the man and his music. You might even enjoy the show more.

Yay, Michael in Vegas

While I don't plan on visiting Las Vegas, I'm so glad Michael Jackson has a big presence there.  He certainly didn't get the appreciation from society in his later life when he was here. Bravo to his new Cirque Immortal show. I know it will be a huge success.  How could someone make a blanket statement saying they don't like his music (among other tabloid nonsense)?  He sang a variety of genres and made great American pop music. This author is just silly and mean.

You Bet Michael is Everywhere....

The writer of this article says "In a previous lifetime this writer worked in a television newsroom and spent a great deal of time working on stories connected to these cases", referring to the extortion charges brought against Michael in '93 and '05.  This admission on his part pretty much says it all concerning bias and prejudice against our greatest entertainer and humanitarian.  He is preconditioned to accept media lies and manipulations.  Further, the two extortion charges are NOT the first thing popping into INFORMED minds when they think of Michael.  More EDUCATED minds turn to his musical legacy, his gentle soul and his largely unrecognized charitable goodness.  You should make an attempt to educate yourself before using your bully pulpit to propagate the Wacko Jacko lie. Have you applied at the Enquirer?  You have all the right credentials.  Viva Michael Jackson forever!!


The reason for the romanticization of his relationship with a 14 year old girl is, Elvis was a white man, and yes I call it pedophilia

Lost Me

You lost me by the third sentence.  After the name calling, you had nothing I wanted to hear.  I did enjoy the pictures, however, and will attend the show - though Las Vegas is 1000 miles from where I live - as will millions of others. Despite what those of your ilk want to perpetrate, Michael Jackson is loved and admired all over the world.  Whether one believes the brightest and the best about one as gifted and giving as Michael or the worst and most manipulated is really a reflection of the heart of the belief holder.

Nice try

Another attempt to create an anti-Michael Jackson propaganda. Sorry, but we do NOT easily believe media's trash and we know that Michael Jackson is THE GREATEST ENTERTAINER OF ALL TIME, that Michael Jackson has eclipsed Elvis.  YES, Michael Jackson has long eclipsed the passe and overrated and white-hyped Elvis.

By the way, the Michael Jackson slot machines have been the 2nd biggest seller after Wheel of Fortune. Apparently, the MJ gaming machines have had saved the slot machine industry, too.

<a href="http://www.vegasinc.com/news/2013/jan/17/wheel-fortune-michael-jackson-megabucks-take-top-s/">http://www.vegasinc.com/news/2013/jan/17/wheel-fortune-michael-jackson-megabucks-take-top-s/</a>

<a href="http://www.casinocitytimes.com/article/michael-jackson-comes-to-the-rescue-of-slot-makers-61137">http://www.casinocitytimes.com/article/michael-jackson-comes-to-the-rescue-of-slot-makers-61137</a>

I agree with Corlista

Just read Corlista-s comment and I agree with her 100%.

Michael Jackson is indeed loved by ALL races and colours!  Vegas is more than a day's plane travel for me, but definitely will be there for the new MJ show. ( I am Caucasian by the way and I am aware that most of the trash implanted around Michael have had been this "white over black" nonsense.)

Michael Jackson is the very first artist to bust racial barriers and unified all colours and genders through music.

Nothing but tabloid trash.

This read needs much more facts.