Review of Immortal by Cirque du SoleilDid you ever go to a fantastic party where the guest of honor never shows up? As much as I loved the Cirque du Soleil show last night, this is the feeling that lingers... The anticlimax...
Now let me explain - because obviously I owe you an explanation after starting out on a negative note like that - and I think the best way of doing so is by taking you back to last night to let you experience what I experienced.
I arrived at the arena about 45 minutes before the start of the show and as the arena slowly filled up below me (I was up high on the upper level), I spent my time keeping my impatience at bay by looking (dreamily, no doubt) at the oak tree displayed on the curtain, which clearly was a rendering of and a tribute to Michael's giving tree and the sheer musical genius that sprang from him when he sat up high on his platform. Consequently, I missed the two MJ impersonators and had it not been for my husband, I do not think I would have noticed them at all. It was not that they made a great show of themselves either, they just sat quietly on their seats all dressed up to the nines in a Billie Jean and Smooth Criminal outfit, and only when someone tapped them on their shoulder did they get up to pose for pictures. The one in the Billie Jean outfit, complete with Fedora and a glittery glove - and with his long, curly hair in a sloppy pony tail - was really convincing, but it was the other one that got most of my attention. And mostly because it was a man at least my age - ie. somewhere in his forties. Somehow I had not expected that.
Well, in fact I had not expected any impersonators at all, but I guess my fellow Danes can still surprise me. It seems that when Michael is the source of inspiration anything can happen.
but I did manage to take one picture right after we arrived.
I totally loved it. It was goosebumps all over from that point on and pretty much through the rest of the show.
It is hard to name any favorite parts, but I will try anyway.
I loved the Jackson 5 part right at the start of the show, because although it clearly was not the real deal and little Michael looked more than a litte chubby, it still gave an idea of what it must have looked like and the rest of the audience must have felt the same. They were cheering on the dancers as if they really were the young brothers.
it was a guilded copy and not the original wrought iron one with the gold ornaments.
Had it been the original one, I think it would have killed me.
experience. I have no idea how they defy gravity like that.
Another favorite moment was the "Is It Scary" intro to "Thriller." The female contortionist
looked more like a piece of soft rubber than a human being. Really, really impressive...
I also loved the reaction of the audience when "Thriller" started playing. Everybody applauded and cheered right away - and it was not the artists that made them do it - it was the sheer fact that it was "Thriller." It was one of those moments, where I really felt that we were all there for the love of Michael as much as we were there for the show.
The dance segments during "Thriller" made it hard for me to remain in my seat and most of all I just wanted to get up and dance along. So much so that I think I might have to let off some steam later by playing MJ Experience - no doubt completely embarrassing my daughter as I do so.
"I Just can't Stop Loving You" turned out to be an unexpected high point for me and quite an emotional one too. Normally, I am not that much into aerolists, and the song is not among my favorites either, but this certainly changed everything... Wow... There they were, one dressed in black and one in white, just like Ying and Yang, man and woman, performing the most elegant, weightless and subtle act of love in the air I have ever seen - and probably will ever see. It just worked so well with the song that I forgot about the fact that I was surrounded by 15.000 other spectators. They took me to another time and place and God, I loved it there...
I am not sure I remembered to breathe at all during that performance.
"They Don't care About Us" used some of the imagery produced for "This Is It." It was an emotional link to 2009 and as my eyes accidentally drifted towards the drummer Jonathan "Sugarfoot" Moffett, I could not help but remember what he had said in the interview I had read earlier that day in a Danish news paper. "We were on the stage in the Stables Center, waiting for Michael, ready to go back to rehearsing again after a great performance the night before, but...he never came."
And from that point on, things just kept getting increasingly emotional for me...
When at the end of "Will you Be There" a shadowy hologram of Michael appeared, the audience once again reacted as if this was the real deal and not a computer produced image and broke out into a loud cry of love that quickly died out when Michael's voice started reciting the last few lines:
"In Our Darkest Hour, In My Deepest Despair, Will You Still Care?, Will You Be There?..."
And then something happened... Do not ask me what it was but suddenly everybody rose to their feet and as I found myself speaking the words with him, I realized that the woman next to me did exactly the same. It felt like a collective prayer and I swear that I had a feeling that we were all answering Michael's questions with a "yes, we will be there." And then, when everything went silent for a few seconds, a "I love you Michael" rang out in the arena, shouted with a cracking male voice.
A really emotional and magic moment.
And then, after "Man In The Mirror" it was all over and it was time to go home.
It was then that I started to feel not dissatisfied, but strangely unfulfilled... Of course I knew that Michael would not be there and yet, he was the one I missed. I missed more of his magic, which we had felt in glimpses, but most of all I just missed him... Michael. The man.
It was like there was a void inside of me that could not be filled.
As we drove home, I wondered why I felt this way, if the little girl deep inside of me had somehow naively hoped for a miracle, that it would be the same without him. Or had I perhaps hoped for the ultimate miracle; that he would have sat down next to me wearing one of his silly disguises...
"Shhhhh... Don't tell anyone, gurl..."
And then I recalled the little girl, who right after the intro, asked a question, which I am sure that half of the people in the arena heard: "Is it over now?" (And boy, would Michael have loved hearing her little voice ask so innocently.) Of course, she was wrong. The show had just got started, which I am sure she found out a few seconds later.
However, she was right too.
The real show is over. It stopped playing on June 25th, 2009.
I think I finally realized the full implications of that fact last night.