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Offline moonstreet

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Opening Night Monteal
« on: October 02, 2011, 10:14:24 AM »
All the reviews and news reports from opening night

Offline moonstreet

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Re: Opening Night Monteal
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2011, 02:37:48 PM »
http://tvanouvelles.ca/lcn/artsetspectacles/general/archives/2011/10/20111001-220517.html

(ORIGINAL ARTICLE IN FRENCH, TRANSLATED USING GOOGLE TRANSLATOR)

Flash mob
A tribute to Michael Jackson at the Bell Centre
Published October 1, 2011 at 22:05


A tribute to Michael Jackson at the Bell Centre on the eve of the premiere of Cirque du Soleil.

Led by Travis Payne, one of the leading choreographers of the show Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour , 300 employees of Cirque du Soleil made ​​a tribute to the King of Pop on Saturday during a flash mob (flashmob), before the Centre Bell.

More than 500 spectators braved the rain to watch the choreography of a few minutes, also a creation of Mr. Payne.

All employees were voluntary participants.

"Michael Jackson was so fond of dancing, so that's what we decided to do," says Line Gingras, director of activities and events, Cirque.

The Cirque du Soleil will be officially launched this Sunday night at the Bell Centre.


Offline moonstreet

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Re: Opening Night Monteal
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2011, 09:17:19 PM »
http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/02/showbiz/jackson-cirque-du-soleil/index.html

Jackson's kids to watch Cirque du Soleil tribute
By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 2:22 PM EST, Sun October 2, 2011


Los Angeles (CNN) -- Michael Jackson's mother and his three children will be immersed in the pop icon's music, dance and imagery as they attend the premiere of Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour" in Montreal, Canada, Sunday.

Katherine Jackson, who sat through four days of disturbing testimony in the trial of the doctor charged in her son's death, agreed with the Michael Jackson estate and Cirque du Soleil just this past week to attend the opening performance this weekend, according to a source close to the Jackson family.

The agreement is a sign Katherine Jackson and the men who now control her son's estate as executors have reached an understanding that should ease the tensions that erupted in probate court soon after Michael Jackson's death in 2009, the source said.

Jackson's mother waged a legal challenge against lawyer John Branca and music executive John McClain, who were named as executors in her son's will, but dropped it several months later. Relations between the Jackson family and the estate have been tense from that beginning

The trip, which includes Prince, Paris and Blanket Jackson, will not end until October 9 when they return to Los Angeles following the Michael Forever Tribute show in Cardiff, Wales, next Saturday, the source said.

With several of Michael Jackson's brothers and sisters also traveling to the Wales concert, most of the Jackson family's eight seats in Dr. Conrad Murray's trial will likely go empty until next week.

Jackson's children never saw their father perform live on stage, but the Cirque du Soleil show promises for two hours to "capture the essence, soul and inspiration of the King of Pop, celebrating a legacy that continues to transcend generations."

The road tour will reach at least 47 cities in the United States and Canada over the next year.

The circus company, legendary for its creative and acrobatic performances, first talked to Jackson seven years ago about the possibility of a Jackson-themed show, Cirque's president said when the agreement with his estate was announced in April 2010. The estate and Cirque du Soleil are equal partners.

The MGM Mirage has signed on to host the Las Vegas, Nevada, residency starting in 2012. The hotel also will open a nightclub based on the Jackson show, the hotel said.

Offline moonstreet

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Re: Opening Night Monteal
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2011, 08:56:21 AM »
http://tvanouvelles.ca/lcn/artsetspectacles/general/archives/2011/10/20111002-215023.html

(ORIGINAL ARTICLE IN FRENCH TRANSLATED USING GOOGLE TRANSLATOR)

Michael Jackson, The Immortal World Tour
The King of Pop is reborn in Montreal
First published October 2, 2011 at 21:50
Updated: October 3, 2011 at 0:13



The mother and three children of Michael Jackson was in Montreal on Sunday to attend the world premiere of Michael Jackson, The Immortal World Tour at the Bell Centre.

The show was mounted by Cirque du Soleil tribute to the late King of Pop .

It is with pride that artisans of the show and several members of the Jackson family, have graced the inner portion of the red carpet in their honor at the Bell Centre.

Unfortunately, the public portion, located in the Windsor Court, has not been used because of the rain that fell on the city.

Children of the American star, Prince Michael Jr., Paris Michael Katherine and Prince Michael II, his mother Katherine and his brothers Jackie, Tito and Marlon have all agreed to pose for the many media representatives at the evening long awaited by fans of the singer and Cirque du Soleil.

Marlon, Jackie and Tito, who made all three of the Jackson Five, have also expressed confidence in the success of this marriage between Cirque and work of their brother.

Michael Jackson, The Immortal World Tour , indeed combines music and choreography from Michael Jackson to the expertise of world-renowned Cirque du Soleil.

The show was conceived and directed by Jamie King, who has worked with major pop stars like Britney Spears, Prince and of course Michael Jackson.

"I am excited to see how the passion and vision that Michael had for music and dance will be implemented by Cirque du Soleil in the show, said Katherine Jackson. Michael's love for the stage and the enormous legacy he left us will be honored in this unique tribute. "

The creative team of the show is the largest of all the creative teams experienced by the Cirque du Soleil.



Offline moonstreet

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Re: Opening Night Monteal
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2011, 09:00:41 AM »
http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/story/2011-10-03/michael-jackson-cirque-du-soleil/50638766/1

Michael Jackson goes Cirque du Soleil
By Brian McCollum, USA TODAY
Updated 2h 9m ago


The event: The music, moves and legacy of Michael Jackson got the fantasy treatment Sunday night as Cirque du Soleil staged the world premiere of The Immortal World Tour. It's the biggest project formally authorized by the estate since the star's 2009 death.

The crowd: A capacity audience of 13,000 included brothers Tito, Jackie and Marlon Jackson, mom Katherine and Michael's kids Prince (14), Paris (13) and Blanket (9).

The tour: Sunday's show launched a 47-city North American tour that will make its U.S. debut Oct. 15 in Detroit. The tour — which will include a December residency at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas — is slated to wrap up July 20 in Chicago, though more dates are likely. Another version of the show will establish a permanent Vegas home in late 2013.

The fans: On a wet and chilly night in Montreal, Sunday's opening drew fans from Brazil to Los Angeles, some decked out with glittery white gloves and classic Thriller jackets.

The music: The show was an ecstatic barrage of hits from Jackson's solo career and Jackson 5 years. With vocal parts extracted from original studio tapes and mixed with a live band (directed by Jackson keyboardist Greg Phillinganes), it was a four-dimensional funky swirl of sound. The set ran through a host of moods — a night where the tender Childhood seamlessly segued into the crackling Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'.

The performance: The Jamie King-directed show featured Cirque's typical attention to detail, from meticulously constructed props (glowing hearts, a handsome hot-air balloon) to exquisite cast numbers choreographed by longtime Jackson associates such as Travis Payne. Unlike traditional Cirque shows, Immortal was presented less as a nouveau circus than a fantasy concert, with some of Jackson's signature moves cast through Cirque's whimsical prism.
The centerpiece: A re-creation of Jackson's Giving Tree, the backyard spot at his Neverland Ranch where he often retreated for musical inspiration.

The wow factor:Human Nature featured performers dangling over the stage, gorgeously dotted with lights against a backdrop of stars. A giant white glove and dancing shoes appeared for Beat It, and the Giving Tree sprouted a sprawling set of claws for Thriller, which featured mummies and white-tuxedoed zombies. Peace symbols adorned the chests on the robotic warriors of They Don't Care About Us. While the show featured no singular story line, broad themes of compassion, human connection and global consciousness were sketched throughout.

The King of Pop: Jackson's images were a constant presence, and he occasionally had the stage to himself: I'll Be There featured just his voice accompanied by a live piano, childhood footage playing on a big onstage screen.

The brothers: Backstage, three beaming Jackson brothers declared that the show captured Michael's spirit. "That was Michael's message — to help us understand that love is so important," Tito says. The family was particularly moved by the interpretation of Gone Too Soon. "Our mother is probably bawling out there somewhere," Jackie says.

Offline moonstreet

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Re: Opening Night Monteal
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2011, 09:03:22 AM »
http://www.toronto.com/article/700044--cirque-s-tribute-to-michael-jackson-a-spectacular-show

Cirque’s tribute to Michael Jackson a spectacular show
Oct 02, 2011


MONTREAL—When I first heard that Cirque du Soleil was planning a show based on the life and works of Michael Jackson, I felt a shudder of fear. Not only did I doubt the wisdom of living too heavily off the presence of pop idols, so soon after they failed to ring the bell with Viva Elvis!, but I questioned what was to be gained by sifting through the ashes of Jackson’s sad demise so soon after the event.

Well, about 15 minutes into Sunday night’s opening of Michael Jackson—The IMMORTAL World Tour, I heard a voice in my head saying “Oh ye of little faith.”

Not only is Cirque’s latest show their most spectacular to date, but for almost all of its 2-hour length, it succeeds in distilling a sad and powerful poetry out of the enigma that was Michael Jackson.

Credit Jamie King, the writer and director with succeeding in erecting a tower of glory on top of what could have been a potential minefield.

From the very opening, where we’re about to start groaning at the presence of a quintet of typical Cirque clowns, we soon realize they’re blessedly multi-racial, genuinely funny and—wait for it—a larger than comic portrait of The Jackson Five.

Soon after, we tap into a vein of sweet nostalgic bliss for a happy childhood that Michael never really had, taking us through “the lost and found of my heart” and asking a question he would ask until his death, “Where is my childhood.”

A little child in a hot air balloon floats over the golden gates of Neverland and disappears over our heads in the spectacular arena King and his collaborators have created.

They turn the cavernous Bell Centre into a place of magic and I can’t wait to see them repeat the trick in Toronto’s ACC later this month.

In the short time remaining between the show’s finish and my deadline, it’s impossible to catalogue all the beauty on display, but you won’t forget the aerial acrobats all in black, whose bodies are wired with an assortment of lights that turn them into human star sculptures of breathtaking beauty.

And when it comes to the “Ghost Stories” sequence, we all wait to see what’s going to be done with the archetypal Jackson number, “Thriller”

But instead of a mere imitation of the video we all know so well, King and company turn it into a voodoo funeral, all in white, with the spectre of Baron Samedi hovering over the familiar dance steps.

As the show goes on, we start to realize how much of Jackson’s vision of the world was ebony-hued and how potent the darkness was.

In fact, they show how certain images came to overwhelm Jackson by having his trademark hat, shoes and glove all appear 20 times larger than life as the song “Beat It” is ironically sung.

But as Michael keeps dancing towards his death, we see clock wheels spinning madly out of control, just as time did for the superstar.

There is no one playing Jackson per se, but one performer, clad all in silvery white, with a childlike cap, fills the role of our central figure who becomes hero and victim all at once.

Things become almost unbearably moving when we hear Jackson’s prophetic lyric, “Gone Too Soon,” with its lines about “Born to amuse, to inspire to delight/Here one day and gone one night.”

A stage full of red hearts beat faster, then fade out one by one. Then from the darkness, we see the entire company with hearts glowing anew, filling the aisles of the theatre while we watch a video of the very young Michael singing “I’ll Be There” with that voice which could hurt and heal at the same time, as it did for all his life.

I would have been happy to have the show end there, but it goes on to a conventional upbeat finale, with “greatest hits” like “Billy Jean,” “Black and White” and “Man in the Mirror.”

For my taste, I would prefer the show to have ended simply. But this is just the very first performance of a multi-year and since they have so much of it right already, there’s no reason to doubt that Cirque’s tribute to Michael Jackson will shimmer in complete glory before too long.

Offline moonstreet

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Re: Opening Night Monteal
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2011, 09:27:14 AM »
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/cirque-du-soleils-michael-jackson-242983

Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson: The World Tour: Theater Review
9:25 PM PDT 10/2/2011 by Etan Vlesing


The show, which had its world premiere in Montreal on Sunday night, features a circus mime, a contortionist, acrobats and dancers performing to the late King of Pop's songs.

MONTREAL -- The Gloved One may be dead, but thanks to Cirque du Soleil, the late pop star's life remains a circus with Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour saluting the King of Pop Sunday night with a world premiere in Montreal.

Here was another full on production from iconic concert director-choreographer Jamie King, a veteran concert tour director for Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Celine Dion.

But a concert being live performance, King's latest tour creation suffered without a star live performer to anchor the show and provide a focus.

Sure, Jackson's digitally recorded voice, fronted by a live band and around 60 dancers and circus performers, drives the show. But Cirque du Soleil, for all its legendary inventiveness, can't match Michael Jackson, for all his iconic song-writing and dancing flamboyance, step for step, music performance for music performance.

In the late pop star's place, King's stage setting offers a fantastical realm, in keeping with Jackson's otherworldly persona.

And the framing story is a plea for global love and peace embodied in a Giving Tree, one of the giant oak trees at the Neverland Ranch, and the apparent source of Jackson's song-writing creativity.

Set designer Mark Fisher's 12-meter-high Giving Tree, which opens to the concert audience via the Neverland Ranch gates, eventually gives way to a fantasy-driven world of ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds, draw bridges and toy trains.

"Have you seen my childhood," the audience hears Jackson's digital voice intone, as we recall his best Peter Pan plea that all along, Jackson was just a kid at heart, trying to relive a childhood he never knew.

We see on stage in The Immortal World Tour elephants, a giant hat big enough to hold two dancers, and a soft sculpture glove by which performers create varied hand positions.

And we see a young Michael as an animatronics puppet during the "Ben" track float in a giant balloon into the arena, to the applause of the capacity Bell Arena audience in Montreal.

It's all classic Cirque du Soleil, except, of course, for the absence of the late, great entertainer himself.

His absence is all the more glaring each time Jackson shows up on a giant LED screen or the stage-length scrim, via video of his old gigs like the 1987 Bad World Tour, or the pyrotechnics and illusions of the 1992 Dangerous World Tour. 
King makes the most of the absence.

The red jacket, the sequins, the glittering glove and white sock/dance shoes are all represented with props. Dancers showcase the deceased singer's iconic steps, including the moonwalk and his famous leaning motion. Zombie dancers rise from the grave during the "Thriller" track, accompanied by pulsing synths and power choruses.

And there's the predictable Cirque du Soleil touches: a mime and a monkey figure dance together during the "Blame It on the Boogie" scene and four performers swing high in the air on ropes during the "Human Nature" track.

But a circus mime, a contortionist, acrobats, and dancers and their sweat-breaking choreography can't replace the Real Deal. And make no mistake: Michael Jackson The Immortal Tour is not Jackson's life story.

We see a familiar character arc that took Jackson from musical boy wonder as a fifth of the Jackson 5 to global pop genius.

But a Cirque du Soleil production sanctioned by the Jackson family could well offend the pop star's detractors for dismissing much that held Jackson's fans and the paparazzi in thrall until his untimely death in 2009: the "sleeping with boys" allegations, Jackson in handcuffs and on trial, the pill popping, the bleached white skin, the spending sprees and the botched plastic surgery.

King's quasi-metaphysical storyline of Jackson¹s music and songs, and his quest for global love and protecting the world¹s children, instead never strays from a fantastical, circus sensibility.

But the magic of Michael Jackson: The Immortal Tour is the King of Pop's detractors will be left shaking their heads over what all the circus that's come to town means, and Jackson's legions of fans will know exactly what their idol is saying, seemingly from beyond the grave.

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Re: Opening Night Monteal
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2011, 09:29:20 AM »
http://www.lvrj.com/news/cirque-du-soleil-debuts-michael-jackson-tribute-the-immortal-in-montreal-130956233.html

Cirque du Soleil debuts Michael Jackson tribute 'The Immortal' in Montreal
BY MIKE WEATHERFORD LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Posted: Oct. 2, 2011 | 10:27 p.m.


In California, a courtroom debate rages over how Michael Jackson died. But Sunday, on a cold, rainy night on the opposite side of North America, Cirque du Soleil set out to resurrect his heart.

The heart -- as in the red Valentine kind -- was a dominant image of "The Immortal," Cirque's sports arena tribute to Jackson that bowed to a capacity hometown crowd at the Bell Centre in Montreal, the company's headquarter city.

Jackson was a known fan of Cirque du Soleil and took in many of the company's Las Vegas-based titles, including "Mystere" with his children in 2008. "I think it's a perfect match," Cirque co-founder and chief executive Guy Laliberte told reporters on the red carpet before the show. "This guy came from the same planet that we're coming from."

On Cirque's planet, however, that means strange sites such as (a costumed actor as) Jackson's pet chimp, Bubbles, as the dee-jay, spinning tracks from an aerial pod as aerialists performed underneath.

It also meant a break-dancing mime and a rockin' female cellist with a bare midriff. And a childhood representation of Jackson giving one of those red valentine hearts away after coasting to the stage in a hot-air balloon. The hearts even lit up on the chests of menacing robot figures who marched down the stage for "They Don't Care About Us."

The venture in cooperation with Jackson's estate will tour for two years, including a Dec. 3-27 stint at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. A different incarnation will eventually settle into the theater now hosting "The Lion King" in 2013.

"This is the biggest thing we've ever done," Laliberte told reporters before the show. "This guy was so big. Not only in a certain generation but the entire span of generations."

The arena tour has seen record pre-sales, he said. "When we announced this project our Internet site crashed because there were so many people trying to get information."

The product that awaits them, at least in its debut, is one in which Cirque's acrobatics take a backseat to Jackson's music, recreations of his inimitable dance moves and sometimes spoken-word recordings of his own voice. Crowd reaction was strong for segments that most closely matched their source video, such as zoot-suited gangsters on a nightclub set in "Smooth Criminal."

"The Immortal" embraced every aspect of the pop legend's legacy, from a whimsical depiction of '70s era Jackson 5 to an environmental message in "Earth Song" and a dance sequence that paid homage to all his show business influences from ballet to tap.

The tribute also ventures far from the greatest hits and aims for poignant moments. All human performers vanish during footage of Jackson as a boy performing "I'll Be There" on the giant video panels.

The gates of his Neverland estate and a symbolic "Giving Tree" from the ranch were among the many show elements representing Jackson's loss of a normal childhood in the show designed for sports arenas.

The live band was in the hands of Greg Phillinganes, a musical collaborator with Jackson in life. "It's not like this is a career move. It's a labor of love ... to maintain Michael's legacy, Phillinganes told reporters on the red carpet.

Asked if he felt the pressure of Jackson's brothers and children attending the tour debut, Phillinganes answered, "We put the press on ourselves. It's not like, 'Oh, the family's here. We better get it right.' "

Phillinganes noted that on one visit to Cirque's headquarters, Jackson "got stuck in the costume department and didn't want to leave."

The red carpet festivities were mostly limited to Jackson's family and the show's creative team, with one odd exception: Acoustic-folk leaning singer-songwriter Rufus Wainright.

A friend of the show's costumers, he said he had never covered a Michael Jackson song in one of his own shows.

"But I'm from Montreal originally so it makes sense. I usually come here for a hockey game."