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Cirque du Soleil plans Jackson show
Cirque du Soleil is planning a show based on Michael Jackson's work
The acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil will put on a live touring show featuring the songs of King of Pop Michael Jackson starting late next year.
That will be followed by a permanent production in Las Vegas in 2012 at a property owned by MGM Mirage. A nightclub in Las Vegas will also open with the show.
Cirque and Jackson's estate will each own 50 per cent of the projects and share equally in the cost of putting them on. The estate will also receive royalties from the use of Jackson's music and other assets.
Jackson, who died at age 50 last June after a drug overdose, was described as a "huge fan" of the French Canadian performance group.
He saw their first tent show in Santa Monica, California, many years ago with longtime lawyer and now estate co-executor, John Branca. He visited their Montreal headquarters in 2004, Cirque CEO Daniel Lamarre said.
"He said he was an acrobat himself," Lamarre said. "As an artist he had this amazing way of bringing some visual element to his performances."
Jackson even saw Love, the Cirque show based on the legacy and music of the Beatles, shortly after it began at the Mirage casino in Las Vegas in 2006, and wanted to do his own version, said Jack Wishna, the president of consulting firm CPAmerica and a prospective business partner.
Ideas for Jackson's own Cirque show ranged from basing it on his hit video Thriller to him performing dozens of his No. 1 hits, Wishna said.
"But he passed away and everything just went by the wayside," he said. "It's a little different now, but at least it'll still get on. The music will still be there."
The touring show, which will begin in North America before branching out around the world, will be a simulation of a Jackson concert, while the Las Vegas show will be more theatrical and more technologically advanced, Lamarre said.
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