Michael Jackson made immortal with astounding Cirque show in Pittsburgh

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Offline everlastinglove_MJ

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Another great review from Pittsburgh!

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Michael Jackson made immortal with astounding Cirque show
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Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour

Cirque du Soleil's ambitious "Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour" succeeded, captivating a full-house, opening night crowd Friday at the Petersen Events Center.
 

Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2012 4:00 pm | Updated: 6:45 pm, Sat Apr 14, 2012.

By Scott Tady


PITTSBURGH - The circus famed for its aerial stunts sure covered a lot of ground Friday in Pittsburgh.

Messages on racial harmony, environmentalism, love and greed -- mixed with the good ol' escapism of horror flicks and cops-and-gangsters films - were staged by Cirque du Soleil, immersed in the music, words, style and choreography of Michael Jackson.

And for the most part, Cirque's ambitious "Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour" succeeded, captivating a full-house, opening night crowd at the Petersen Events Center.

Perhaps Cirque has tweaked the show since its North American debut months ago, when initial reviews, while largely favorable, suggested there were moments that were too preachy or unsettling, which wasn't the case here, except for an opening scene where Jackson's delicate voice from beyond the grave spoke on the importance of preserving childhood innocence. On stage, a mime contemplated the closed gates of Jackson's Neverland ranch.

The show hit a more upbeat groove for the second big number, "Wanna Be Starting Something," where Cirque dancers and acrobats in tribal costumes climbed a 20-foot cylinder and hurled themselves toward the springy stage.

Reviewers have questioned the political correctness of the next scene featuring five dancers, in outrageously sized '70s Afro wigs, lip-synching to a Jackson Five medley. I didn't pay much attention to them, mesmerized instead by the video screen showing delightfully trippy scenes from the Jackson Five's early '70s cartoon, which reinforced what a gifted vocalist Jackson was from an early age.

The 100-minute show emphasized Jackson's vocals, captured from his master recordings, backed by a live band with five members who previously played with Jackson.

Guitarist Desiree Bassett and cellist Tina Guo were standouts with their scorching solos, as the show forged ahead with "Dancing Machine" set to a steampunk video while acrobats swung from motorized cables high above the crowd.

The audience soon grew familiar with the performers, including a sensational one-legged dancer who used his crutches to propel himself into flips, and a woman in a revealing two-piece costume who raised the bar on pole-swinging, suspended entirely by the back of her knee while dangling dangerously above a stage populated moments later by costumed gangsters for "Dangerous," which followed "Smooth Criminal."

A reptilian contortionist and upside-down aerialists in bat costumes had their moments, as the first act climaxed with "Thriller," where mummies leaped around tombstones under a screen showing Jackson's matching iconic video.

After a a 20-minute intermission, Bassett and Guo channeled their inner-Eddie Van Halen on dueling solos that closed "Beat It." Dancers replicated many of Jackson's moves, like the moonwalk. They were skilled, but not as smooth as Jackson.

The lone time the Cirque performers looked a bit clumsy on stage was during a hip-hop inspired scene where they bounce-passed and dribbled basketballs. Let's assume they're not the first ones chosen for a playground pickup game. At least that scene gave the one-legged dancer a reason to "palm" a basketball with his foot while doing a handstand, which was awesome.

The show took a somber turn for "Earth Song" and "Scream," where Jackson's voice and screened mannerisms pleaded for preservation of our planet, as footage showed fire, destruction and ultimately barren trees.

Next came "They Don't Care About Us," a re-enactment of a number designed for what was going to be Jackson's "This Is It Tour," with dancers dressed like robotic soldiers wearing LED breastplates glowing green with dollar signs. As the number wore on, their breastplate logos changed to question marks, peace signs and red-glowing hearts, matching the big red hearts that dancers carried as they strolled into the audience, symbolizing hope and rebirth.

Realizing the show had reached its critical mass of seriousness, Cirque's choreographers reeled it back in with a medley of Jackson hits, including "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough," "Billie Jean," and "Black or White" which got the crowd on its feet.

For "Black and White," Cirque artists waved large flags that were mash-ups of existing national flags. The U.S and Brazilian flags, for instance, sharing cloth space with flag emblems from African or European countries. On the video screen, one flag morphed into another, in the same manner that people of different nationalities did in Jackson's famed "Black and White" music video.

Cirque's "Michael Jackson Immortal" didn't attain the excitement level of a concert - how could it when the star was only present on video and taped recordings? Though the show offers enough one-of-a-kind action and thought-provoking moments to make it worth your while.

A small percentage of the higher-priced tickets are available for Saturday night's show, while Sunday's matinee has remaining tickets in both the higher and lower price ranges.

 

 
http://www.timesonline.com/entertainment/local_entertainment/michael-jackson-made-immortal-with-astounding-cirque-show/article_17135ad7-d91d-5f7c-9844-4b5c57cb0d96.html

with LOVE
It's all for L.O.V.E.

Offline skyways

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thank you for share that!
have to come back and add my experience in NY also.

BLESSINGS!

Offline Loveunited

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The show KEEPS morphing! I'd be interested to hear what the headlines said on the newpapers on the back projection during Smooth Criminal!
LoveUnited

Offline skyways

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Good eye LoveUnited!!-

it said  WE WILL BE BAM!!!
 
Hehe- but "blink and u miss it" - isnt? @@

Im SO Glad that i did NOT blink  at the time of that headline being showing up!

LOVE TO ALL!@

Offline Loveunited

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Wooo Whooooo :penguin: :penguin: :penguin: :multiplespotting: :multiplespotting: :multiplespotting:
Its just been great watching how the show evolves/represents what is happening in the world! Can't wait to see in again in LA!
Thanks for catching it Skyways!

 

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