Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Punk'd by Cirque du Soleil, re: #MJ?

Back in January, I had this conversation with Cirque du Soleil CEO Daniel Lamarre in Montreal for the Las Vegas Weekly:

Lamarre: “A lot of artists [ask us], but there are not that many iconic stars, you know? What do you do? Elvis and the Beatles are alone in their own game.”

Me: “What about Michael Jackson?”

Lamarre: “Yeah, he’s probably the only other icon I can imagine that would be of interest. Maybe Madonna, perhaps. We’re talking about people that will turn our creators on.”

Me: “Is there any movement right now towards a Michael Jackson show?”

Lamarre: “No.”

Me: “No discussions, no talks?”

Lamarre: “No.”

Me: “Is it too soon? Do you think there’s a certain cooling-off period right after the most recent round of Michael Jackson frenzy?”

Lamarre: “Yeah.”

Me: “You do.”

Lamarre: “Yeah, that’s what I think. I’m not saying no, not saying no to anything at this point in time. But we are focused right now on delivering Elvis.”

That was about four months ago and a lot can happen in four months, but somehow I find it hard to imagine there really were no talks going on back then because today, Lamarre made this announcement:

"We are honored and thrilled to be in partnership with the ultimate and most important record selling artist of all time. This association between two international entertainment brands promises to deliver to fans of both Michael and Cirque du Soleil unique artistic experiences."

He told Entertainment Tonight that Cirque will produce an arena-touring concert starting in fall of 2011 and then a permanent Las Vegas show at, of course, an MGM Mirage property, in late 2012.

The Wall Street Journal offers some skimpy details:

The Las Vegas show will be more akin to a theme-park attraction, possibly featuring elements like motion simulators and 3-D visuals. It's also likely to include a nightclub and restaurant that include a Michael Jackson theme. The casino was not named in the announcement.

So it's already in the works. Leave it to a dead MJ to steal Madonna's Glee-ful day in the sun.

But, of course, the real question is: Luxor, Mandalay Bay or Monte Carlo? I'm throwing in my lot in for the Monte Carlo. That way they can reposition the MC even more as part of CityCenter which, by 2012, will be desperate for some new loving. Let's just hope they don't go slapping ads on the Mandarin Oriental for the occasion.

[Image credit: BestWeekEver.TV]


mike_ch said...

Random thought: Excalibur?

But my thought is either Luxor or NYNY. Monte Carlo just doesn't have the room, especially with all those extras.


Mike - I disagree, re: Monte Carlo. The showroom's already got 1200 seats or so, there's plenty of room there. NY-NY is on one of the smallest footprints of any major Vegas resort and Zumanity is doing fine there. I actually don't see them abandoning Criss Angel, as strange as that sounds. And the Ex could work, but I don't see them caring enough about it for that.

Anonymous said...

What would be point of this show? The jokes are going to be creative. Zero interest. If I had to pick, and I don't: Monte Carlo.

I have been reading your blog too long Steve. About midway through I started thinking about what venue.


Anonymous said...

"More akin to a theme park attraction" is the key to the mystery MGM location that everyone seems to ignore. There is one more place that everyone seems to overlook in the MGM mix.

Sounds like it's being planned as a remake of the Adventuredome. What better fit for Cirque, than to be at Circus Circus!

Michael said...

I tend to agree with Mike_ch here, I think the Monte Carlo is just way too small. Zumanity is a much more intimate show then this 'spectacular' is supposed to be. Not that I don't think the Monte Carlo could use a jolt of change, I just don't see it, unless as you pointed out, it's essentially assimilated into the borg that is CC. Mandalay Bay makes the most sense in my opinion outside of Luxor. Especially if they are going to make it an attraction in addition to the show. The nightlife at MB has taken a huge hit during these recession years and that's partly due to MGM cannibalizing it's own base with the same footprint across the board at it's properties.

It will be interesting to see what happens though. If I had to make a guess, I'd say they were in discussions even 4 months ago. Too bad, they didn't drop a hint then to give you the scoop. Although your instincts were right on.