Luxe Life Blog
Cirque news: founder in space countdown; Elvis show secrets
Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte is about to fulfill a childhood dream in 15 days by rocketing into outer space for a 12-day stay aboard the International Space Station. As Canada’s first private explorer in space, he has shelled out nearly $50 million for the ride! It will coincide with the launch of Cirque’s first-ever residency show in Moscow, and Guy got a break from the tough disciplined pre-flight workouts over the weekend to welcome his troupe to Kiev.
When he returns to Las Vegas, Guy then immerses himself in yet another dream: bringing the Elvis Presley story to life as the newest Cirque musical production opening in December in MGM’s CityCenter. It will become his seventh major spectacular on the Strip.
Lift-off for Guy’s space adventure is set for Sept. 30 and winds down nearly six months of training and preparation in Russia, where he will blast off from near Kiev in a Soyuz 16 rocket with the Expedition 21 crew. He missed his son’s birthday in Montreal, so they had long Skype sessions to make up for the separation.
He said: “I’ve started to feel a true adrenaline rush. The final 30-day countdown is underway, and lift-off is a go for the end of the month. I’m feeling it, I’m living it, and I’m so excited!”
Guy, who has been studying space travel since 2004, plans to conduct viewing experiments while in space as a Poetic Social Mission for his new One Drop Foundation protecting Earth’s pure water supplies, raising awareness of water-related issues and finding new sources of water.
Meantime, secrets are spilling out from the new 1,800-seat Aria theater at CityCenter, where the Cirque Elvis show will be presented. Vincent Patterson will direct the show, which will feature a live band and female vocalists accompanying the songs and music of Elvis.
As we told you yesterday here at Vegas DeLuxe, Zowie Bowie’s big band conductor, trumpet player David Perrico, will be one of Cirque Elvis’ musical directors. Elvis’ Memphis and Nashville master tapes have been re-digitized by Cirque’s recording engineers to isolate him so the only male voice in the show will be his!
Cirque’s resident Las Vegas Senior VP Jerry Nadal, who also is overseeing changes for Criss Angel’s Cirque show Believe at the Luxor, said: “Elvis will be a biographical structure, with appearances by characters based on his wife, Priscilla Presley, and his manager, Col. Tom Parker. The story is divided into various sections of Presley’s life, and all has the approval of everybody connected to the late King. This is a tribute to Elvis’ life, so we’re focused on his contributions to the entertainment world and not the dark side.”
Priscilla and CityCenter chief Bobby Baldwin have already seen a run-through and given a huge thumbs-up approval. The entire CityCenter cast moved from Montreal to live here and is now in the final months of rehearsals before the opening.
When Elvis opens, Guy’s ticket-selling juggernaut from Montreal will be as massive as his outer-space undertaking. He will then have to sell 120,000 tickets a week to keep the seats filled.
Cirque expanded its powerbase in Las Vegas by veering from its solely circus-themed shows when it premiered The Beatles Love at The Mirage. Then it went one step farther by building an entire show around one performer, Mindfreak star Criss Angel. It continues the expansion from full circus themes with the upcoming tribute, although there will still be the famed acrobatics, I’m told, to heighten the Elvis entertainment experience.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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