Last night, Cirque du Soleil brought Michael Jackson back to life in an awesome spectacle of acrobatics, dance and high-octane production. In Michael jackson The Immortal World Tour, Cirque's biggest tour yet, the fantasyland of the circus meets the timeless world of MJ. The show, which will travel the U.S. until August and eventually hit Europe, runs at Madison Square Garden until Thursday then moves to Nassau Coliseum.
One might think Cirque du Soleil is full of spinning dancers and gymnast tricks, but this show is more about MJ than acrobatics. All praise to the director, Jamie King, who found the balance of delivering what audiences will expect from Cirque du Soleil while still honoring every angle of Jackson’s legacy. His signature choreography is captured, from "Thriller" and "Billie Jean" to “Smooth Criminal,” which was a crowd favorite due to the gangster montages and over-the-top fireworks. Definitely more dancing than acrobatics, each memorable movement is delivered from over 60 gifted performers. There are tap dancers, a one-legged phenomenon who performs with a cane, tons of acrobats and a pole dancer who elevates the term "working the pole" to godly heights. The pops, dips and spins are breathtaking.
This is the circus, so elaborate light shows and super dynamic LED screens skillfully illuminate the stage, complimented with montages and mash-ups of Jackson's music. As a plus, iconic MJ images come to life, like a dancing glove and tapping loafers, taking the pop star's larger-than-life symbols and literally immortalizing them.
There is no particular story line. With the exception of a sparkling mime in all white, the charactcers consistently change, which has garnered some hits from critics. But this is the circus, not a Broadway production.
MJ got nothing but love from New York City. In addition, opening night was not short in star power. Tracy Morgan, Ice-T and Coco, Nelson George and Tyra Banks (who gleefully danced to “Black & White,” a video where she had a small cameo) were all in attendance.
Not only did Cirque du Soleil properly pay homage to MJ, they respectfully delivered his message of peace. Michael Jackson's charity and love for children was in nearly every song, which was clearly one of his greatest passions. While we will never have Michael Jackson live on stage again, it's safe to say the King of Pop would've been proud of Cirque du Soleil's The Immortal Tour.
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(Photo: Courtesy cirquedusoleil.com)
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