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Cirque Du Soleil Got Us Revved Up About Michael Jackson ONE

February 22, 2013 at 1:14 PM | by | ()

...and then the flames exploded out of her guitar...

Oh, Cirque Du Soleil. How you fooled us all. Mid-point through a standard press conference launching the name, logo and ticket information for their forthcoming Mandalay Bay "Mega Show," out of nowhere they unleashed the performers. And, unleashed a wave of enthusiasm for Michael Jackson ONE that we'd found markedly lacking locally, after the less than stellar reaction to Zarkana.

We've collated as many details we could glean from the event, including the first look at three sets of costumes from the production. And, uncover a special hint at the direction of one musical number. But, first the basics regarding the Michael Jackson-themed show taking over the theater at Mandalay Bay.

Presale tickets are available starting today for Cirque Club members, MichaelJackson.com subscribers and members of MGM Resorts' M life program. Full details at the bottom of the page. If you are none of the above, regular tickets are available on March 7.

Just as the production team were about to unveil the show's name, shock, the sign was shown to be stolen. Then "Smooth Criminals" came bopping down the aisles. Hard to see from our snap, taken as we tried to orientate ourselves, but they are wearing black fedoras, black sunglasses and long blue raincoats. So, we know one song and costume set.

Then came the 'paparazzi' with working cameras and lights strapped to their helmets. The following few minutes of abridged routines were filled with high energy and worked up the crowd. It was a great commercial. And, expertly staged in a very cramped area. It won us over.

What's the plot of Michael Jackson ONE? "Four misfits set out on a transformative adventure. By journey's end, they will personify Michael's agility, courage, playfulness and love." That's all we got, folks. But, writer and director Jame King said the "child-like heart" of Jackson was a guiding force in the creative process. As was puzzling over how Michael would move if he were an acrobat. Or, how acrobats would move like Michael if they danced. So, that's all cleared up.

We did find something that has us excited. Buried in the press release is a note that Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilonget have earned a special credit for "the Man in the Mirror Scene." Looks like everyone overlooked this mention. Those guys specialize in "4D Art." Their YouTube channel should get you very intrigued about the effects they could be bringing to this number. The pair are truly accomplished visual stylists.

The 63 performers have been imported from 17 countries. Director King gave a shout out to his "crews" from locales like Korea and a female group from New Zealand. Expect lots of modern dance. And, lots of acrobatics. And flames, apparently.

Both Jame King and Cirque President Daniel LaMarre pointedly stated, in the same language, this would be "very, very different" from Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour previously seen at Mandalay. LaMarre believes the still touring show is actually an enormous promotional tool for this permanent production. And, offers the creative team a second chance to fix, or at least change things up.

We like the logo. Our photo version is a little darker than the official image and the better for it. The title, "ONE?" Cirque says, "It is a fitting title for a unifying journey into the world of the King of Pop, the genius, the visionary, the One."

We walked over to the theater lobby to see if it was ready, or different. Neither yet. The theater itself is 100% finished inside and the performers are rehearsing on the actual stage. The lobby will take a while longer to upgrade the box office and retail store. Cost for that section alone? Permits say $2,228,937. This is a costly endeavor.

This writer has not been shy in sharing our opinions about Jackson the man. We stand by that deep uneasiness. But we are big Cirque fans. And, are now much more optimistic this experiment can work in a permanent location.

The first preview performances begin on May 23. Official opening night is June 29. Shows will run Saturday to Wednesday at 7 p.m., with no performances on Thursdays and Fridays. Tickets will cost $69, $99, $130, $140, $150, plus there's a limited Gold Circle Seating option. Those prices do not include tax or fees. Tickets are available 120 days in advance of your chosen show date. www.cirquedusoleil.com/mjone or www.mandalaybay.com IS probably your best option.

Archived Comments:

Immortal vs One

I'm glad to hear that it is going to be different than Immortal...I have seen all the Cirque shows on the strip...except for Zarkana...and I felt that Immortal and Viva Elvis were tribute shows with a little bit of Cirque thrown in....the only "themed" one that I have really liked is Love.  Looking forward to coming out to see One....I guess that wil be on my "to do" list when I'm there in November.

Captain EO?

What, no Captain EO & Fuzzball? They must be too "out there" for Cirque's style. ;)