BWW Review: Cirque Du Soleil's MICHAEL JACKSON: ONE DAZZLES WITH THE MAGIC & MUSIC OF MJ at Mandalay Bay
Michael Jackson ONE is a resident Cirque du Soleil show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. The show follows four friends being chased by cyborg beings after stealing MJ's iconic bejewelled glove. Along the way, each of them encounters different items of the late performer's visual persona: the aforementioned glove, his shoes, his glasses, and his fedora. Each companion gets a scene focused on them where they encounter one of the shortcomings of their personality, but with the help of one of these items, is able to overcome it.
Of course, all of the above happens in Cirque's signature style: insane acrobatics, abstract setting, wordless action (well, minus Jackson's voice and lyrics), and precise execution. Videos and projections broadcast from varied panels on the set and the walls surrounding the audience. ONE contains the added bonus of a left, right, and center speaker embedded in every seat, adding to the all-encompassing nature of the performance.
In addition to the acrobatics, the show contains varied forms of dance (of course, it's Michael Jackson) from hip-hop to pole dancing. One can be excused for leaving the theater at the end feeling fat and untalented thanks to the cut bodies and extraordinary skill displayed within. The dancer who performs the famous Moonwalk and isolates parts of his bodies is definitely a highlight. Some of these scenes depart from the original foursome story to tell their own mini-stories in numbers like "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Dirty Diana", but that makes them no less enjoyable, nor do they really detract from the original tale (which was loosely told anyway).
ONE takes special care to employ ideals that Jackson held dear: caring for others, caring for the earth, and making people happy. Between numbers, the audience was treated to sound clips of him speaking or reading poetry, which added a somber, nostalgic feel. The performances served to enhance those feelings, not erase them, and each was perfectly timed to how the audience should feel. Michael Jackson's music caused fans worldwide and across generations to feel. Now in ONE, you can experience them on a whole new level.
Photo Credit: www.mandalaybay.com