Walking the Aisle Parallel to Cirque/MJ Marriage

By Jason Menard

Some people dream of running off and joining the circus; in my case, the circus is following me and — the Cirque de Soleil, that is. And for an unabashed Michael Jackson fan, the upcoming King of Pop-themed show is a match made in heaven.

Cirque de Soleil and I both hail from the same home town — Montreal, QC. I’ve watched its growth from a gaggle of supremely talented street performers to the international success story is continues to write today. I’ve seen shows both at home, on TV, and abroad, culminating with my last experience in Las Vegas at the Criss Angel/Cirque performance at the Luxor.

And it’s safe to say, I’ve never failed to be amazed by the talent, dedication, and creativity of Guy Laliberté’s crew.

In many ways their artistic expression is unparalleled. Except for the vision of one man — Michael Jackson. What Cirque has done with the medium of performing arts marries well with what the King of Pop was able to do in his career. And I’ve been blessed to grow up in a time when both were at their Zenith.

Many refused to admit their affinity for Michael. And I’ve previously tackled the challenge of reconciling one’s talents with the allegations that seemingly never strayed too far out of view with the eccentric singer. But I’ve always stood up and counted myself as a fan.

I own multiple copies of Thriller (and I’m not alone, despite what people say, considering the sheer volume of copies this album sold. I may have a lot of CDs and vinyl, but in no way can I be solely responsible for that record’s success). I remember watching the Billie Jean performance at the Motown celebration. I remember trying (unsuccessfully) to do the moonwalk. I once had the entire dance routing from Thriller committed to muscle memory.

And I still lament the loss of my glitter glove.

But that’s not all. I retroactively followed MJ from his days in the Jackson Five (in fact, one night I awoke in a Montreal hotel room from a vivid dream in which I was Tito Jackson — big hat and all — and remembered distinctly how jealous I was of him. After all, I [Tito] had the real talent. I wore the hat; I played the bass!) I loved Off the Wall and his performance in the Wiz made a story that I had found, to that point, annoying absolutely entrancing.

I followed along through Bad and Dangerous, admittedly losing interest with his later albums and their representative decline of his career. But still those early years were magic.

Now I hope to recapture that magic. And just as Houdini’s legacy is continued by modern magicians, who better to interpret MJ’s vision than the Cirque de Soleil. I’ve been with both of them every step of the way, and can only hope our paths cross once again at the JLC.

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