The Beatles - Love
Cirque du Soleil

by Tony Copple

Mon 28 May 2012 - As soon as we had set the dates for our road trip to Las Vegas, I had bought our tickets for The Beatles - Love, at the Mirage on the Vegas 'Strip.' Tonight was when it would happen. We left on the half hour drive at 4:30, picked up our tickets, savoured the atmosphere of the city within a city that is the Mirage, and were in our seats by 6:45 for the first of two packed out shows that would be performed tonight, 6 years after it opened. See short film of before and after the show. Of course I knew something about the show from the DVD, but the real thing was an experience like no other. As the a capella 'Because' ended and it breaks into 'Get Back' the events around us erupted to multiple magic movements and I instantly teared-up at the joy and exuberance of it all. From one great interpretation to another, Cirque du Soleil's combination of beautiful music superbly reproduced, mime, ballet, gymnastics, trapezes, humour, robotics, Beatle-lore, 2 cars, roller blades, video and the voices of John, Paul, George and Ringo entranced all who were there.

It is theatre in the round, and there is almost always more going on than can be followed by one pair of eyes. There is a loose historical sequence, starting off with wartime Liverpool, and including events such as the awarding of the MBEs. But the DNA that holds the show together is the sequence of performances of each musical episode. Some of these involve a single song and some a mash-up of several songs. The music is entirely Beatles, sliced and reconnected with great care by Giles Martin. The reproduction of the music with multi-channel sound (incuding speakers in every chair) means that many will never have heard the songs sound so good. Then add the brilliant choreography, often with an edge of fun and humour, that brings out the meaning and purpose of the songs. To see Lucy with diamonds actually flying in the sky is memorable. The gumboot dance sequence that introduces Lady Madonna was a Cirque invention - but that's just fine. After each number the audience is left wondering what twist will be put on the next, and there is never disappointment. The music selection includes a fair number of lesser known songs, and therefore leaves out many chart-toppers - but that's fine. There was never a dull moment, right up to the glorious climax of (what else) 'All you need is Love.' It was as if every song was written for this specific performance. It was a joyful and well-satisfied crowd that left the theatre, humming the tunes, and ready for the other delights of the Mirage. Our destination was one of the many restaurants. Then we returned to the (free) parking lot and drove the length of the Strip enjoying the sights and entertainment venues, including at least another six Cirque shows, before driving home.