(Sponsored post: I was given a complimentary ticket to attend Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, NV, in exchange for a review of its show.)
If you have ever attended one of Cirque du Soleil’s amazing performances, you know that you’ll be treated to breath-taking acrobatics, incredible sets and costumes as well as unique story-telling. Those things are this company’s signature.
Recently I attended their newest enterprise, Viva Elvis, at the Aria Resort and Casino, its permanent Vegas theater. It was everything that I would have expected from these award-winning producers, but there was a subtle difference with this particular show. It was in its tone. It was a more relaxed, graceful story that they told – a true testimony to the life of Elvis. Viva Elvis followed Elvis Presley’s life from his early beginnings from going to the Army, becoming a movie star, getting married and being immortalized as an Las Vegas icon. His life was nicely chronicled in a graceful pace that I’m sure was due to the fact that this production was in partnership with Elvis Presley Enterprises and CKX Inc.
Don’t get me wrong, the production did include gymnastics of incredible proportions, but it also evoked emotions – I found myself shedding a tear which surprised me. But,that was because you could follow this story. They used actual film clips and home movies to forward the story from personal milestone to milestone.
It was a wonderful musical tribute that utilized some of the Giant’s most memorable tunes. Elvis’ hits were enhanced and modernized in such a way that worked in this lavish production.
I did enjoy the difference in tone and pace of this show. Where I was on high alert and on the edge of my seat as an audience member for Cirque’s MGM performance of KA, this show allowed me to relax into the story and not worry about strange looking characters popping around me chanting things I had no idea about what they were saying. I could understand every word in this production and could easily follow this story for it was based on a real life.
I had some favorite acts from this particular show. One is pictured to the left. Apparently, in Elvis’ youth he enjoyed comic books. So to pay tribute to that, the show featured comic books characters like The Flash. These comic book athletes performed an amazing spectacle with trampolines that allowed them to walk up walls. It was absolutely fascinating and never became boring. I could sit there all day and watch them. It was fun, entertaining and highly enjoyable.
I also loved the sets and costumes. One set that I found extremely clever was how they made an American flag out of using long john underwear and white boxer shorts. Nicely done. I also fell in love with a particular polka-dot dress that was worn by women with giant hats that would have been fitting on Audrey Hepburn.
However, it was the wedding act that did bring a tear to my eye. I don’t know if it was the fact that I’m just a softy when it comes to true love, but this scene was so well done. There was a giant wedding cake with a beautiful women in a wedding veil on the top. Her husbands were below her – clad in tuxes skating around as she sang. When the song was over, the grooms pulled out her veil and that became the screen which they projected real film clips from his wedding and other poignant moments from this life with Priscilla. He looked so happy at that particular time. You could tell how much they were in love. And I guess my tear was out of sadness for him. I only wish he could have held on to that love throughout his whole life. The life of a celebrity is at times cursed. I can’t even begin to imagine what his life was a like as a legend.
In summary, be sure to visit Viva Elvis on your next trip to Vegas. Your toes will tap. You face will smile. And you’ll leave with a little keepsake.
Elvis knew how to entertain audiences – as does Cirque du Soleil. The two are a powerful combination.