Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson Show … Sadly Sycophantic

Cirque Du Soleil Michael Jackson Show 015

I’ve always loved Cirque Du Soleil shows, including the Beatles Love show, which I caught in Las Vegas a couple of years back, so I was looking forward to seeing what they would do with Michael Jackson.

Sadly, it has left me cold and disinterested. With the Love show, they took the Beatles music and wove a story – a magical mystery tour of sorts, but this was a somewhat sycophantic homage to Michael Jackson, all a bit ‘saccharine Hollywood sweet,’ maybe because it’s a joint Cirque Du Soleil / Michael Jackson estate production.

I took one of my daughters to see Michael Jackson live back in the 1990s and remember then that the music was incredibly loud and it was very much a sound and light show – far more an entertainment, than a music concert and that apart from a couple of songs, the music didn’t do much for me. Nothing’s changed.

Certainly there were several fantastic circus highlights and the costumes with LED fibre optics were out of this world, absolutely stunning to watch. However the sound system at this show was a disappointment, often distorted, wth no real sense of ‘surround sound’, it was very one directional, although perhaps this can be attributed to where we were sitting.

It was less a breath-taking acrobatic show and more a show featuring acrobatic dance moves in front of video clips of Michael Jackson, although I must mention the acrobat with one leg performing on crutches. I’m sure this was a genuine disability, apologies if it’s not. He was stunning and the crowd rightly loved him.

Unfortunately I was bored for much of the show, which shocked me, but my fiancée and my daughter (both in their 30s) loved the show and it was obvious Michael Jackson fans were enthralled. I became very uncomfortable with the constant portrayal of Jackson as some sort of God-like benefactor. If you’re a fan (and seemingly many in the audience were), then I am certain you will love it, if not, don’t waste your money. I never thought I’d say that about a Cirque Du Soleil show!

Greg Ross

 

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