20 April 2010
Here is an excerpt from Gil Kaufman's review of the LOVE show in Las Vegas:
"That evening, after dodging the gauntlet of what seemed like hundreds of hawkers trying to hand me cards for escort services, pushing my way past freaks dressed as Na'vi, storm troopers, Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands and more than half a dozen Michael Jacksons, I hit up the Mirage to catch the Cirque du Soleil show "Love."
I'd read plenty of rave reviews of the Beatles revue, and I've seen a number of Cirque shows before, but none of that prepared me for this spectacle. Vegas is sometimes where artists in the twilight of their careers go to cash in one more time, and Beatles fans were worried that this show would be a nostalgia trip that would cheapen the band's carefully-manicured place atop music's Mount Olympus and make them seem dated and corny.
Not a chance. The show takes music that is more than 40 years old and makes it utterly contemporary, blending the songs into a kind of mash-up/mixtape of perfectly sequenced Beatles classics and outtakes accompanied by breakdancing, stepping, Krumping, in-line skating on a vert ramp and trampoline work. It sounds as chaotic as "Revolution No. 9" but comes off like a psychedelic mash note to the Fab Four.
The in-the-round theater is equipped with 6,000 speakers that blast the tunes at sometimes concert-worthy volume as acrobats and dancers move through the early lives of the Beatles, blasting apart a WWII-era Liverpool set during a bombastic "Get Back," racing across the stage in a vintage Beetle for "Drive My Car" and filling the air with giant soap bubbles pulled from the top of a grand piano for "Strawberry Fields Forever."
The story of the singer's rise is eventually dropped in favor of pieces that bring the group's songs to life. "Octopus's Garden" featured an aerialist in long, flowing jellyfish costumes trippily bouncing up and down, while hippie trampolinists flipped through the air to avoid riot cops during a turbulent "Revolution" and four in-line skaters wearing moptop-shaped helmets glided and spun through the air on two vert ramps during "Help."
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