dont' stop til you get enough
No matter how you may feel about his odd personal life, it's undeniable that Michael Jackson was a musical genius. Even if you're not a die-hard fan, you can undoubtedly name all of his number one songs and probably know a few signature dance moves.
While he never got to perform at any of the concert dates of his sold-out This Is It Tour in 2009, The Gloved One's influence is still indisputable. Cirque du Soleil, those tireless standardbearers for mind-boggling stage choreography, have now reimagined the life and legacy of the departed King of Pop in their new multimedia touring show, the largest of its kind in the world.
Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour is a collection of Jackson's biggest hits and signature dance moves blended seamlessly with the visual precision of Cirque's aerial and acrobatic imaginings. With massive projection screens, 60 otherworldly dancers and unbelievable costumes, the show delivers a brand new way of appreciating the late artist's influence as well as his unique approach to making music.
"Both Jackson and Cirque du Soleil are perfectionists. They are the top entertainers in their field because they know how to put on a good show; they consider every detail."
"The similarities between Cirque du Soleil and Michael Jackson are undeniable," says Cirque spokesperson Laura Silverman, calling from Nashville before the team of 200 heads to Austin to perform at the Frank Erwin Center on Friday.
"Both Jackson and Cirque du Soleil are perfectionists. They are the top entertainers in their field because they know how to put on a good show; they consider every detail. The partnership was inevitable, I think."
In truth, Jackson was always a fan of Cirque du Soleil, and even considered working with them prior to his passing. Recognizing the level of quality inherent in such a collaboration, concert director Jamie King — a personal friend of Jackson's — agreed to write and direct the show, which received the blessing of the Jackson Family Estate.
To capture the essence of Michael's message, the family opened the gates to Neverland Ranch, his secluded theme-park property that few ever saw firsthand. There, King and his team of designers, choreographers and writers developed the inspiration they needed to make one of the most memorable shows you will likely see in your lifetime.
Musical designer Kevin Antunes was given unprecedented access to Jackson's master recordings, and Michael's voice remains the driving force behind the show. "It starts with the Music," King says. "I have the opportunity to carry on Michael's legacy, to take all that energy — all that he was going to be — and build it into this production."
Thankfully, there is never any impersonator playing Jackson on stage. Instead, a Cirque performer simply named Mime encounters the various stages of Jackson's career as the stage comes to life with every form of dance, special effect and visual element you can imagine (and many more you can't). You know with Cirque's impossible visual elements, your mind will be blown more than a few times.
Silverman assures us that the show will appeal to everyone; you do not have to be a hard core Michael Jackson fan to appreciate what you see. But it won't hurt.
"The show is for everyone. It's definitely a more diverse audience than we have seen at any other Cirque show. Whether you're a first timer or a hungry Michael Jackson fan, there's not anything not to like."
Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour plays for one night at the Frank Erwin Center, Friday, June 15 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available through their box office.