'The Beatles LOVE' is guaranteed to raise a smile
On June 1, Sgt. Pepper strode to the top of the Capitol Records building in Hollywood, spun his baton, saluted, then raised a specially designed flag beneath an overcast sky in observance of the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was “Pepper Day” to Beatles fans around the world, including Las Vegas, where Sgt. Pepper returned, after the flag-raising, to rejoin his fellow characters in Cirque du Soleil’s The Beatles LOVE. A newly released reissue of the revolutionary album—produced by Giles Martin, who worked on the LOVE soundtrack in 2006 with the late George Martin—awaited guests at that night’s show, who were able to insert themselves into the iconic album cover art in an interactive lobby display.
Guests who had seen The Beatles LOVE before but not within the previous year would be in for a surprise. Less than 11 months earlier LOVE received major revisions, which within the Cirque du Soleil family is no small endeavor. “The collaborative process behind creative shifts in any show is widely counseled, both for artistic intent and technical advancements,” says LOVE’s artistic director, Melanie Lalande. “LOVE’s original creative team and director Dominic Champagne led the 10-year anniversary evolution, working intensely with the cast, crew, original designers and new choreographers and designers, as well as with our partners at Apple Corps Ltd. to usher LOVE into the next 10 years and beyond in a brighter, bolder and bigger way.”
They worked hard to maintain poignancy and wonder while adding “new and dynamic elements” such as rotating video panels that help insert the spirit of the Fab Four into the bungee-jumping action during the “Get Back” opening of the show. The silhouettes that represent John, Paul, George and Ringo received state-of-the-art enhancement, as did the blend of live performance and animation during “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” which is accentuated by holographic-like line drawing.
Lalande notes that while LOVE was a massive commercial and critical success, from the beginning, Champagne ended the original creation process feeling small tweaks could be made. “With the opportunity to celebrate the 10-year anniversary, the team seized the chance to make these changes and smoothen some of the transitions while adjusting the arc of the show in a more cohesive way,” she says. “Also, the original production had more of a sepia feel and a nostalgic vibe. The revamped LOVE is bright and happy, really tapping into the energy of Beatlemania and bringing it from the stage and into the audience.”
That bright and happy energy comes through loud and strong early on during “Twist and Shout” and is maintained during the upbeat numbers, while video and technological advances are apparent during acts dedicated to “Help!” and “Octopus’s Garden,” among others. It’s wonderful to be there. It’s certainly a thrill, guaranteed to raise a smile. Sit back and let the evening go.
The Mirage, 7 & 9:30 p.m. Thurs.-Mon., additional 7 p.m. show June 27, $79-$180 plus tax and fee. 702.792.7777