Beyonce and Jay-Z backstage with performers at Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour” on Dec. 10, 2011. ( Cashman Photography )
By Robin Leach, Las Vegas Sun and U.S. News Agency / Asian
Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte is reportedly opening a nightclub in February at Mandalay Bay ahead of his new Michael Jackson residency show starting there in the spring. It confirms our previous Vegas DeLuxe story, but because there is no official announcement yet, it’s unclear if this will take the place of the long-vacant nightspot Rumjungle.
It would be Cirque’s first standalone nightclub, and Andrew Sasson’s Light Group will manage it as Guy’s partner. Cirque launched Revolution at the Mirage in tandem with the casino resort and its show there, “The Beatles’ Love.”
Guy promises that the Mandalay Bay space will be a unique nightclub: “It’s an opportunity to materialize what we have been doing for 20 years with Cirque’s special projects,” he said.
Guy is known for fantastic, over-the-top parties and premieres he throws at Montreal headquarters and at his summer playground home in Ibiza, where the extraordinary and wild Manumission parties first brought prominence to the Spanish island playground.
If the opening-night celebration of “Michael Jackson: the Immortal World Tour” in Montreal last October is any indication, I can tell you from attending it that Guy’s legendary parties will bring new meaning to Las Vegas being the Nightclub Party Capital of the World.
The new Mandalay Bay nightclub doesn’t have a name yet, but the design calls for it to welcome 2,000 party revelers nightly. It no longer appears that the nightclub first reported here at Vegas DeLuxe will be themed as a Michael Jackson party palace.
So far, Guy has revealed that the roof will be rigged with Cirque technical equipment to allow performers to move up and down from the ceiling and along walls so that “every person in the club gets roped into the show.” Call them integrated performances among guests, dancers and DJs. Apparently, partygoers will even be able to get costumes produced by Cirque to really join the circus.
Guy launched the U.S. tour of “Michael Jackson: the Immortal World Tour” at Mandalay Bay last December. It is currently wrapping up its U.S. run before moving to Europe this fall.
The new permanent Michael Jackson residency is set to open in mid-May. Pre-production is well underway, with director Jamie King moving to Montreal next month for first rehearsals. The cast will move to Las Vegas early next year for the load-in at the reconfigured “The Lion King” theater in Mandalay Bay.
“It will be completely different from the ‘Immortal’ show,” Jamie has told me. “This will be a theater show, not an arena tour production. It will have a completely different feel.Both shows must be different, and they will be. The theater is under construction, and it has much potential. I am excited for the future.”