A collaboration between Cirque du Soleil — the creative force that all but defines Las Vegas entertainment — and the estate of pop music legend Michael Jackson, “Michael Jackson ONE” will be Sin City’s hottest ticket when it officially premieres at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on June 29.
“Michael Jackson is a phenomenal artist, both timeless and contemporary,” said Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil. “As a creative challenge, this project is the ultimate.”
Using state-of-the-art audio and visual technology, Cirque du Soleil has created a theatrical experience that is both respectful of Jackson’s incredible legacy and distinct from “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour,” the Cirque-produced touring arena show that opened in 2011.
“’The Immortal World Tour’ is a rock-concert-style show. ‘Michael Jackson ONE’ will definitely be more theatrical than ‘Immortal’ was ever intended to be,” said Welby Altidor, director of creation for “Michael Jackson ONE.” “Because [this] is a resident show with a permanent installation instead of an arena tour traveling the world like ‘Immortal,’ we can use the space with more freedom and create up-close and enveloping environments where his music, the dance movements he is known for, and the message of love and connection in his songs can resonate with power.”
“ONE,” which began preview performances in May, tells the story of four misfits who, guided and inspired by the King of Pop’s music (the production features most of Jackson’s No. 1 hits), set out on a transformative adventure. By the end of their journey, they come to personify the some of the entertainer’s most admired traits.
“It’s not a tribute show, but a show inspired by Michael Jackson’s music and a celebration of his creativity,” Altidor explained. “We were so inspired by his genius that we tried to imagine what it would be like to receive the gift of playfulness, courage, agility and love from Michael.”
The new production, like “The Immortal World Tour,” is written and directed by Jamie King, the creative force behind some of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time, including those of Madonna, Rihanna and Celine Dion. “ONE” is intended to express Jackson’s belief that all people are unique and equal, regardless of race or culture.
“It was important to us to refer to Michael’s own words and songs,” Altidor said. “There are so many that make direct reference to a vision of unity and connection.”
“Michael Jackson ONE” is the centerpiece of a property-wide transformation at Mandalay Bay, which includes guest room renovations and innovative new night life and restaurant concepts.
With two performances nightly, Saturday through Wednesday, “Michael Jackson ONE” tickets are priced at $69, $99, $130, $140 and $155. Limited Gold Circle Seating is also available. (Prices do not include tax or fees.)
—Paul Rogers, Brand Publishing Writer