Cirque du Soleil is putting on a second Michael Jackson-themed show. This is a second production from Canada’s crowned princes of spectacle dedicated to the King of Pop.
‘Michael Jackson ONE,’ now in previews and opening Saturday at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino (tickets, $69-$180), comes on the heels of Cirque’s wildly lucrative ‘The Immortal World Tour,’ last year’s sixth-highest-grossing touring show with $140.2 million in sales.
So what’s the difference between these two Michael circus-fests? The biggest is that ‘Immortal’ was a visual feast aimed at arena audiences, and as a result had to make compromises when it came to complex high-flying acts and audio impact. In contrast, ‘ONE’ promises a more intimate and intricate encounter with the late singer’s oeuvre.
“You’ll feel much closer to Michael with this show,” says Jamie King, the writer/director behind both ‘Immortal’ and ‘ONE.’
“From the costumes and choreography, to his actual voice and images on video, Michael is present. He is our guide.”
If anyone can conjure Michael’s spirit, it’s devotee King, who danced on Michael’s 1992 ‘Dangerous’ tour, and went on to choreograph for Madonna and Rihanna. But he was keen to avoid a physical representation of Michael in his new show.
“Having worked with him, I was adamant that no one should play him,” says King. Instead, ‘ONE’ tells the story of “four misfits who are on a journey with Michael as their spiritual guide, and one by one they come upon four of his talismans: a hat, shoes, glasses and that iconic glove. They are transformed and rewarded, and ultimately end up in Neverland.”