Friday, August 18, 2006

Elvis Presley and Cirque du Soleil: It's What He Would Have Wanted

Elvis is coming back to Vegas, Cirque du Soleil-style. Let's take a look:

"Known for its extravagant theatrical performances combining live music, dance and acrobatics, the Quebec-based circus troupe has teamed with CKX Inc., and its subsidiary, Elvis Presley Enterprises, to create the show. The show will have a permanent home at MGM Mirage's CityCenter hotel-casino when it opens, scheduled for November 2009, officials said in a statement.

"'I am pleased that during this time, when we remember Elvis Presley and celebrate his life, we are able to announce his return to Las Vegas, a place where he truly rose to iconic status,' CKX chief executive Robert F.X. Sillerman said in a statement.

"'Elvis has a unique relationship with his adoring fans in Vegas and a large part of our mission is to recreate the excitement and the spirit of joy he generated here,' said Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil."

Though I prefer to talk about Lou Reed, Elvis was actually the first Advanced Rock Artist. He had the hair, the sunglasses, and the leather (just take a look at the '68 comeback special). He was an innovative solo artist and had hits over a long period of time. He loved rock'n'roll, and he had a huge band with lots of African-American women backup singers. He was into the martial arts. His performances were mystifying to critics, and his live performances were designed as if he were daring his audience to enjoy them. He had a mystical-religious phase. He is called the King of Rock'n'Roll, but he never wrote a song. He loved Las Vegas, at one time the most Advanced city in America. In other words, I think he would have enjoyed this.

1 comment:

Bill said...

I heard a couple of people talking about Elvis quite a few years ago, and the conversation was along the lines of one person trying to convince the other that Elvis was just a hick that happened to be extremely good looking and could move and had just an adequate singing voice. He continued by saying that people who went to see Elvis in performance were mainly ladies with Beehive hairdo's, etc. The other guy pointed out that he had seen Elvis perform a few times in Vegas and the people in the audience watching him perform were largely professional people and anything but hicks. In time, it made me realize how Elvis transcended class and race. He was truly a phenomena.