Friday, December 2, 2011

Viva Elvis is Dead! Long Live The King!

Cirque Du Soleil's Viva Elvis, which has been hobbling along at The Aria since the futuristic resort opened, will close next year. It's a very rare misstep for the The Cirque Industrial Complex, which basically has a monopoly on the Vegas entertainment landscape.

Though The King has long been associated with Las Vegas after spending the twilight of his career performing at The Hilton, and despite the fact that the town has no shortage of Elvis impersonators, the Americana-centric imagery associated with Elvis was always a strange fit with the artsy French circus. While the beautiful melodies and psychedelic tunes of The Beatles meshed perfectly with Cirque's visuals in LOVE, trying to repeat the hugely successful formula with Elvis was one of the only missteps that Cirque has ever made in Vegas (at least financially... say what you will about Criss Angel Believe, but that show has been running for more than three years).

Cirque will have to come up with a new show to replace Viva Elvis at Aria, and I've taken the liberty of compiling a list of totally unrealistic possible replacements for their first Vegas flop:

Morissey's There is a Light That Never Goes Out Over Las Vegas by Cirque Du Soleil: The British indie rock icon is a much more natural fit for Cirque than Elvis, with his affinity for the dramatic and the morbid. Imagine a chorus of acrobats in skeleton costumes choreographed to the sounds of "Cemetery Gates" or the synchronized British school scene that could accompany "The Headmaster Ritual." Sure, you might argue that a cult pop star who never had a number one hit in the United States probably doesn't have a better shot at supporting a Cirque show than one of the most well known American icons of all time, but Morrissey is one of my favorite humans so I choose to ignore that arugement.

Animal Collective's Did You See the Words by Cirque Soleil: Cirque could take their journey into psychedelia even further if they based a show around the art rock collective's strange, beautiful, and just this side of accessible tunes. Sure, your grandmother (or mother or father or even your non-hipster siblings) have never heard of Animal Collective, but just tell them that there's a Panda Bear in the band.

Queen's Princes of the Universe by Cirque du Soleil: Sure, there's already a jukebox musical about Queen's music magically freeing a soul-deadened populace in a dystopian future, but Cirque could create a show based around the music the band did for the Highlander soundtrack. Cirque has already had success with an epic sword and sorcery tale in Ka, so this could be a natural for them. In fact, the idea is so awesome that I'm regretting posting it to the internet instead of pitching it directly to Cirque and collecting millions of dollars.

Kanye West's Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Presented by Cirque du Soleil- The genre shifting hip hop superstar already puts on epically over the top concerts and mounts visually spectacular videos, so framing his ambitious music with Cirque visuals would be a natural fit. Plus there's no town better suited to containing Kanye's massive ego than Las Vegas. 

Meatloaf's Bat out of Hell by Cirque du Soleil: You all know this is a good idea. I don't even need to explain why.

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