Cirque Du Soleil Does Michael Jackson
Then, just after intermission, things took a turn for the better. A series of ballads, including “You Are Not Alone” and “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” were given simple, beautiful onstage interpretations, the latter with a pair of trapeze artists. “Beat It” was as loud as they were soft, but it had the only truly funny moment of the night: a dancer dressed as a giant sequined glove that looked as much like the Hamburger Helper mascot as like Michael Jackson. The remixes started to feel more considered and exciting. Most importantly, the show began to make tentative inroads into exploring Jackson’s psyche. A restaging of the ecological anthem “Earth Song” wisely showed much of Jackson’s original video, in which he stands atop the planet as it’s torn apart by humanity’s callous indifference; it’s unthinkably hubristic and unaccountably moving. And “Scream” did the same thing, projecting Mark Romanek’s futuristic black-and-white video and overlaying images of military violence. Sharp protest songs like “They Don’t Really Care About Us,” which was performed by an army of Robocops, alternated with gospel ballads like “Will You Be There,” which ended with a huge projection of Jackson in a fully Christ-like pose.