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‘Cirque du Soleil: Michael Jackson the Immortal’ Premieres

Extravagant production pays tribute to late megastar

michael jackson cirque du soleil

Olivier Samson Arcand

The gates of Neverland and a giant "giving tree" provide the backdrop to a new Cirque du Soleil production, Michael Jackson The Immortal, that made its world premiere at Montreal’s Bell Centre Sunday night.

By Karen Bliss

michael jackson cirque du soleil

Olivier Samson Arcand

(no title)

The production was approved by the Estate of Michael Jackson and created specifically for arenas by writer/director Jamie King, who has served as tour director for Madonna, Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Rihanna and many more.

michael jackson cirque du soleil

Olivier Samson Arcand

(no title)

The show features Jackson’s hit-laden catalogue and Cirque’s breathtaking sets, costumes and performers on aerial hoops and cradles, or contorting, balancing, flipping or flying. 

michael jackson cirque du soleil

Olivier Samson Arcand

(no title)

Among the sold out crowd of 13,000 were members of the Jackson family, including the late pop singer’s children, Prince Michael Jackson I, Prince Michael “Blanket” Jackson II and Paris; mother Katherine; and brothers Tito, Marlon and Jackie. 

michael jackson cirque du soleil

Olivier Samson Arcand

(no title)

Jackson’s image was often projected on the massive screen onstage, in photographs or quick-cut video montages, and, at times, his voice alone can be heard talking about inspiration and message of love. 

michael jackson cirque du soleil

Olivier Samson Arcand

(no title)

The set pieces and props changed according to the song and include a floating balloon, giant wire animals and pronged contraptions — with performers inside. 

michael jackson cirque du soleil

Olivier Samson Arcand

(no title)

The music is performed live onstage by a large band, complete with horn section, percussionists and background vocalists, with Jackson's lead vocals taken from his original tracks. The setlist includes such classics as "Childhood," "Thriller," "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," "Ben,"  "Billie Jean," "Black or White," "Smooth Criminal," "Dangerous," and the Jackson 5's "Can You Feel It," "I'll Be There," "I Want You Back" and "ABC."

michael jackson cirque du soleil

Olivier Samson Arcand

(no title)

The show will play 47 North American cities, debuting in the U.S. on October 15th in Detroit and doing a month-long run in Las Vegas December 3rd to 27th. It will settle in Vegas in late 2013.

In This Article: Michael Jackson

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