Michael Jackson: One also known as MJOne and One is a resident Cirque du Soleil production written and directed by Jaime King. It is the second collaborative project between Cirque du Soleil and The Estate of Michael Jackson with the first being Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour.
One was announced to the public and the media on February 21, 2013. Previews of One began on May 23, 2013, with the official premiere on June 29, 2013, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada.
One is the ninth Cirque du Soleil resident show in Las Vegas and the fourteenth resident show overall.
After the financial success of The Immortal World Tour, The Estate of Michael Jackson, Cirque du Soleil, and MGM Resorts collaborated together to create a permanent resident show at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
Several of the creative team members who worked on The Immortal World Tour were hired back to begin work on One. These include writer and director of Immortal Jaime King, associate director Carla Kama, costume designer Zaldy Goco, music designer Kevin Antunes, and acrobatic performance director Germain Guillemot.
Michael Jackson: One follows four "misfits" called The Heroes, Clumsy, Sneaky, Shy, and their leader Smarty Pants, who sneak into the theater to see the show. Upon entering, The Heroes discover 4 objects belonging to Michael Jackson: a black fedora, black shoes and socks, sequence white gloves, and sunglasses.
As they touch the objects, they are warped into the musical world of Michael Jackson and meet Mephisto, a representation of the paparazzi and tabloid media. They must find the objects again, overcome their own personal insecurities, and battle against Mephisto through the power of Michael Jackson's music.
Set and Technical Information
The Stage and Video Projections
The proscenium arch of the theater is painted with rosettes and aligned with TV screens and statues in a Baroque-like architecture. The walls of the theater are plastered with tabloid articles permeates the set concept.
The stage contains 66 winches with speeds of up to 12 ft. per second. Attached to the ceiling is two 96 ft. overhead tracks with two trolleys each to move performers.
One contains 587 light fixtures with 295 custom LED light fixtures built into the various set pieces.
One uses 26 projectors, throughout the show to enhance the atmosphere and move the story of One. The stage is equipped with 1 LED track with 8 trolleys, each trolley supporting 8 LED panels. Using a GPS tracking system equipped with sensors, video content can be projected onto the artists as they move on stage. In addition to the projectors, One uses 11 TV monitors and a 40-ft-wide, 30-ft-high LED wall made up of 8 separate columns.
The four large towers that are used as projection surfaces are able to move side to side and up and down. These towers are also used as dance surfaces for the performers.
The sound system for One was custom built to immerse the audience in a concert-like experience. Sound designer Jonathan Deans divided the music of Michael Jackson into separate layers to be played throughout the theater. Each of the theater's 1804 seats contains 3 backseat speakers. This is a total of 5,412 seat speakers.
Inspiration and Color Schemes
Zaldy Goco, who previously worked on The Immortal World Tour, was inspired by the music and the spirit of Michael Jackson. Several costumes were inspired by outfits and costumes used in Michael Jackson music videos, concerts, and various appearances.
Goco made approximately 1,150 costume pieces in the show. He wanted the costume for One to have a manga-style look and feel to them. He used neoprene; a synthetic rubber used in sportswear, swimwear, and waterproof products; in most of the costumes to create stiff shapes in the costumes that would be flexible and stretchable for the artists.
Goco also used gold coloring, glitter, and crystals to reflect Michael Jackson's concert wardrobe. The Dirty Diana contains over 7,000 Swarovski crystals; the same crystals used for Michael Jackson's iconic sequence glove.
The fedora hats used in One are made by the same makers of Michael Jackson's various fedoras. The capes of The Tabloid Junkies costumes contain headlines of Michael Jackson in several languages. The glitter on the guitarist Muses character was created using the same technique for one of Michael Jackson's costumes for the planned This Is It Tour.
The color schemes of light and dark are prominent in the story of One with Michael representing the light and Mephisto, the antagonist of One, representing the dark. The light side has a color scheme of white, rainbow tones, and lighter tones while the dark side's color scheme is black, navy and red.
Several costumes use visual and illusions to emphasis the performance. The gangsters' costumes during the Smooth Criminal portion have white backside when the stage is lit. When stage lights are turned off and a black light is lit on the stage, ultraviolet drawings are revealed on the artists' costume and faces. The ultraviolet dragon tattoos were inspired by The Yakuza, a Japanese organized crime syndicate. The material used for the Smoothe Criminal gangsters is a high-end French fabric woven from plastic material to give the costumes a liquid shine.
Inflatables were used for the Tabloid Junkies costumes. During the performance, the artists activate a switch on their costumes causes a CO2 explosion. A dog-shaped head hood releases from the back of their costumes and instantly transforms the costume.
The costumes used during I Can’t Stop Loving You and Billie Jean are equipped with hundreds of LED lights. This is to make the artists disappear in the dark while the costumes light up.
Michael Jackson: One contains 63 onstage dancers and performers.
- Michael Jackson: The spirit of Michael Jackson that lives in One. He is present through the music, audio recordings, and videos played throughout the show.
- Smarty Pants: Self-appointed leader of The Heroes, Smarty Pants discovers Michael Jackson's fedora and uses it to display gratefulness.
- Clumsy: A slackwire artist who discovers Michael's shoes to overcome his balance.
- Shy: A martial artist who discovers Michael's sunglasses and uses them to overcome her introversion.
- Sneaky: A troublemaker who discovers Michael's sequence glove and performs a glove manipulation act.
- Mephisto: The Antagonist of One. He is a representation of the paparazzi and tabloid newspapers.
- NGame: The Moon Goddess who sings during Stranger In Moscow / Will You Be There and I Just Can't Stop Loving You.
- Wink: A free-styled dancer and contortionist who performs during Human Nature / Never Can Say Goodbye.
- The Muse: A guitarists who
- Dirty Diana: Mephisto's muse who performs a pole dancing routine during Dangerous / Dirty Diana.
- Pre-Show (Paparazzi): The paparazzi comes out and takes pictures with the audience while the song Privacy plays throughout the theater.
- The Vortex (Opening / Video Projection): The Heroes sneak into One only to discover four objects belonging to Michael Jackson. The vortex montages various Michael Jackson music videos. Various song clips are intermixed with the song Beat It including Ghosts, Somebody's Watching Me, In The Closet, and Why You Wanna Trip On Me
- Beat It (Rotating Bungees / Russian Swings / Contemporary Dance): A group of dancers performs to Beat It while performers swing on Russian Swings in the background and aerialists rotate on rotating bungees above.
- Leave Me Alone / Tabloid Junkie / 2 Bad (Contemporary Dance): The Heroes get surrounded by the Paparazzi, Tabloid Media, and Mephisto. Various rumors from the media about Michael Jackson appear on stage such as him owning a personal oxygen rejuvenation chamber to fight against aging and the bones of Joseph Merrick (The Elephant Man) which he allegedly bought.
- Stranger In Moscow / Will You Be There (Spanish Web): An artist performs on a Spanish Web to the music of NGame, The Moon Goddess.
- Bad (Slackwire): Clumsy discovers Michael Jackson's shoes. As he puts them on, he performs with various artists on two slackwires.
- Smooth Criminal (Contemporary Dance / Rythmic Gymnastics): A group of artists performs a contemporary dance while acrobatic tumblers perform rhythmic gymnastics.
- I'll Be There (Music Assembly / Video Projection): A pianist plays I'll Be There on a piano while overlayed with a video with a young Michael Jackson singing the song.
- Human Nature / Never Can Say Goodbye (Contemporary Dance / Contortion): A free-styled dancer performs contortionist tricks.
- 2000 Watts / Jam (Wushu): Shy is surrounded by the paparazzi and Mephisto, Shy puts on Michael Jackson's glasses to fight them off in a wushu performance.
- They Don't Care About Us (Contemporary Dance):
- Planet Earth / Earth Song (Shadow Theater): Various artists perform in a shadow theater.
- Smile (Contemporary Dance): Smarty Pants, the leader of The Heroes, discovers Michael Jackson's fedora and performs a solo performance.
- Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (Hat Juggling): A group of artists performs hat juggling.
- The Way You Make Me Feel / You Rock My World (Contemporary Dance): Set in a garage, the performers try to impress a woman with their dance moves.
- Dangerous / Dirty Diana (Pole Dancing): Dirty Diana, Mephisto's muse, performs a pole dancing act.
- Clown Act: This Place Hotel / Working Day and Night: Sneaky discovers Michael Jackson's sequenced glove in a suitcase. He performs a glove manipulation act.
- Billie Jean (Video Projection / Contemporary Dance): A group of performers dances in the dark with their LED lighted suits.
- Scream (Video Projection): A cartoon animation of The Heroes trying to escape the Thriller werewolves is projected on the main screen.
- Thriller (Trampoline / Contemporary Dance): A group of zombies performs various tricks on a trampoline. After a group of zombies performs the iconic dance sequence from the Thriller music video.
- Speechless (Interlude): The talismans of Michael Jackson are recovered and Mephisto is destroyed.
- I Just Can't Stop Loving You (Spanish Web): NGame sings I Just Can't Stop Loving You while a group of stars performs on a Spanish Web.
- Man In The Mirror (Contemporary Dance): A group of dancers performs a contemporary dance with a hologram of Michael Jackson.
- Can You Feel It (Contemporary Dance): Shy flys above the audience as a group of dancers performs on stage.
- Black Or White (Choreographed Performance): Various dancers come out on stage and dance.
- Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Finale): All of the cast comes out on stage and performs a dance.
- Love Never Felt So Good (Post-Show): The first single from the 2nd Michael Jackson posthumous compilation album Xscape plays. This replaces Remember The Time from the Dangerous album which was used until 2014.
The soundtrack for Michael Jackson: One was created by Kevin Antunes who previously worked on The Immortal World Tour. Antunes used the multi-track master recordings of the original Michael Jackson songs to create rearranged for One.
NGame: The Moon Goddess
- Valerie Kimani: From May 2013 to July 2018
- Tymara Walker: From July 2016 to April 2018 (Backup)
- Selloane Nkhela: From July 2018 to Present
For more information on the songs featured in Michael Jackson: One, please visit Michael Jackson: One (Soundtrack).
- Michael Jackson: One is the most dance-driven Cirque du Soleil production to date.
- The Muse's guitar shoots 30 ft. of pyro.
Behind the Scenes
Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour - The first collaborative touring production between Cirque du Soleil and The Estate of Michael Jackson based on the music of Michael Jackson.
- Yancey, K. (2013, February 21). Cirque tells more about new Michael Jackson Vegas show. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/dispatches/2013/02/21/new-michael-jackson-show-called-one-to-open-at-mandalay-bay/1935905/
- Press Releases. Retrieved from https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/press/news/2013/michael-jackson-one-press-conference
- Cirque du Soleil and the Estate of Michael Jackson Present Michael Jackson ONE. Retrieved from http://newsroom.mgmresorts.com/cirque-du-soleil-and-the-estate-of-michael-jackson-present-michael-jackson-one.htm
- Michael Jackson ONE. Retrieved from https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/press/kits/shows/michael-jackson-one
- Sound And Vision: Michael Jackson's "Dangerous," cover artwork by Mark Ryden. Retrieved from https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-michael-jackson-s-dangerous-cover-artwork-by-mark-ryden/
- (2009, June 26). Michael Jackson's famous glove: where it all started. Retrieved from https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2009/0626/p02s19-usgn.html
- Parry, R. (2019, June 28). Inside Michael Jackson's $100,000 oxygen rejuvenation chamber that he used to combat aging . Retrieved from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7192525/Inside-Michael-Jacksons-100-000-oxygen-rejuvenation-chamber-used-combat-aging.html
- Cooney, C. (2019, June 30). Michael Jackson's oxygen rejuvenation chamber found 10 years after his death. Retrieved from https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9398181/michael-jackson-oxygen-chamber-naps-live-forever-found-shipping-container/?utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=sunmaintwitter&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1561794595
- United Press International. (2018, September 3). JACKSON UPS BID FOR SKELETON OF `ELEPHANT MAN`. Retrieved from https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1987-06-17-8702140689-story.html
- Cambridge, E. (2018, April 20). Michael Jackson was obsessed with the Elephant Man and spent hours sitting alone with his skeleton. Retrieved from https://www.thesun.co.uk/uncategorized/6106302/michael-jackson-was-obsessed-with-the-elephant-man-and-spent-hours-sitting-alone-with-his-skeleton/
- (2018, April 20). Michael Jackson ONE: Backstage at the Las Vegas Strip: The World Of MJONE: Cirque du Soleil. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/9vc9O3Da7O4
|Touring & Resident Shows|