Cirque du Soleil’s new “Michael Jackson One” show plans to tap into the pop star’s years of being hounded by tabloid journalists.
Robotlike characters dressed in black trenchcoats will be known as “Tabloid Junkies,” from Jackson’s 1995 unreleased song of the same name. They made their debut with other dancers during Thursday’s unveiling of the show’s title and logo at a news conference at Mandalay Bay.
Previews of the show start May 23. The grand opening is set for June 29 in the 1,800-seat theater.
Welby Altidor, Cirque’s director of creation, said, “We wanted to do a tongue-in-cheek” reference to add a darker force that “talks about his relationship with the media.”
The recurring lyrics of the song go: “Just because you read it in the magazine or see it on the TV screen don’t make it factual.”
Another group of singers, described by Altidor as “our Greek chorus,” will represent all the different energies and influences of Jackson, “and we will recognize that through their costumes.”
The 63 artists representing 17 nationalities will include acrobats from all over the world and three dance crews: the Art Farmers from Korea, a girl group known as ReQuest from New Zealand and 787 Crew from Puerto Rico.
Dancers called the MJ Warriors will “create the first line of defense for Michael,” Altidor said.
Another act he is convinced will be a crowd pleaser will be the slack-line artists.
“It’s a completely new discipline that’s been emerging on the urban front. Imagine an elastic line attached to poles. The artists bounce and do acrobatics on it, really cool tricks. It’s really popular with youngsters around the word.”
He said the song “Dirty Diana,” which wasn’t in the touring Jackson show “The Immortal,” will feature a Las Vegas pole dancer named Jeanine.
“The twist,” Altidor said, “will be a twisted pole like no one’s ever seen. It’s like those straws that are twisted.”
THE SCENE AND HEARD
The “Bar Rescue” reality show featuring consultant Jon Taffer is doing a full makeover of the Gypsy gay bar. …
The Oscar Experience: Las Vegas, the only local event sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, will be held Sunday at Brenden Theatres at the Palms. Proceeds will benefit Variety the Children’s Charity. It will be co-hosted by Dao Vu, “Morning Blend” co-host at KTNV-TV, Channel 13, and Chet Buchanan of KLUC-FM, 98.5, and UNLV Gameday. The red carpet starts at 2 p.m. More information at www.onalv.org. …
Bally’s headliner Taylor Hicks, winner of Season 5 of “American Idol,” was the second male to take the title, not the first as misstated here in Wednesday’s column. Ruben Studdard won Season 2.
Nicolas Cage and Pia Zadora, among celebrities at The Vegas Underground’s first Rock the Foundation show at Mandalay Bay on Thursday.
THE PUNCH LINE
“They’re looking for a new pope. Each candidate will get a week’s tryout with Kelly Ripa.” — David Letterman
Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas,” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.