Thursday, February 25, 2010
Cirque du Soleil’s Viva ELVIS
“All Shook Up” would be a good way to describe my coworker, Nevada Magazine Editor Matthew B. Brown, and me as we exited Aria Las Vegas following the world premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s latest production, “Viva ELVIS,” on February 19. The high-energy homage to the King of rock ’n’ roll could get a corpse snapping its fingers and tapping its feet.
That’s obviously something of an overstatement, but you get the idea. “Viva ELVIS” pairs some of Presley’s best-loved songs—about 30 in all—with the out-of-this-world, superhuman acrobatics of Cirque du Soleil in a tribute worthy of the King. The fast-paced, playful performance watches more like a variety show than a traditional Cirque production such as “O” at Bellagio or “Ká” at MGM Grand.
A jailbreak set, built for gymnastic and acrobatic antics, sets the stage for “Jailhouse Rock,” a military-themed jungle gym provides a playground for the troupe during “Heartbreak Hotel,” a massive, seven trampoline set accommodates the high-flying tricks of “Got a Lot of Love,” and “Viva Las Vegas” is accompanied by what else but showgirls and feathers. A handful of songs, such as “Love Me Tender” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” are accompanied by more somber, emotional performances.
While some critics have noted the show’s perhaps too-cheery tone—if “Viva ELVIS” claimed to be a biographical portrayal of Elvis’ life, I would agree, it is, however, a tribute—one thing is certain, “Viva ELVIS” has the strength and energy to please Elvis enthusiasts from the mildly interested to the raving fanatic.
By Charlie Johnston