I can’t believe Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour is here for only 3 days at the Verizon Center. But alas, sometimes the best things leave us wanting more.Â I’m a HUGE Michael Jackson music and dance fan. Let me emphasis the words “music” and “dance”.Â His strangeness and personal eccentric habits made me squeamish, but this isn’t what this blog post is about. It’s about paying homage to one of the world’s most talented performing artists by way of the great Cirque.
And let me also say, while I love Cirque and have been to several performances in the DC area as well as in Vegas, my favorite by far of the “traditional” shows has been OVO.Â OVO was not my introduction to Cirque, however many say the first is the one that stays with you, but it set the bar for me, and that bar is really high.Â If you ever get an opportunity to see the first woman-created Cirque production (choreographed by Brazilian Deborah Colker), do so. You’ll thank me.
But back to MJ.Â Here’s the deal.Â I love Cirque shows in the tents. The intimate gatherings with a setting in the round is part of the whole Cirque experience. The Verizon Center, while excellent for concerts, games, car, ice, trucker, and equestrian shows, was not my first choice for a Cirque production. Part of what makes Cirque special is that there is a connection between the characters and the audience, quite often there are audience participants on stage and off stage, when the cast moves into the seating.Â The “clowns” entice the members of the audience and react to their reactions.Â There is “dialogue” produced if you will.Â Also, there is the “we are one” with the cast.Â It’s almost as though we the audience, take on the responsibility to exude supportive and positive energy during the most spell binding and daring of moves and we bond.Â Again, that’s part of the uniqueness of Cirque.
With MJ in the Verizon Center, there’s no connection and bonding, because it’s just way too big.Â But that isn’t necessary with this show.Â This is an over the top special effects, live music, non-stop moving dancing, singing, musical production that Cirque happens to put on.Â People who LOVE MICHAEL JACKSON will LOVE this show.Â The scenes use an extensive number of favorite classic songs like “Dancing Machine”, “Smooth Criminal”, “Dangerous”, “Human Nature”, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Thriller”, “Jam”, “Scream”, “Billie Jean”, “Black or White” and more, with the moving finale being “Man in the Mirror”.Â I did love the show not only because I love his music, but of how brilliantly Cirque used all levels and length of the stage, the air space, special effects and their second to none talent to create a 2 hour package of pure entertainment.
The opening night was packed and after intermission, two of the guitar players who were spotlighted were able to bring us to our feet, clapping, dancing, moving (the two beers helped some of us).Â It was more of a Michael Jackson concert with large screens displaying old MJ, videos, dancers, lights, pyrotechnics, acrobatics, minus MJ himself, than your traditional Cirque show. This is the second show created around recording artists, the first being LOVE about the Beatles.
By the way, whenever I go into a Cirque production, I always look for key elements that to me, define Cirque: enchantment, a journey, and a message.Â The better ones IMHO exhibit those clearly, but have the added factors of awesome staging, costuming, and thrilling, memorable death defying acts that are sensuous, yet strong, beautiful yet shocking.
Two things stood out in my mind the most from THE IMMORTAL World Tour.Â The first is the cast member who was an amputee that wowed everyone with his skills, moves, strength and agility. The second is that I really miss Michael Jackson.Â There are some songs that were never heard that were played, as you recall, he was supposed to go on that tour, before he passed away.Â The guy still had it.Â Perhaps if he were alive today, he’d be kicking out hit after hit after hit, never resting, always executing.Â But he’s not, and so, we have Cirque to thank for immortalizing MJ with the World Tour.
About THE IMMORTAL World Tour:
A riveting fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy that immerses audiences in Michael’s creative world and literally turns his signature moves upside down, Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour unfolds Michael Jackson’s artistry before the eyes of the audience. Aimed at lifelong fans as well as those experiencing Michael’s creative genius for the first time, the show captures the essence, soul and inspiration of the King of Pop, celebrating a legacy that continues to transcend generations.
THE IMMORTAL World Tour takes place in a fantastical realm where we discover Michael’s inspirational Giving Tree – the wellspring of his creativity. The secrets of Michael’s inner world are unlocked – his love of music and dance, fairy tale and magic, and the fragile beauty of nature.
The underpinnings of THE IMMORTAL World Tour are Michael Jackson’s powerful, inspirational music and lyrics – the driving force behind the showâ€”brought to life with extraordinary power and breathless intensity. Through unforgettable performances Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour underscores Michaelâ€™s global messages of love, peace and unity.
General Admission is still on sale through SUNDAY JULY 15TH : http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/michael-jackson-tour/tickets/washington.aspx
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.