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Love is in the air at the Mirage
By Kristine McKenzie
If you're looking for a show that's a fusion of acrobatics, dance and visual effects, accompanied by a classic rock 'n' roll soundtrack, then all you need is LOVE.
Show Director Dominic Champagne calls Cirque du Soleil's LOVE a "rock 'n' roll poem." The show is a slightly psychedelic journey through the trends and politics of the '60s and most importantly, The Beatles' history, told through nearly 30 of the group's songs.
LOVE started out as a collaboration between George Harrison and Cirque du Soleil's Guy LaLiberté. After Harrison's death, the remaining Beatles and the families of the late group members helped bring Harrison's vision to life, sharing their ideas about song selection and song order for the show.
The music director for LOVE is none other than Sir George Martin, who is best known for his work producing The Beatles' music. Martin's son, Giles, is also a music director for the show.
Although LOVE features some well-known Beatles songs, it is not meant to be a greatest hits show.
The journey starts with the energetic "Get Back" at the scene of The Beatles' farewell concert and then flashes back to Liverpool during World War II when the band members were young children.
No journey through the '60s would be complete without a trip through the era of Beatlemania. Acrobats and tumblers on trampolines perform, accompanied by "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "Drive My Car."
"Help" serves as the soundtrack for four extreme sports athletes who take the stage leaping 11 foot ramps on inline skates.
"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Octopus's Garden" are the perfect backdrops for Cirque's famous aerial ballet moves.
The show even features a "jam session" created from authentic recordings of the four band members. All of the audio clips and music in the show are from actual recordings from The Beatles' Abbey Road studio.
The show concludes with its namesake "All You Need is Love," as a montage of photos of The Beatles plays on huge screens, leaving the audience with a feeling of nostalgia for a bygone era.
Besides The Beatles, the other star of the show is the 2,000-plus seat theater itself, which features 360-degree seating. There is not a bad seat in the house and the farthest is only 98 feet from the stage.
The sound system is unlike any other - there are 6,341 speakers in the theater and patrons feel as though they are completely enveloped in sound. There are three speakers per seat -- two in each headrest and one in the seat in front of you.
The theater also features a complex video system with 28 projectors and two 20-foot-high by 100-foot-wide screens, which contribute to the visual experience.
LOVE is not a typical Cirque du Soleil show with high-flying trapeze artists, gymnasts and acrobats. Although there is some of that in the show, it is mainly a theatrical and dance-oriented show. The creators also wanted to bring a bit of the youth of today into the show, showcasing extreme sports, break dancing and street dancing.
In the end, it's all about the music and if you're a fan of The Beatles, you'll have nothing but love for this show.
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