Billie Jean

Upcoming Cirque du Soleil performance is sure to be a thriller

Written by Fourth Estate Lifestyle Editor Genevieve Hoeler

On March 21 and 22, Cirque du Soleil returns to the Patriot Center with a show dedicated to the American pop legend, Michael Jackson, as part of their tour, “The Immortal World Tour.”

Since starting the tour in October 2011, “Cirque du Soleil: Michael Jackson” has been described as a departure from Cirque’s previous touring shows. Laura Silverman, publicist for the tour, described the show as “rock concert meets Cirque du Soleil.”

“Cirque du Soleil: Michael Jackson,” according to the press release, features 49 international dancers, musicians and acrobats who perform a show that mirrors a rock concert.

Silverman said that a typical day with “The Immortal World Tour” is action packed. “The crew wakes up at 5 a.m. to set up at 6.”

It then takes about 10 hours to load the show, fix the sound and stage in preparation for the upcoming performance.  “At 4 p.m.,” Silverman said, “the artists come to the arena to train before the show.” The training is crucial for Cirque shows due to the acrobatic nature of their performances.

By 8 p.m., the cast and crew are ready to unleash the “Michael Jackson” unto a new audience full of lifelong fans or fresh ears and eyes unfamiliar to the King of Pop.

Along with its fresh concert flare, this show expresses Jackson’s lifelong message of peace. Although each scene promotes different parts of this overarching theme—exploring civil rights and environmental issues—they all, according to Silverman, share a message of treating others as you would like to be treated.

According to the press release, this show targets lifelong fans and recent acquaintances to Michael Jackson and his music.

This show is aimed at all ages. Silverman said, “We find that parents who are huge Michael Jackson fans, it is important for them to share this music with their children.”

She does caution, however, that it is a very loud show. With the additional homage to Jackson’s “Thriller,” this show may prove scary for some younger audience members.

However, even with these possible deterrents, the show offers a wide range of scenes for the audiences to sing and dance along to.

Silverman said that her current favorite scene is called “Will You Be There/ I’ll Be There” which is different from the others pieces, with a very powerful and focused message. It is described by the press release as a scene which “evokes rebirth.”

The show is, most importantly, dedicated to the works of Michael Jackson.

Audiences always seem ready to hop out of their seats and dance once the Mega Mix comes on. The Mega Mix is a combination of “Can You Feel It,” “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough,” “Billie Jean” and “Black or White.” It fuses music and acrobatics with Michael Jackson’s famous choreography style, while representing the world with styles from African, Spanish, Thai and Georgian dances.

The musical director for “Michael Jackson,” Greg Phillinganes, worked with the King of Pop for between 25 to 30 years. Phillinganes says in his interview for the Cirque du Soleil website, “This is my chance to honor Michael Jackson’s legacy. His artistry was absolutely brilliant.”

Tickets for “Cirque du Soleil: Michael Jackson” are available at the Patriot Center Box Office. For more information about the show, please visit

(Photo courtesy of OSA Images)