From the opening note, the music is the star of Cirque Du Soleil’s LOVE. The Beatles provided the soundtrack in my childhood and words fail to describe the amazing soundscape lovingly created by Sir George Martin and his son Giles Martin in the Abby Road Studio. The music erupts through a breath taking custom sound system designed by Jonathan Deans that engulfs the audience in a way Paul, George, John and Ringo could never have imagined; notes leap into the air through 6,341 speakers, including three per individual seat with a stereo pair built into the headrest.
The Love Theater at the Mirage, like all Cirque shows in Vegas, features an incredible stage that is integral to the show. This one has nine lifts, eight automated tracks and trolleys that allows seamless transitions between sets along with chain motors built into the ceiling that allows incredible, gravity defying maneuvers and reverse bungy jumping, enabling performers to fly upward and spin through the air. The stage faces all directions, nullifying the usual orientation of “front” and “back.” 2,013 seats set around a central stage in eight sections; there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
The circus performance is more ephemeral and harder to describe. The choreography guiding the myriad movement and visual images is both entertaining and overwhelming, continually enchanting the audience as they stare at whatever piece of the tapestry caught your attention.
The storyline seems loosely intended to trace the rise of the Beatles from their days in Hamburg to their emergence into super stardom, then on to their breakup in the 70’s. Along the way, we see England emerging from World War II and allusions to the psychedelics and politics, the war and cultural revolution that were the cultural milieu of the Beatles era. These moments are communicated primarily through colorful costumes, iconic symbols and fictitious characters like Sargent Pepper, Lucy in the Sky, Eleanor Rigby, Lady Madonna and Mr. Kite.
The show itself represents a “reunion,” if bittersweet, as it seeks some form of closure for a story that so tragically lacks a happy ending. The support and unreserved enthusiasm for the project by the surviving band members, the families of the departed, along with the dedication and devotion of the Martins provides some closure and makes the goal of a happy ending almost obtainable. As Sir George Martin told the BBC,
“It was strange, writing this for an old friend who was no longer with us. Yesterday was first score I ever wrote for a Beatle song way back in 1965 and this, 41 years later, is the last. They bookend an extraordinary time…I never thought I would get this deeply involved with the Beatles again. It’s been a real journey but we were doing something worthwhile.” He, continued, “We were trying to create a feeling of what the Beatles were all about, and what they were all about was love.”
Thanks to the hard work of Martin, McCartney and the Cirque creative wizardry, the audience gets to be deeply involved with the Fab Four again, if only for a few fleeting hours. Don’t miss your chance to feel the LOVE again.
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