On The Download: Cirque Du Soleil’s ‘Viva ELVIS’
First Published: September 3, 2010 1:08 PM EDT Credit: Julie Aucoin
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Elvis is alive and well… in Vegas.
I recently visited Sin City where I had a chance to check out the latest installment from the indefatigable Cirque du Soleil, “Viva ELVIS” at the new ARIA Resort & Casino, and for all music lovers – not just huge Elvis fans — this is a show that doesn’t disappoint.
Like Cirque’s previous foray into the catalog of rock ‘n’ roll legends, “The Beatles LOVE” at the Mirage hotel, “Viva ELVIS” offers a re-imagining of The King’s music – this time, offering a narrative journey through the life of the America’s first rock icon. The show, which feels larger and more elaborate in scale than any Cirque show to date (and that’s saying a lot, given the scope of fellow Vegas shows like “O” and “KA”), is a high-energy explosion of all things Elvis – with not a clown in sight.
Beginning with a rockin’ intro set to “Blue Suede Shoes,” the show then transitions into a journey through Elvis’ life, as told by his personal manager. The ballad “One Night,” is told as a sweet ode to Elvis’ twin brother (who died at birth), and “All Shook Up” is sung set in a southern church, much like the one in which Elvis grew up attending in Tupelo, Mississippi. “Return To Sender” traces Elvis’ chapter in the U.S. military, and “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” is a beautiful homage to his marriage to Priscilla.
The show’s most impressive acrobatics take place during “Got A Lot Of Livin’ To Do,” based upon Elvis’ childhood obsession with superhero comics. Yet the highlight of the entire show is “Jailhouse Rock,” the set for which is simply mind-blowing.
With “Viva ELVIS,” Cirque du Soleil has done it yet again, providing cross-generational larger-than-life entertainment, which stuns both visually and aurally.
Next up, as announced this past April, Cirque will be teaming up with Michael Jackson’s estate to give a similar treatment to the King of Pop. The first arena touring show is slated for late 2011, and the Las Vegas permanent show is set to debut in 2012.
And Elvis fans have even more to look forward to this fall. If you can’t make it to Vegas, Legacy Recordings, in cooperation with Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. and “Viva ELVIS by Cirque du Soleil” at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, this November will release “Viva ELVIS - The Album,” a 21st century celebration of Elvis and his music, featuring the voice of The King in a whole new context. For more information about the upcoming album, visit www.vivaelvis.com.
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