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August 23, 2014

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Preview: Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Michael Jackson One’ opens at Mandalay Bay


Tom Donoghue/

A sneak peek of Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson One” at Mandalay Bay on Tuesday, May 7, 2013.

Michael Jackson One

Michael Jackson One

Michael Jackson One

'Michael Jackson One' Sneak Peek at Mandalay Bay

A sneak peek of Cirque du Soleil's Launch slideshow »

For the second time in less than two years, Cirque du Soleil is ready to stage a Michael Jackson show at Mandalay Bay. Back in November 2011, it was the glittering gala for “Michael Jackson — The Immortal World Tour,” which has gone on to become the world’s largest-grossing tour and this week is en route to Japan, then Australia, followed by China in August.

Tonight, it’s a different and unique new show, “Michael Jackson One,” that opens in its first preview before the splashy June 29 world premiere. Here are advance videos of the production:

We posted interviews with the creators of “Michael Jackson One” this month. Both shows were written and directed by Jamie King, who has produced tours for superstars including Madonna, Britney Spears and Rihanna.

Jamie told me the last time we talked: “The entire 90-plus minutes will be completely different from the ‘Immortal’ show. It’s a whole new concept and theme. It involves many more characters and acrobatics. It will be much more fantastical and theatrical.

“Michael’s message was always one of unity, harmony and hope for a better world. He thought all people were One regardless of race or culture and One because they were all equal. One is a very fitting title for a unifying journey into the world of The King of Pop. He was a visionary and a genius.”

Sixty performers play the 26 scenes of “One,” which uses 70 percent of The King of Pop’s No. 1 hits. We posted a look at four of the scenes on May 7 and reported the technical aspects of the production on May 6.

Cirque founder Guy LaLiberte and Mandalay Bay President Chuck Bowling have already seen the full run through of the audience-immersive spectacular. Both have told me that it’s Cirque’s most impressive production to date.

“It is the most ambitious entertainment endeavor ever, and you will be blown away, guaranteed,” Chuck added. “There are performers with skills you have never seen anywhere in the world before. Totally unbelievable.”

Michael Jackson Estate lawyer John Branca told me: “We are thrilled. It’s the ultimate theatrical tribute to Michael. I know he would be thrilled, too.”

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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