The Beatles Love: Cirque du Soleil Meets the Fab Four

Lisa Fritscher September 21, 2011 2 Comments

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The theater entrance is impressive

Have you ever noticed that when you live somewhere, you never actually get around to seeing the major tourist attractions there? I grew up in Central Florida, just 40 minutes from Walt Disney World. While we did have annual passes to Disney and to Universal Orlando, we never made it to many of the other attractions in the area.

As a rabid fan of circuses in general, with a particular love for the strange and off-beat, I was thrilled when Cirque du Soleil opened a permanent show, La Nouba, at Downtown Disney in 1998. I couldn’t wait to get tickets! But of course, real life always got in the way. By the time I moved to New Orleans in 2001, I still hadn’t seen La Nouba. When I returned to Central Florida following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, La Nouba was at the top of my list. But Dad and I started full-time RVing around the country without my ever having made it to the show.

When we got to Las Vegas earlier this year, we made a pledge to finally take in Cirque du Soleil. With seven shows to choose from, Las Vegas is a virtual smorgasbord for Cirque lovers. But his adoration for the Beatles coupled with my fascination with Criss Angel made our decision easy. We bought tickets for Believe and Love.

About Love

There's a lot to look at in the shop

Six years in the making, Love is the culmination of discussions begun in 2000 between Beatle George Harrison and friend Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil. Though Harrison passed away in 2001, surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with Harrison’s widow Olivia and John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono, took over negotiations. Love opened in 2006 at the Mirage Resort on the famed Las Vegas Strip. The custom-designed theater replaced the old Sigfried & Roy Theater, where the magicians performed nightly with their trademark white tigers.

As of 2011, tickets cost $79 to $155 depending on location. But deals are plentiful, from deeply discounted time share tickets to military rates. Check around on the official website, at the Mirage, and in free coupon books to learn what offers are available during your visit. The show is performed at 7:00 and 9:30 pm Thursday through Monday, and is dark on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Our Experience

The lights kept changing colors, setting a great mood

Dad is a retired civilian employee of the Department of Defense and he has an official ID card, which qualified us for a 40% military discount. Although the military discount was available for several ticket tiers, we opted for the cheap seats. As it turns out, they were among the best seats in the house. At the front row of the balcony, we had a bird’s eye view of the entire show. The performance literally occurs in and around the entire theater, making it easy for those in the front rows to miss things.

We opted for the late show, which turned out to be a great choice. We had plenty of time after our daytime activities to return to the RV and freshen up before heading out. We hung around the casino while waiting for the early show to finish. Once it let out, we had the chance to chat with some people who had attended the 7:00 show, building excitement about what was to come.

I was a bit skeptical about the show. While I was raised on Beatles music and have a deep appreciation for their contribution to the musical world, I’m not a rabid fan. I wasn’t sure if I would get much out of Love. Dad, on the other hand, grew up in the ‘60s. He was literally beside himself waiting for the show to start. We strolled through the gift shop shortly after we arrived, and Dad carefully examined each piece of merchandise. He decided what he wanted, but waited to purchase it until after the show. We were thankful that we had been in earlier, because after the show, the shop was a madhouse! It would have been nearly impossible to see everything and make a reasoned decision.

As it turns out, my skepticism was for naught. Even before the show actually started, it managed to draw me in. Theatrical scrims and ladders hung from the ceiling in various spots, and the tech staff got quite a workout raising and lowering them at seemingly random intervals. The lighting was dim and mysterious. By the time the show started, I was hooked.

The show itself was fast-paced and nearly overwhelming visually. More than once, I had no idea where to look. At its core, Love is a loose biography of the Beatles, tracking their early beginnings, meteoric rise to superstardom and ultimate breakup. But it is also a celebration of the wider cultural influence of the 1960s set to a Beatles soundtrack. The show itself takes center stage in the finale, representing a joyful reunion of the Beatles family and serving as a symbol of hope that the ideals of love and peace can again flow freely around the globe.

Love represents Cirque du Soleil at its finest, featuring 65 international performers in death-defying aerial acrobatics, tumbling, inline skating, dance and other highly impressive maneuvers. In a particularly amazing sequence, a series of trampoline artists bounce on and off a massive British red phone booth during Back in the USSR. One tumbler actually clears the phone booth altogether!

Tips for Parents

Take some time to shop around

Love is a wonderfully family-friendly show. Children under age 5 are not permitted, but older kids are sure to be enthralled. The lights, music, colorful costumes and mind-boggling stunts combine to create an experience that is great fun for all ages.

Unlike most Cirque shows, Love actually uses music from the Beatles catalog. Although many songs have been remixed to fit the show format, the recordings were actually done by the Beatles. At various points during the show, clips of old Beatles performances are projected on screens around the theater. This adds realism and a touch of nostalgia to the proceedings.

Snacks and beverages are available at the theater’s concession stand. No outside food or drinks are permitted. There is no intermission in the 90-minute show, so purchase anything you might like before the show begins.

Cameras are not allowed inside the theater, and recording of any kind is grounds for ejection. Silence all cell phones and other electronic devices before the performance begins. Late arrivals are held in the lobby until an appropriate time for everyone’s safety. Doors open 30 minutes before show time.

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avatarAbout the Author:

Lisa is a full-time travel writer. She lives in an RV with her disabled father and writes about their experiences. Although she has no children of her own, Lisa loves being an Aunt to her own relatives and the children of all her friends. You can follow her adventures on her blog, Travel Confessions.

Tags: Reviews
2 Comments to “The Beatles Love: Cirque du Soleil Meets the Fab Four”
  1. avatar Brian Washington says:

    Thanks for the great review! My girlfriend and I are going to see it this President’s day weekend, and she is ecstatic! I was wondering if you could tell me where I should purchase the tickets to apply my military discount? I’ve searched online and have had no luck. Did you buy them at the ticket booth? If you don’t get a chance to answer this before this weekend, no worries, and thank you for the great review!

    • avatar Lisa Fritscher says:

      Hi Brian,

      We called the box office directly: 702-792-7777 and asked for the military discount. The discounts do vary by season, so I can’t tell you for sure what the price will be over President’s Day. You’ll have to show your military ID at the box office to pick up the tickets, which you can do anytime in the 24 hours leading up to the show.

      Have a fantastic time!! It really is a wonderful show.

      Lisa