Last Friday we braved a few snow showers in Portland to reach the Rose Garden, where we had tickets to see Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour." Here's my five word review: Wow, Wow, and more Wow!
This show is special. It isn't like a good movie where you enjoy it a lot, but the impact of the flick fades quickly. I'm still affected by this magical production.
It starts strong, and builds from there.
Eventually I felt immersed in an almost other-worldly experience. Understand, I'm not at all religious. But "Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour" has moments that can only be described as deeply spiritual -- though not at all godly.
Some performances in the show are manly powerful. Others are womanly delicate. This reflects the dual nature of Michael Jackson. And, heck, of ourselves, whatever our yin/yang blend is.
I came away from the show with several life insights affirmed and strengthened. Diversity, creative self-expression, pushing the personal edge, daring to be different, acting confidently -- this is a big part of what life is all about.
Maybe the entire part. Michael Jackson showed this; so does the Cirque du Soleil tribute to him.
My wife and I decided to blow some of our Social Security income on VIP tickets. If you're considering doing the same, my advice is do it, if possible. But not for the rather cheesy gift bag, which is the only non-seating VIP benefit we got, aside from "free" parking.
On the positive side, I'm pretty sure that we and our fellow VIP'ers had the choicest seats in the arena. This alone is worth the extra VIP cost, in my utterly subjective opinion. We were seated near the runway that projects out from the main stage, about two-thirds of the way down (that is, closer to the end of the runway than the beginning).
Perfect, because much of the show takes place on the runway.
We had great views of the performers, close enough to clearly see their expressions, costumes, makeup, athleticism, dancing ability, and hot bodies. Sure, images of them were projected onto a screen above the stage, but that isn't as good as seeing the performers up close and personal.
I don't know if my wife heard all of my frequent "I can't believe it!" and "Wow!" utterances, since we were wearing earplugs. This is another theme of the show, one shared with all Cirque du Soleil productions: what we human beings are capable of doing, and being, is far beyond the everyday normal.
That's inspiring. Most of us can't run away and join the circus. But everyone can be all that he/she can be, which probably is quite a bit more than what we allow to be expressed.
One of the most mind-blowing performances was by champion pole dancer Felix Cane, who also was high on my personal hot body ranking. I can't begin to describe what Felix can do with a tall pole. Her body and athletic ability border on the miraculous.
(Note: my wife questions whether Felix Cane is the woman we saw in the show. I'll agree that the pole dancer at the Rose Garden performance seemed shorter than Felix. But the moves in this video look just the same as what the dancer we saw did. And Felix is listed in our program.)
And here's the Official Preview of the show: