Entertainment giant Cirque du Soleil will renew its relationship with the legacy of the King of Pop in a new production show at Mandalay Bay opening this summer.
“Michael Jackson ONE” will build on the success of “Michael Jackson: The IMMORTAL World Tour,” which completed a limited-engagement run at Mandalay Bay in December 2011, but Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, said that the resident show is a new creation.
“We see [“IMMORTAL”] almost like a promotional tour for our permanent show here,” he said.
The new show will feature four misfits characters whose journey is guided by Michael Jackson’s music. By the story’s end, the characters come to embody Jackson’s agility, courage, playfulness and love.
“ONE” is written and directed by Jamie King, who also designed the tour production, but Welby Altidor, in his first mandate as director of creation for a Cirque show, promises that “ONE” will be one of a kind.
King said that “ONE” had to be a brand new show because innovation was an indispensable part of the character and career of its namesake.
“He strives for perfection, and everything he does, he does with a childlike heart,” King said.
From casting to choreography, “ONE” is designed to bring to life Jackson’s vision of universal hope and harmony.
“Michael was a multifaceted artist who strove to fuse together various musical styles and art forms,” Cirque du Soleil said in a statement. “It is a fitting title for a unifying journey into the world of the King of Pop, the genius, the visionary, the One.”
“ONE” brings together 63 performers from 17 countries, embracing the breadth of Jackson’s persona and vision.
Key to the show’s reinvention is a new take on fully integrating Michael Jackson’s legendary dance style with Cirque do Soleil’s signature acrobatics.
“We’re dealing with the creative legacy of Michael Jackson, so there’s a lot of responsibility that comes along with that,” King said, adding that he and Altidor have worked to unite the performer’s spirit with that of Cirque du Soleil.
Altidor said that in imagining the stage and air spectacle, he asked himself, “How would Michael move if he were an acrobat?” and created dance and acrobatics that would honor Jackson’s legacy while pushing the boundaries of production.
“Anything is possible,” King said, describing what he called “Michael’s energy,” which he said has fueled the show’s entire creation process. “The sky’s the limit. Never settle for second best.”
“Michael Jackson ONE” will open on May 23 and run at 7 p.m. Saturday – Wednesday. Tickets are $69, $99, $130, $140 and $150, and limited Gold Circle Seating will be available.
The opening of “ONE” will top off an 18-month property rebranding in which Mandalay Bay will redesign everything from dining to room accommodations in what President and COO Chuck Bowling called a “complete transformation.”
As part of the rebranding project, named “Redefining Resort,” Mandalay Bay will unveil a new Cirque du Soleil- styled nightclub called “Light” in April.
Construction on the theater that will house “ONE” is already complete, and rehearsals are in progress on-site.
Lamarre said that as Mandalay Bay becomes the new home of Michael Jackson, “ONE” will also rejuvenate Cirque du Soleil.