Like millions of others, I’ve had a special place in my heart for the Beatles since I was four when we used to listen to them as we played in our backyard. Same goes for Cirque Du Soleil, having seen five shows starting with Mystere in Vegas when I was 11. So naturally I’ve been excited about finally seeing the two collide in LOVE, the Las Vegas sensation that is now on its five year anniversary. To say I wasn’t disappointed would be a tremendous understatement, as the music, costumes, acrobatics, stage design, and overall show simply blew me away, coming off as an incredibly deserving tribute to the Fab Four.
In comparison to the other Cirque Du Soleil shows I have seen, LOVE is much more fluid and is a constantly moving, constantly captivating spectacle. I love all Cirque, but some of their shows get somewhat bogged down in some of the more melodramatic moments as well as distracted in some of the mimed comedy bits. LOVE doesn’t even have an intermission, but is rather 2.5 straight hours of beautiful music and movement, with only two short comedy bits in the show, one goofing on the iconic Abbey Road cross-traffic cover and toying around with a black bird from “Blackbird”. The slower songs are among the more amazing moments in the show, from the beautiful ballet of “Something” to the melancholy imagery during “Yesterday”.
However, LOVE shines brightest in its most energetic and psychedelic moments. The Beatles really created their own world of characters with their music, and there is no better way to bring that world to life than through Cirque Du Soleil. From the tattooed, breakdancing walrus in “I Am The Walrus” to the soaring aerial gymnast in “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”, LOVE really brings the whole cast of characters to life. Other sequences really capture the mood of their songs. The “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” portion really captures the deranged circus Lennon sings of, and the best musical mash up of LOVE, “Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows”, offers the most mind-bending moment of the show, as kids float on a rising bed over a giant white sheet that slowly swallows up most of the audience.
I would also be remiss not to mention the acrobatics. As a former gymnast myself, I have additional admiration for the level of difficulty of much of what is done at Cirque Du Soleil. LOVE is no exception especially with the trampoline telephone booth sequence during “Revolution” and the mop-top roller skaters flipping on the half pipe during “Help”.
Then there’s the music. I first heard the LOVE Soundtrack five years ago when the show debuted, and was blown away how well the songs were mixed and mashed together. The reason it is done so brilliantly is simple enough; it comes from the guy that knows every Beatles song more intimately than everyone beside The Beatles themselves; George Martin, the producer of every single Beatles album. This was done alongside his son Giles and under the supervision of the remaining two Beatles; not a bad way to capture the essence of the greatest band of all time. A big highlight is Martin soloing out the vocals for the show opener “Because”, which shows just how intoxicating it is when the four would sing together.
So if you are running through Vegas for a convention, vacation, or a wedding (as I was), win a couple hundred in black jack and buy yourself some LOVE tickets. For Beatles fans and even for people who could care less about the Liverpool lads, you won’t be disappointed.
Show Rating: 10.5/11
Can’t Miss: “Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows” sequence, “Mr. Kite” sequence, “Get Back” sequence.
Can’t Hit: Almost flawless, but “Strawberry Fields” and black bird comedy bit are probably the lowlights.