The Beatles: Love also known as Love is a resident Cirque du Soleil production created and directed by Dominic Champagne. Love is a collaborative project between Cirque du Soleil and Apple Corps Ltd. It is the first Apple Corps Ltd stage production and fifth resident show for Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. Love premiered on June 30, 2006 at The Mirage Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
The idea for a Beatles-themed Cirque du Soleil show arose from a conversation between George Harrison and co-founder of Cirque du Soleil Guy Laliberté at George's Friar Park Estate. After three years of negotiations between surviving members Paul McCarthy and Ringo Starr, widows Olivia Harrison (wife of George Harrison) and Yoko Ono Lennon (wife of John Lennon), Apple Corps Ltd., and The MGM Mirage, the concept for a Beatles-themed show came into an agreement.
In 2011 for the fifth anniversary of Love, Cirque du Soleil started to offer guided backstage tours. This experience allowed visitors to see the backstage, training rooms, costume workshop, break area, and a chance to go up on the catwalk into the sound and lighting booths.
In February 2016, the producers of the show did a "refresh" of Love with an update to the production. Several changes include adding new imagery to the projections, the lighting of the show, acts, costumes, and adding and removing pieces of music.
Also in 2016, Cirque du Soleil started to offer a 30 minute "behind the scenes" presentation called "The Magical Technical Tour". This presentation tells the audience about the technical elements of the show such as the automation, audio, projections, lighting, rigging, and some of the show’s props and wardrobe.
Set and Technical Information
The Love Theater is a 360 degree "theater-in-the-round" stage where the audience surrounds the performance area. There are more than 6400 speakers in the theater with 2013 seats. Each seat is fitted with three speakers including a pair in the head rest. There are 52 projectors in the theater covering the stage and the 4 scrim curtains.
The stage has 9 stage lifts that can be raised and lowered. The largest lift can hold up to 22,000 pounds. When installing this lift, engineers had to dig 32 feet into the ground to have it installed. It provides of 150 pounds per square foot and has a speed of a foot per second.
The rafters grid above the stage is 87 feet high and has 8 automatic tracks and trolleys. The 8 tracks and trolleys can move 24 props, set elements, and performers simultaneously.
The Love theater also utilizes it's ventilation system by adding scents to specific segments and controlling the density and temperature. During the "Here Comes the Sun" performance, the theater is filled with a scent of flowers and incense.
During the "Strawberry Fields" performance, bubbles are blown from a fiberglass piano filled with soap solution. The ventilation system is used to controls the air flow and density in the theater to make the performance happen. This was done due to the engineers realizing that the dry air outside the building was causing problems for the segment
The Love theater replaced the previous stage for Siegfried and Roy and is said the total replacement cost more than $100 million.
The costumes for Love reflect the different fashion styles throughout The Beatles musical career. The costume designer for Love Philippe Guilottel combined traditional and Victorian fashions with bright and colorful imaginative designs.
Love is a celebration of the musical legacy of The Beatles. Love explores the history of the Beatles through a interpretive acrobatic stage performance.
- Doctor Robert: A mysterious character who offers "tea" to unsuspecting drinkers.
- Sgt. Pepper: An old band leader who must overcome the loss of his instruments and his band.
- Father McKenzie: An old preacher who is frustrated that his sermons are not head deafened by the new age of "Rock and Roll".
- Eleanor Rigby: Representative of Old Traditional England. She drags the weight of her past everywhere.
- The Fool: A restless soulful who marches to the beat of his own drum.
- The Kids of Liverpool: Representing John, Paul, George, and Ringo during their childhoods.
- Mr. Piggy: An aristocratic traditionalist who is against the new wave of Rock and Roll who eventually joins the revolution.
- Lady Madonna: Symbolizing the strength and beauty of motherhood.
- Sugar Plum Fairy: A music lover who introduces The Beatles to the world.
- Krishna: Symbolizing The Beatles blending Eastern music and values with Western music and values.
- Her Majesty: Representing the pride of the nation.
- Julia: A representing John Lennon's mother.
- The Nowhere Men: Representing the zeitgeist of Love.
- The Teddy Boys: Representing the new wave of youth.
- The Blue Meanies: Characters from The Beatles' film Yellow Submarine, they representing the evil in the world.
- The Eggman: A care-free hippie character
- Groupies: Representatives of the fans of The Beatles during "Beatlemania".
- Sailors: Representing the strength of the nation.
- The Walrus: representing the spark of change through the use of dance moves and energy.
- Because (Opening): The stage opens underneath as Sgt. Pepper and performers climb up.
- Get Back (Choreographed Performance / Bungee): Sgt. Pepper conducts a dance sequence on top of a rooftop with smoke stacks coming from underneath the stage.
- Glass Onion (Free Running / Bungee): The rooftop is destroyed by WWII planes and the assembly is dispersed into chaos.
- Eleanor Rigby (Choreographed Performance): A small scene involving Eleanor Rigby and Father McKenzie after the bombing of the rooftops.
- Rock N' Roll Run (Twist and Shout) (Choreographed Performance): The Sugar Plum Fairy brings new music to the assembly and "Beatlemania" erupts.
- Clown Act: Abby Road (Shadow Theater): A collage of sound clips from the recording session of The Beatles while performed by projected shadows.
- Gnik Nus / Something (Wire Suspension/ Choreographed Performance): A solo male dancer dances with 4 women that are on wire suspensions.
- Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite (Russian Swing): Mr. Kite performs on the Russian Swing surrounded by a performance symbolizing the media frenzy and controversy that surrounded The Beatles during their meteoric rise to fame.
- Help! (Aggressive Inline Skating): Four Inline skaters use 11 foot high ramps to perform various skating tricks.
- Clown Act: Blackbird: The Fool tries to help 4 Blackbirds find their wings.
- Yesterday (Trapeze Duo): A trapeze duo performs to Paul McCarthy's song.
- Clown Act: Jam Session: A collage of sound clips from the recording session of The Beatles.
- Strawberry Fields (Bubbles / Parade): The Nowhere Men blow bubbles as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band has a parade.
- Within You, Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows (Choreographed Performance): The Children of Liverpool ride a floating bed as the bedsheets cover the audience.
- Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds (Culbuto Ladder / Aerial Straps): Lucy and The Fireman have a duet as Lucy performs on her aerial straps while The Fireman performs on a culbuto ladder.
- Lady Madonna (Choreographed Performance): The Sugar Plum Fairy and Lady Madonna have a "Gumboot" performance.
- Octopus' Garden (Choreographed Performance): The Children of Liverpool are taken through a slow-motion aquatic ballet.
- Here Comes The Sun (Corde Lisse): Krishna dances underneath four performers on corde lisses.
- Come Together (Contemporary Dance): Lead by Krishna, a set of performers perform a contemporary dance sequence.
- Revolution / Back in the USSR (Trampoline): A set of performers bounce on trampolines and trampoline nets.
- While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Contemporary Dance): A solo female artist dances with paper mache figures.
- A Day in the Life (Aerial Straps): A poetic aerial straps act that recounts the loss of John Lennon's mother Julia.
- Hey Jude / Sgt. Pepper (Reprise) (Choreographed Performance): A group of performers dance as wire suspended performers sprinkle the stage with confetti-filled umbrellas.
- All You Need is Love (Finale): The cast comes out to celebrate the end of the show.
- I Am The Walrus (Break Dancing): Taking place after the Eleanor Rigby segment, the Walrus comes out and break dances with an assembly of performers.
The soundtrack for Love was created by Abby Road Studio's George Martin and Giles Martin. Unlike previous Cirque du Soleil productions which have live performed music, the music for Love uses prerecorded materials from The Beatles Catalog. Giles Martin suggested using mash-up techniques to create a unique soundscape for the show.
Before the visualization of the show with the broad story-line, the music was developed first to make the basis for the show Love. The first track to be developed for the show was "Within You, Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows". It was apart of a 15 minute demo developed by Giles and George Martin before being approved by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon, Maria Harrison, and show creator Dominic Champagne.
120 Beatles songs were used to create 27 songs for the soundtrack for Love.
During the 2016 update of Love, Giles Martin was brought back to recreated, remixed, and cleaned up the audio for the show. Early Beatles songs were added to the show with "Twist and Shout" replacing "I Am the Walrus".
For more information on the songs featured in Love, please visit Love (Soundtrack).
All Together Now is a feature-length documentary chronicling the creation of Love. All Together Now was released on October 20, 2008 on DVD.
Love is also featured in the Cirque du Soleil film Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away. The segments of Get Back, Glass Onion, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite, Octopus' Garden, Within You, Without You, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps were used in the film.
During the early pitches for the show, a concept for a show based on the 1968 Beatles movie The Beatles: Yellow Submarine was pitched. It was to be staged at The Roundhouse in London, UK.
During the mixing and rearranging of the Beatles music for Love, Giles Martin began backing up The Beatles catalog using Pro Tools since the only backup tapes for The Beatles catalog were on a Mitsubishi Digital Tape Machine.
If a less serious problem arises during the production of Love, the classic Beatles line "Number 9" from the song "Revolution 9" on The White Album is repeated while the problem is being fixed and the performance is still running.
Behind the Scenes
- Clyde, Jonathan, et al. All Together Now. Cirque Du Soleil / Apple Corps Ltd., 2008.
- Light, Alan. All Together Now: A Documentary Film. All Together Now: A Documentary Film, The Cirque Apple Creation Partnership, 2008.
- Crawley, Peter. “How The Beatles Ended up Performing Live for Ever.” The Irish Times, The Irish Times, 26 May 2017, www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/how-the-beatles-ended-up-performing-live-for-ever-1.3094722.
- Lewinski, John. “For Fifth Birthday, Cirque Reveals More 'Love' Secrets.” CNET, CNET, 19 June 2011, www.cnet.com/news/for-fifth-birthday-cirque-reveals-more-love-secrets/.
- “Come Together...Episode 01 Beginning the Evolution.” YouTube, 13 Sept. 2017, youtu.be/gq4CMw0jg4s.
- “The Beatles LOVE by Cirque Du Soleil.” The Mirage, mirage.mgmresorts.com/en/entertainment/the-beatles-love.html.
- Radke, Brock. “Go behind the Scenes for Free at 'The Beatles Love'.” Las Vegas Sun, 18 Oct. 2017, lasvegassun.com/news/2017/oct/18/beatles-love-magical-technical-tour-cirque-mirage/.
- Hurwitz, Matt. “Behind the Tech of Cirque Du Soleil's 'Love'.” Variety, 13 July 2016, variety.com/2016/legit/features/technical-upgrades-keep-beatles-love-1201813484/.
- Wikipedia contributors. (2019, July 18). Blue Meanies (Yellow Submarine). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Blue_Meanies_(Yellow_Submarine)&oldid=906884274
- “Scenes From The Love Show.” The Beatles, 2006, www.thebeatles.com/feature/scenes-love-show.
- Avid. “Giles Martin on Creating Cirque Du Soleil's Love – Las Vegas.” YouTube, YouTube, 12 May 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=slTfDm9abt0.
- The Beatles. “The Beatles LOVE Podcast 1/6.” SoundCloud, 2016, soundcloud.com/thebeatles/the-beatles-love-10th-anniversary-1of6?in=thebeatles%2Fsets%2Fthe-beatles-love-10th.
- Whitehead, John W. “Cirque Du Soleil's LOVE, Nine Years Later: Peace, Love and Harmony in a Torn World.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 4 May 2016, www.huffpost.com/entry/cirque-du-soleils-love-pe_b_7200312.
- “Come Together...Again: Episode 02 The Music.” YouTube, 13 Sept. 2017, youtu.be/sYkAy4VYA48.
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