- The Magazine
- Current Issue
- Events & Shows
- Web Extras
- Yellow Pages
The Beatles and Cirque du Soleil form a colorful Vegas combo.
Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Yoko Ono-Lennon and Olivia Harrison, widows of John Lennon and George Harrison, gathered this summer to celebrate the first anniversary of “Love.” The big-budget production at the Mirage in Las Vegas is the result of a marriage between the British musical phenomenon and the Canadian Cirque du Soleil.
The idea for “Love” grew from casual discussions in 2000 between George Harrison and Cirque founder Guy Laliberté, friends who shared a love of Formula One racing. Harrison died in 2001, but his dream debuted in June 2006 when Cirque du Soleil took the best of the Beatles and created a showpiece.
“Love” is a spectacle of color and action that opens with “Because,” then jumps to the loud, thumping “Get Back” and a pseudo-WWII bombing scene with crumbling bricks, debris, and destruction.
“Octopus’s Garden” best captures the whimsy of a Beatles arrangement and Cirque’s imaginative costumes, lighting, and staging. Aerialists dressed to resemble jellyfish, octopuses, and other sea creatures hover over the performers on the ocean floor. It’s hard to absorb it all.
More focused is the romantic treatment of “Something,” where a male performer vies for the attentions of four female aerialists flying in and out of his reach. “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is a duet between aerialist Evelyn Lamontagne and the beefy Valerly Kharun. His character is a fireman who spins her around on a huge ladder as she performs backbreaking contortions.
“Help!” and “Revolution” receive classic Cirque extreme-sports treatment. Four in-line skaters fly across 11-foot vaulted ramps, passing within inches of each other. Close contact comes into play, too, for the trampoline sequence in “Revolution” that is launched off a centrally located phone booth.
Devotees of the Beatles, their music, and background can better appreciate the nuances of the production. “Love” moves from the post-war realities of “Glass Onion” to the psychedelic era of the 1960s and the bubble-blowing take on “Strawberry Fields.”
“Love” is not just a series of scenes set to music. There is a story there, but sometimes it can be lost. The comic treatment of “Blackbird” slows the pace and had some showgoers asking, “What was that all about?”
All is forgiven, however, during the finale, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The theater-in-the-round is filled with gigantic fans, umbrellas, aerialists, and a cast of 75 colorfully costumed acrobats, dancers, actors, and athletes.
To finish the feel-good evening, the audience is asked to participate in the closing song. It’s “Love,” of course.
“Love” appears twice nightly Thursday-Monday at the Mirage in Las Vegas. Show times are 7 and 10 p.m. Tickets cost $165, $137.50, $108.90, and $75.90, which includes tax; beverages extra. Producers remind showgoers that strobe lights are used during the performance.Buy “LOVE” Show Tickets HERE