Off The Wall 

Before his untimely death at 50, Michael Jackson was the eccentric king of popular music. He loved monkeys, moonwalking, and sparkly clothes, and his 1982 album Thriller, packed with hits like "Billie Jean," "Beat It," and, of course, the title track, is the best selling LP in the history of recorded music.

Cirque du Soleil is an eccentric 28-year-old Canadian entertainment company that dramatically reinvented the circus arts by mixing in street dance and strange, sparkly costumes. When you bring these two creative forces together, you get Michael Jackson the Immortal World Tour, an appropriately sparkly and eccentric homage to Jackson and the childlike qualities that, for better or worse, defined the artist's public image.

Immortal transforms dancers into graffiti artists and showcases circus performers against a backdrop of projected video clips depicting Jackson through the ages. Although Cirque du Soleil doesn't employ animal performers, Bubbles, Jackson's pet chimpanzee, does show up as a man in a monkey suit. Another performer dons a human-sized replica of Jackson's famous white sequined glove and makes it dance around like some kind of disco starfish. There are clowns in Afro wigs, mimes re-creating Jackson's signature moves, and plenty of aerial acts.

Immortal is less a biographical sketch of Jackon's life than an abstract response to his public and private lives. It's not a circus, dance, drama, or musical concert but a hodgpodge of ideas that owe as much to Jackson's Neverland fantasies as they do to his artistic achievements. 

"Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour" at FedExForum Wednesday, June 20th, 8 p.m., $50-$250.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

Music Blog

Band Geeks: A Live Tribute to The Last Waltz

Politics Beat Blog

Democrat Dean, On Nashville-Memphis Back-and-Forth: "I Love I-40!"

Beyond the Arc

The Hustle Report: Week 2

Fly On The Wall Blog

Memphis College of Art in the 1960's-70's

News Blog

A Q & A with Veda Reed, Dolph Smith

News Blog

MLGW Warns Customers to be Wary of Scam

News Blog

Oswalt New Downtown Memphis Commission CEO

Beyond the Arc

Pacers 116, Grizzlies 113: Five Thoughts

Politics Beat Blog

Filling in the Blanks

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Davis

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation