By Chuck Rounds
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"Love" is playing inside the Love Theatre at the Mirage Resort & Casino. It is a tribute show that honors the lives, music, and careers of the Beatles. It comes to us through the combined efforts of Cirque du Soleil and Apple Corps Ltd., and is filled with music, images, art, and artistry. It is huge, grand, and amazing. I am, in fact, being forced into the position of having to rethink my favorite Cirque show...this one could very well become my top pick.
There are a plethora of acrobats, aerialists, and dancers that fill the stage, which seems to transform itself for every number. Multi-media sounds and images wash over you as you risk a complete sensory overload. Each of the numbers is so densely packed with layer upon layer, that I often wished for program notes to help me along the way. It is an experience and journey that we enjoy and represents the best of Cirque du Soleil.
It is difficult sometimes to try and get a handle on what exactly is happening. We intuitively want to make sense of what we are seeing and attach meaning with what is being played musically...but this is far too linear of an approach to experience this production. It is not chronological; it is not always representative; it is not always literal...it is a production in which you must truly just roll with every moment. By the end of the show, the cumulative experience is amazing with far too much to frame and put into immediate perspective.
"Love" takes place in what was the Siegfried & Roy Theatre. The $120 million revamp of the theatre left no sign of the former tenets anywhere. The new theatre is set in the round and is interestingly segmented and divided. It is truly a reflection of the production, the music, and the attitude of the show.
The music, of course, is wonderful---it is hard to go wrong when you are tapping into the collection of one of the most popular singing groups in history. The re-mastered versions of the music are incredible. The sound is exceedingly crisp and clean. It's like hearing the Beatles music for the first time, again. It was amazing. The cuts in the music may offend the purist, but it is very effective for the production.
"Love" is a Cirque show that is similar in style to all of the other Cirque shows. It is, of course, uniquely focused on the music of the Beatles...a formula that has proven not to succeed for every type of music, but the Beatles easily lend themselves to this exploration of phantasmagorical imagery. It is a wonderful journey...one that should be enjoyed by everyone, and you don't have to be a Beatles fan... It's just a great show.
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