Thursday, May 21, 2009

Theater Review: Cirque du Soleil The Beatles LOVE

Location: The Mirage, Las Vegas

Website: Cirque du Soleil official site

My Review: As my first venture into the bizarrely acrobatic world of Cirque du Soleil, I think LOVE was a good choice. With acts performed to an all-Beatles soundtrack, you have something that is familiar, and with the artistic vision and interpretation of Cirque du Soleil, you have something completely new and original.

It took me awhile to adjust to the fact that I wasn’t seeing a play or a musical, but that I was a part of a theatrical experience. Once I stopped looking for the linear story and trying to keep track of specific characters, I was able to relax and simply enjoy the ride. Each Beatles’ tune is presented with a different act that represents the creators’ interpretation of the song. Some of the highlights include amazing roller-blading acrobatics set to “Help!”, a soaring trapeze number for “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”, a tap-dancing routine done in yellow rubber galoshes to “Lady Madonna”, and a frantic trampoline performance to “Revolution” and “Back in the U.S.S.R.”

Each act is completely different and offers fantastic feats that defy what the human body should be capable of, from springboarding across the stage to being a human yo-yo falling from the ceiling attached to a giant rubber band, and all without any safety nets. The one complaint I have is that at times there was actually too much going on onstage. I would find myself mesmerized by one particular performer, then realize that I was missing what the other several dozen acrobats and contortionists were doing. And with how quickly Cirque du Soleil moves, missing a single trick was not something I wanted to do.

Bottom Line: To try to explain a Cirque du Soleil experience is nearly impossible, and does a great disservice to the show. The reason it’s described as an experience is because, well, it needs to be experienced. If you find yourself in Las Vegas, are a Beatles fan, and want to see something completely unique, then stop by the Mirage to check out LOVE. It’s definitely more entertaining than losing next month’s rent at the poker table.

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