Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour kicks off Oct. 2-3 in Montreal and will travel throughout North America well into 2012. Twenty-seven cities have been announced, and more are expected. The tribute will be permanently based in Las Vegas starting in early 2013.
Jamie King will write and direct the $57 million theatrical and dance production, being staged in conjunction with the Jackson estate. He says the show will take audiences to a fantasy of Michael’s making, featuring a cast of more than 60 performers. The Montreal-based Cirque is renown for its eye-popping costumes, dazzling sets and spectacular acrobatics and effects. Cirque du Soleil also has celebrated The Beatles (2006’s Love) and Elvis Presley (2009’s Viva Elvis).
“Imagine being transported into the wonderful world of Michael, where we’ll discover and learn about his love of fairy tale and magic and music and dance,” says King, a dancer on Jackson’s 1992-93 Dangerous tour who in recent years has directed high-grossing tours for Madonna, Rihanna, Celine Dion, the Spice Girls and Britney Spears.
“We’ll also be touching on a subject that was very important to Michael: the state of the world, the environment and bringing people together. We will be celebrating the man, his immortality and how he touched all of us with his music and his voice.”
Jackson’s recorded voice will be the engine that drives the show, but his familiar songs could be remixed and mashed up in fresh ways. The story will feature new characters, but also some from his videos – perhaps Smooth Criminal’s gangsters or Thriller’s ghouls, King says.
“It will all be in keeping with Michael’s original vision,” King says.
The shows will run about 90 minutes. King hopes to begin casting soon; rehearsals begin in January. Tickets, which are now available online to Cirque Club members and michaeljackson.com club members, go on sale to the public Saturday at noon local time. Prices average $100 and range from $50 to $250.
John Branca, co-executor of Jackson’s estate, says the pop star would have approved of the show. “Michael visited Montreal to tour the Cirque du Soleil facilities, and he attended several shows over the years with his children,” Branca says.
U.S. tour dates
Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour begins in fall 2011 and carries into 2012. For additional North American dates, visit michaeljackson.com.
Detroit: Oct. 15, 2011
Houston: Feb. 10