More on the “Cirque Meets Beatles” Show

Thanks to Timothy McDarrah, intrepid reporter for the Las Vegas Sun (and with the translating skills of fellow reporter Molly Ball), we have more to report on plans for the Beatles-inspired Cirque-produced show that will go into the Siegfried & Roy theater at The Mirage. Among other interesting tidbits, the article reveals that Dominic Champagne will indeed direct the show, which will debut in early 2006. We’ll quote some of the material below from his article, which appeared September 10 in his “Vegasbeat” column.

“According to a report this week in a French-language Montreal newspaper, and confirmed to VegasBeat by two additional sources, the new Cirque show will feature music by the Beatles, but will definitely not be a production show similar to “Mamma Mia!,” which wraps a plot around a popular music catalog. “It will embrace the imagery and spirit of the Beatles, and the best of
what Cirque has to offer,” Stephane Baillargeon of the newspaper Le Devoir told us in a phone conversation Thursday.

The unnamed Beatles-themed show began life several years ago in Cirque founder Guy Laliberte’s Montreal living room when he was visited by George Harrison after a Formula One race. The two struck up a friendship and hit upon bringing a Cirque show to London based on “Yellow Submarine,” the psychedelic 1968 animated film. After Harrison died, Laliberte convinced Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono to take in some Cirque productions, and Laliberte eventually got from them permission to use Beatles music in a show, Baillargeon explained. “In the end they decided ‘Yellow Submarine’ as a show was too ’60- themed, and they wanted to do something that was more current.”

Le Devoir reports that the deal is done. The contract, it reports, “authorizes the creators of Cirque du Soleil to pick from the richest catalog of the most famous rock band in history. Even better, according to documents obtained by Le Devoir, Cirque also got authorization to remix musical passages at will. The Beatles have never before authorized sampling of their catalog.”

[Source: Le Devoir, Las Vegas Sun, Keith Johnson]