We gave it a B+
Michael Jackson ONE Las Vegas
Since the tragic death of Cirque du Soleil aerialist Sarah Guillot-Guyard during a June 29 performance of KÀ, it may be hard to watch any of the Quebec-based troupe’s risky routines in quite the same way. While there is plenty of heart-stopping wirework and acrobatics in Cirque’s new Las Vegas show, Michael Jackson ONE, the 90-minute tribute relies on the late King of Pop’s music and dancing for much of its spectacle.
There’s an inane narrative following four characters on a journey to Neverland Ranch, but the main set pieces are built around Jackson’s hits, mostly from his solo career. The best routines draw on images from his classic videos. During ”Thriller,” performers in elaborate zombie garb gracefully flip and fly on a half-dozen trampolines before segueing into a sensational depiction of the familiar bent-elbow dance moves.
The showstoppers include dancer Charles Riley’s transformative take on the moonwalk and a Jackson hologram hoofing alongside live performers to ”Man in the Mirror.” (The mirage is so convincing that you may forget it’s not the real deal.) Surprisingly, given Jackson’s penchant for excess, ONE is less flashy than many Cirque acts. The inventive production design never upstages the performers or the music, which is broadcast to each audience member via custom in-seat speakers. (Tickets: cirquedusoleil.com) B+