The creators, designers and artists at Cirque du Soleil are masters of their craft.
Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour is a multi-media bonanza, featuring projected images (including master recordings and original footage of the King of Pop) on a multitude of surfaces. There are eye-catching costumes, and the lighting design, created by Martin Labrecque, is stunning.
As in other Cirque shows, the production is a lesson in spectacle, to the point of oversaturation. There is simply too much happening on stage at any given moment for the audience to see everything.
But while the show was eye-catching and spectacular, it didn’t leave its audience with the heart-stopping, jaw-on-the-ground feeling that the world has come to expect from Cirque shows. With THE IMMORTAL, the death-defying stunts and acrobatics were not the main event, but a secondary character, playing a supporting role to the music, images and voice of Michael Jackson.
THE IMMORTAL speaks to a different side of the human psyche than other Cirque productions. It calls on the memories of those who grew up with the music, message and life of Michael Jackson, and incorporates them into the unique blend of theatrical excellence that defines Cirque du Soleil.
To be sure, there is stunning choreography, including some reminiscent of Jackson’s Thriller and Smooth Criminal days and a stirring, high-energy finale; and the cast’s athleticism and talent, demonstrated through their exacting maneuvers, is unparalleled.
But the focus of this show is the music. Musical Designer Kevin Antunes has culled a wealth of recordings of Jackson’s voice, including some previously unreleased audio segments, and has artfully woven them into a canvas brought to life by an entire orchestra of talented musicians, who provide the music that moves the world’s most famous voice.
Combining that captivating sound with the other theatrical elements has given this Cirque show something unique and at times, powerful.
For those who grew up in the Michael Jackson era, THE IMMORTAL World Tour is a hugely entertaining production that uses the Cirque du Soleil style to transport audience members to back to another time and another place.
For Michael Jackson fans, THE IMMORTAL World Tour is epic.
Image: Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil/OSA Images