The Beatles LOVE show
LOVE, the soundtrack to the Beatles Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas, was released on November 21, 2006. The Beatles’ record producer, George Martin and his son, Giles Martin, were music directors for the project which resulted in a 78-minute audio collage of Beatles songs. The soundtrack includes audio snippets from 200 Beatles songs, many of which are re-mixed in a “mash-up” style.
LOVE was released on CD: The Beatles LOVE Cirque Du Soleil as well as a LOVE Special Edition CD and Audio DVD. In 2008, LOVE won two Grammys for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album and Best Surround Sound Album.
2. Get Back
3. Glass Onion
4. Eleanor Rigby/Julia (Transition)
5. I Am The Walrus
6. I Want To Hold Your Hand
7. Drive My Car/The Word/What You’re Doing
8. Gnik Nus
9. Something/Blue Jay Way (Transition)
10. Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!/I Want You (She’s So Heavy)/Helter Skelter
13. Strawberry Fields Forever
14. Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows
15. Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds
16. Octopus’s Garden
17. Lady Madonna
18. Here Comes The Sun/The Inner Light (Transition)
19. Come Together/Dear Prudence/Cry Baby Cry (Transition)
21. Back In The U.S.S.R.
22. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
23. A Day In The Life
24. Hey Jude
25. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
26. All You Need Is Love
LOVE show opened July 2, 2006
for indefinite run
This joint artistic venture marks the first time that The Beatles company, Apple Corps Ltd., has agreed to a major theatrical partnership. The project was born out of a personal friendship and mutual admiration between the late George Harrison and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Lalibert.
For ticket information, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com.
LOVE is presented in a custom-built theatre at The Mirage featuring 360 degree seating and advanced high definition video projections with 100-foot digital, moving images. The panoramic surround sound system featuring speakers in each person’s seat enables the audience to experience The Beatles music like never before.
First aired in 2008, an exclusive behind-the-scenes documentary about the Beatles LOVE show was released on DVD on February 9, 2010 called All Together Now, which features appearances by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison.
In 2010, All Together Now won a Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video.
LOVE Cirque du Soleil Show playing at
The Mirage Hotel, Las Vegas
Review by Shelley Germeaux
The idea for a Beatles Cirque show began with a conversation between George Harrison and Guy Laliberte, the founder of the Cirque, in 2000. Harrison and Laliberte were big fans of each other’s work, and together they agreed that the Beatles and the Cirque could form a great creative marriage. Yoko Ono coined the perfect phrase when she said, “I think it’s a great combination: the Beatles’ agile mind and the Cirque’s agile body.”
Sadly, George did not live to see this dream fulfilled, but his wife Olivia pursued the project with the other Beatles and Apple. After three years of deliberation between Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono, with the Cirque, Apple, and the Mirage Hotel, the first major theatrical partnership for the Beatles became official. Olivia worked personally with the creators in selecting which of George’s songs and music to use, including for example, a demo tape of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” instead of the commercial version.
Writer-Director Dominic Champagne worked to create a theatrical production that would tell the story of the Beatles through dance, cirque-style acrobatics, and video. It is a magical world consisting of the various characters in the Beatles songs, like the Walrus, Julia, Sgt. Pepper, and Lady Madonna.
The show was done “in reverse” of what the Cirque creators were used to, according to the show’s creation director, Chantal Tremblay. Usually the Cirque shows are focused on the acrobatic routines and the performers, and the music is written around that. But this time, the Beatles’ music comes first, and the storyline is written to fit that music.
The characters are incredibly surreal, and interesting medleys and fragments of Beatles music are fused with each other in a way that is extremely effective. The Beatles voices are sometimes in conversation as their silhouettes are periodically shown on the screens. Even a VW Beetle is featured with the license plate “28 IF” as it is shown on the cover of Abbey Road, commemorating not just the album, but a tongue in cheek reference to the “Paul is Dead” hoax.
Jean Rabasse, the set designer, spent a rumored $100 million creating a set that would “surround the Beatles with a bubble” and make each person in the 2,000 seat theater feel closely connected with the performance. The most technologically advanced theater ever built, the stage is in the center, with jutting aisles that allow the performers to come in and out of various entrances. Scenes contain moving platforms, changing skies, and huge video screens.
There are two huge 2,000 square foot panoramic screens on the far walls, and four other semi-transparent screens that scroll into the stage area at various times, giving each person a close-up view of various images of the Beatles.
George Martin and his son Giles created the soundtrack from 200 Beatles songs (including studio takes), from the original master tapes. This was no easy task, when you consider that just 30 full songs would fill a 90-minute show. Most of the numbers are dramatic re-mixes in a “mash-up” style that is becoming so popular with contemporary music. There is no actual song list for the show because of the fact that only fragments of many songs are used throughout the production. For example, imagine hearing Ringo’s drum solo on Abbey Road, while it flows into the opening beats of “Get Back.” The effect is stunning and keeps the production moving so startlingly quick, you are always surprised at what you are seeing and hearing.
Sir George said while they wanted to be sure to use solid hits in the score, he wasn’t out to make it “the best of” the Beatles. They used many interesting and lesser-known pieces, fragments, parts of demos, and even some conversations of the Beatles in the studio, that would make the production seem intimate and real. With 6,341 speakers, (including three speakers in each seat), the technology in this panoramic theater makes you feel that you are sitting right there with the Beatles in the studio. As Sir George commented, “people are going to be knocked out by what they are hearing!”
Indeed, the magic would be lost if the full song-list were published, just as trying to describe the full show itself is impossible to do. What follows is a general outline of the show, and my reactions to it; but the magic is in experiencing the show itself. I strongly recommend that every Beatle fan see it. It’s a transforming experience, one you will not regret.
Plan your own trip to Las Vegas:
LOVE Red Carpet Premiere, June 2006
The gala premiere on June 30, 2006 created the Beatles family reunion we never thought would happen– Sir George Martin and son Giles, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and wife Barbara Bach, Yoko Ono, Olivia Harrison and son Dhani, even John’s first wife Cynthia and son Julian Lennon all strolled down the red carpet to talk to reporters and have photos taken before entering the theater. Sean Lennon, John’s son with Yoko, was unfortunately a no-show.
It was a star-studded event that also included Siegfried and Roy, in a respectful torch-passing for the theater that previously included their tiger act; Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys; all the members of Ringo’s 2006 All Starr Band, who performed the next night, Sheila E, Edgar Winter, Rod Argent, Richard Marx, Billy Squier, and Hamish Stuart. Composer and Harrison friend Jeff Lynne was there, as well as Neil Aspinall (Director of Apple), Eric Idle (Monty Python), Vegas legend Robert Goulet, Debbie Harrie (Blondie), actor Paul Reiser, Michael Richards (Kramer of Seinfeld), Little Steven Van Zandt (Sopranos), and the infamous Carrot Top.
Plan your own trip to Las Vegas:
Continue to The Beatles Remastered