With ticket prices coming in at about $75 a pop, Immortal was on my wish list, but not on my must-do list. The recession ain’t over! But at the last minute, a pair of tickets to the Colonial Life Arena event came my way. And boy, am I glad they did.
I’d always heard wonderful things about Cirque Du Soleil but had never been able to check it out firsthand. Their tribute to Michael Jackson, The Immortal World Tour, ended up being the best introduction ever!
With famed musicians like drummer John “Sugarfoot” Moffett, musical director Greg Phillinganes, and saxophonist Mike Phillips, the show welcomed you with unmatched live music and nonstop action.
Set against a backdrop of NeverLand, the show opened with a mime followed by scenic display of Jackson’s early music. It was refreshing to be reminded of the cute child star Michael Jackson once was. After a tender tribute to MJ’s childhood, I was ready for Cirque Du Soleil to do what they promised they would do… amaze me. And I got my wish.
What followed was an amazing mesh of the traditional circus stunts that have wowed children for years and new sexy, intricate aerobatics to fascinate adults. The show had lots of moving parts; while you were busy focusing on one element, there was an equally fabulous element going on on another part of the stage.
The more fascinating scenes of the show were the contortionist who comes out of an giant Book of Tales, the Heart Break Hotel sequence that featured a sensual aerial tango, and Scream, with acrobats performing perfectly synchronized tumbling. But perhaps the most awe-inspiring scenes were Thriller (of course), Smooth Criminal, where dancers flawlessly delivered ‘the lean’, and They Don’t Care About Us, where dancers, dressed like soldiers, reenacted a routine from MJ’s THIS IS IT tour… the one that never happened.
After more than 20 acts and a 20 minute intermission, Cirque Du Soleil completely had me and thousands of other viewers glued to our seat, eyes peeled, waiting for the next act. We all were a bit saddened when the show was obviously coming to an end. The finale was a touching rendition of Man in the Mirror, followed by an explosion of fireworks.
As outstanding as the show was, one things should be mentioned: anyone who was waiting for a Michael Jackson impersonator was left disappointed. But the truth is, the show was so great that no impersonator was necessary. In fact, since Michael Jackson was arguably the world’s best entertainer, any attempt to replace him would have fallen horribly short.
This was the first time I’ve ever been to an event in which every single person stayed put until the last firecracker had burst. This show, especially the finale, was very befitting of the grandeur that Michael Jackson represented. It made us remember all the positive things about him and forgive him for all of the scandals. It made us miss him even more, as well as chastise ourselves for every doubting him.