Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Is there FINALLY A Name For The Elvis Show?

[UPDATE: Further evidence is found here.]

There was loads of coverage of the MJ tribute benefit concert itself but precious little of the Moonwalker screening and Q-and-A that I helmed in conjunction with Cinevegas later that evening. That surprised me because this was, essentially, the coming out party in Las Vegas for Vince Paterson, the creator-director of the next Cirque du Soleil production on the Strip based on the music of Elvis. Paterson was the choreographer for a bulk of the film and took questions from me and the sell-out crowd alongside actress Kelly Parker.

Nobody's quite sure how any of the other elements of CityCenter will fare, but it's this show is widely seen as a the closest we come these days, even sight unseen, to a surefire hit.

Only one little problem: There's no officially announced name for it and it opens in about 15 weeks. In all the literature, even on the Aria and Cirque websites, it's known as "the Elvis show." Even when Cirque made a big media to-do of the cast's arrival at McCarran, they didn't have a name.

So I asked Paterson as we were about to begin the screening. And he answered. As far as he knows, the show shall be forevermore known as: Viva Elvis.

I searched the Web. The only place where this configuration is written as it pertains to Cirque is on, of all places, this Yelp.Com page. Odd, that.

So, Viva Elvis. Not terribly creative, to be sure. But we had a similar "huh?" when they named the Beatles show "Love." In fact, you'd have to reach all the way back to "Zumanity" and "O" to find Cirque names that anyone instinctively responded by saying, "Oh, cool!" I thought some sort of double play on the initials LV and how they sound when you say them out loud -- ell-vee -- might but fun. But I suspect this stuff is as much subjected to what copyrights are available as anything else, as we learned from MGM Mirage's adventure with the name Aria.

Oh, and one other thing. I asked Paterson during the Q-and-A -- which Cinevegas will be posting as a podcast any day now -- whether he had heard much chatter about Cirque doing a Michael Jackson-scored production. Paterson would be the logical guy for such a project, having known Jackson for decades and having appeared in "Beat It" and "Thriller" and having choreographed "Smooth Criminal" and countless others.

His response: "I'm not allowed to talk about that."