Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson Show Is ‘On Steroids’
As the doctor who presided over Michael Jackson‘s death stands trial and the world is preoccupied with the grisly details of his final hours, Cirque du Soleil is preparing to honor the fallen icon with a spectacular tribute to his musical legacy.
The project, dubbed the ‘Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour,’ will launch October 2 in Montreal, and is only part of what the Jackson estate has planned for the coming year.
“It’s an ambitious show,” says the show’s writer/director, Jamie King, who worked with Jackson for his 1992 world tour. “Everything about this project has felt large. Being around (Jackson), he always wanted everything larger, bigger — more confetti, more pyro, more magic. He wanted fans to feel like they were getting the best experience ever, so we started with that and moved forward.”
Continues King, “With every aspect of this show we’ve pushed the envelope — costumes, music, going above and beyond what Michael was as a star and really putting it on steroids, taking it to the next level.”
Though specific details are being kept under wraps, King promises a full repertoire of Jackson’s songs, performed by a live band, and brought to life with the type of dazzling choreography that’s synonymous with the Cirque du Soleil experience.
King says this won’t be just another mindless rehash of the greatest hits, comparing ‘IMMORTAL’s’ inventive, overhauled arrangements to what the company did with the Beatles’ ‘LOVE’ show — but even though the performances won’t sound exactly the way fans remember, he promises no one will leave disappointed. “Definitely all the hits that the fans want to hear are there,” says King. ” ‘Beat It,’ Thriller,’ ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ ‘ — the big, iconic songs are there, with some other songs mixed and matched throughout. There’s some younger Michael in there as well, ‘Ben,’ the Motown stuff…It’s a mixed bag of tricks in terms of songs. It’s a music-driven show, so we’re making sure the music is the narrative that drives us and takes us on the journey.”
The ‘Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour’ is scheduled to make stops in 60 North American cities before July 2012, when it concludes its run with a show in Chicago and moves on to a planned residency at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.