When people ask me to describe Cirque Du Soleil, I like to say it is, simply put, the Circus for pretentious people. It has all the same tropes –clowns, jugglers, amazing high flying feats of daring, trapeze acts, and more. What they do so well is dress up what we know and love about old-school circuses in spectacular costumes, staging, music, and theater trappings for a unique experience. One thing they have always done so well is special theme shows. In Vegas they have shows dedicated to Elvis, The Beatles, and magic. In Los Angeles they have a show dedicated to movies.
Ten years ago they only did one or two shows every couple of years. They now have over 21 ongoing shows. With seven of these in Las Vegas, it has become their de facto American home. This year they are embarking on their grandest concept ever, a tribute to Michael Jackson. The Immortal World Tour is the first time Cirque Du Soleil will play in arenas like Madison Square Garden, the Verizon Center, the Izod Center and more. It will be interesting to see if the intimate nature of a Cirque show can translate to these grand-scale environments.
For the Michael Jackson fans out there, to commemorate the King of Pop’s birthday on August 29th, and what would of been his 53rd birthday, UrbanHeadz is re-releasing their officially-licensed Michael Jackson bobblehead for a limited time. Each bobblehead is hand-crafted and hand-painted and is accessorized with his famous fedora, black jacket and sequined glove.
If you wish to purchase your own limited edition Michael Jackson Bobblehead, you may do so by heading to:
We’ve been talking about it for months and it’s finally here – Michael Jackson The Experience, UbiSoft’s freaky Michael Jackson Game for the Wii. I got my Moonwalk on for a few minutes and will have a full review next week, so far the game is – interesting. Have to give the developers props, they got just about every MJ song you would want to dance to and then some odd choices for a dance game – like Earth Song. Check out the final release trailer.
I didn’t take this game seriously when UbiSoft first announced The Michael Jackson Experience Video Game, the more I see of it the more intrigued I get. If there was a dance game that had a chance of getting me off my butt to bust a move. This would be it. UbiSoft seems to be doing all the right things with this property. It’s almost exactly what you would expect it to be – except the the bad Michael Jackson CGI. Today they announced the addition of Dirty Diana, Speed Demon and Street Walker. With tracks like Bad, Thriller, Billie Jean, Workin Day and Night’ and Smooth Criminal already announced, the music selections and moves are all here to give MJ fans exactly what they want.
I hate any game that forces me to get my lazy butt up and move. That’s why I hate the Wii Remote (that and it doesn’t work all that well), PlayStation Move and Kinnect. Just not a fan of motion controls and by extension any Dance Game, but I have to say, I’m strangely enamored the idea of playing a Dancing Game dedicated to the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. UbiSoft has announced the first set of tracks for their officially sanctioned game Michael Jackson The Experience.
It’s time for the annual right of passage called Michelle is getting old and turning into her mother, AKA Grammy Awards night. Generally speaking I hate all award shows, but my Tivo makes them bearable. Let’s start with my old fogginess; I have no idea who half the people nominated and performing tonight are – so I will get the names of these songs wrong. Let me say I don’t like Taylor Swift – well don’t like is a strong word, I think she’s incredibly over exposed and I find her music to be bland and boring. Which probably explains why Sony thought it’d be a good idea to have her perform at their CES Press Conference.
The show opens with a performance by Lady GaGa, she puts on a spectacle but has absolutely no stage presence. Her performance is saved by an appearance by the Great One, Sir Elton John. Even after all of these years, he’s still cool. I don’t know what the name of this song is because I don’t like Lady GaGa – they did work in a nifty rift/mashup of Elton’s “Your Song,” and a Lady GaGa tune. Grade – Lady GaGa gets a F, but Elton and Lady GaGa Gets a Solid A
Ok, I’ll admit I almost teared up watching the trailer for the upcoming Michael Jackson movie – This is It. Sony and AIG did a great job on this, makes you wonder what a full blown live tour would have been like. From the brief moments you see, MJ still had it. You can check out the trailer here. The movie opens Oct 28 and will run for two weeks.
Wow, what a classy show they put on. All involved deserved the utmost praise and kudos for being able to pull off an event like this in such short notice while not turning it into a circus. I’m the first one to admit I generally try and not watch stuff like this because it always feels forced and stagy. At about 11 today I tried to watch the coverage but all the commentary from the MSNBC pundits just drove me crazy. All they kept talking about was the molestation charges, not about MJ or his legacy. I got so frustrated I turned it off. At 1pm when it was time for the memorial to start, they were still yammering about nothing. So at that point I turned off the TV and was determined not to watch it. Eventually I did turn it on, towards the end Stevie’s performance. I felt emotionally drained after watching it.
I loved the personal moments like Magic Johnson’s story about MJ liking Kentucky Fried Chicken, or Brooke Shield or Usher’s breakdown it puts to rest a lot of those tabloid stories that his friendships weren’t real. Then the ending We Are the World, Heal The World and Paris’ speech at the end, had me. I was balling like a baby during the last 1/2 hour of this. The Reverend Al’s speech was really moving although I do think he gives short shrift to the people who came before Michael Jackson (Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, Chubby Checker, Little Richard, etc. Who helped open doors before Michael was born.) Loved his comment about MJ not being strange, but his situation was. There were a couple of weird moments namely the Britain’s Got Talent kid, he was really good but for some reason the moment seemed so out of place and kind of forced, especially coming after Usher’s genuine breakdown. I felt the same way about Jennifer Hudson as well. She had a strong performance but I don’t know it didn’t feel like she was emotionally connected to the song.
As far as coverage goes, I spent a lot of time trolling the Huffington Post forums and for the most part the posters there were respectful and good. MSNBC’s coverage of the entire day was just awful, as I said in the beginning it was all about their analysts and anchors and not about the event. They would do the "We’re not going to talk about the molestation, or the fact that he’s weird, this is about the man…" way too much. It was mostly crass and I’ve lost what little respect I had for MSNBC today. I generally hate CNN since they decided a few years ago to become "Fox News" and refuse to watch Fox, what little I watched of CNN felt more genuine to me. They showed full songs, talked to friends of Michael Jackson and people who were there.
Everyone involved should be really proud about how well this event came off. Of course there will be an eventual DVD/Blu-ray to milk this event later, but I don’t think it’ll have the same impact as watching this live and being in the collective moment.
For those who want to watch it, here is the live video stream of the Michael Jackson Memorial Service.
I didn’t even know this was on. It’s cable, so hopefully I’ll be able to catch the Replay. But apparently the BET Music Awards really went all out on the Michael Jackson Tribute. Janet came on at the end apparently brought everyone to tears with her closing statement. Here’s the video of her tribute.