“Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.”
The giant white sheet began unfurling from the center of the stage as the performers were slowly, one by one, engulfed in its giant waves.
“It is not dying, it is not dying.”
The neon blue lights reflected off of the white creating shadows of gray, and brilliant purple highlights. We watched as the sheet extended, pushed forward towards the audience until the first row had disappeared.
“Lay down your thoughts, surrender to the void.”
The wave grew closer and closer, the hands of those in front of us pushing it on until suddenly, a gust of cool wind engulfed us and the sheet flew over our heads. We were all inside it now.
“It is shining, it is shining.”
And shine it did.
When you think of Cirque du Soleil, the image of acrobats performing gravity-defying stunts comes to mind. But, it’s hardly an emotional journey. Except this one was.
The Beatles ‘Love’ show at The Mirage in Las Vegas is a tribute to group, and an exceptional one at that. There are no best seats in the house as the entire, custom-built auditorium is a giant stage with performers jumping in and out from every corner, left and right, up and down.
‘Love’ is an acrobatic blend of the life of The Beatles, albeit scattered and set to music. Their tunes are mashed together, as are the storylines of their lives. Depictions of Nazi Germany are actually depictions of the Blue Meanies from Yellow Submarine. There is war, there is peace, there are the psychedelics deserving of the band, but most of all, there’s love.
The show takes you on an emotional journey. It opens with “Get Back,” and it opens big, and bright, and grand. And as it progresses, with every new song, new sequence and new act, it gently tugs at the heartstrings. A trapeze duo jumps into each other’s arms and are separated over and over again as “Yesterday” plays in the background; you can’t help but be transported back to a time when you loved, and you lost.
“Here Comes The Sun” lends itself to an acrobatic rendition of yoga as the golden hues in the background are reminiscent of sunny days, peace and tranquility. In stark contrast are the dark, glittering skies as the shimmering, aerial artist floats through the air with “Lucy In The Sky.”
There’s an aquatic ballet in “Octopus’ Garden” and a hint of childhood nostalgia as you see the performers blowing bubbles to “Strawberry Fields Forever.” There is a sadness in Julian (John Lennon’s son), which comes alive with “Hey Jude,” while at the same time, you find yourself smiling at the shadow dance that eventually forms the iconic Abbey Road album cover.
The show ends with, no surprise, “All You Need Is Love” as the performers take their bows. Except, what you’ll really love, is footage from over the years of The Beatles taking bows projected all around the auditorium at the same time.
I found myself laughing out loud, thinking back on my own loves, being amazed under the white sheet of “Tomorrow Never Knows,” and even shedding a tear—all in 90 minutes. If there’s ever a first Cirque du Soleil show to watch, it would be ‘Love’.