Macau Daily Times

Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles-themed show will end after an 18-year run

- RIO YAMAT, LAS VEGAS MDT/AP*

Tfinal curtain will come down this summer on Cirque du Soleil’s long-running show “The Beatles Love,” a cultural icon on the Las Vegas Strip that brought band members Paul Mccartney and Ringo Starr back together for public appearance­s throughout its 18year run.

Cirque announced yesterday [Macau time] that the show housed at the Mirage will end on July 7, part of the iconic hotel-casino’s major renovation plan to rebrand itself into the Hard Rock Las Vegas.

Stéphane Lefebvre, CEO of the Cirque du Soleil Entertainm­ent Group, said in a statement that more than 11.5 million people have seen the show — an energetic portrayal of the Fab Four’s history and music with aerial stunts and whimsical dance numbers on a colorful, 360-degree stage.

“We are grateful to the creators, cast, crew and all involved in bringing this show to life,” Lefebvre said, “and we know The Beatles LOVE will live on long after the final bow.”

In a separate statement, Joe Lupo, president of the Mirage, thanked the Cirque performers and crew members working behind the scenes “who played a part in entertaini­ng guests and bridged generation­s” for nearly two decades.

The production premiered in the summer of 2006, with red carpet appearance­s by both Mccartney and Starr, as well as Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison, wife of the late Beatle George Harrison. They reunited a year later to celebrate the show’s first anniversar­y.

According to Cirque, the show was born out of the friendship between its founder Guy Laliberté and Harrison, the Beatles’ lead guitarist who died in 2001. John Lennon was killed in 1980.

The show is set to a specialize­d soundtrack that earned Cirque two Grammy Awards in 2008, a first for the entertainm­ent company. Cirque said the Beatles’ original producer, George Martin, and his son produced and mixed the 26-song soundscape, pulling from 130 songs from the Beatles’ powerhouse music catalog and archives.

The current cast includes 11 original members from the show’s inception, according to Cirque. More than 11,000 costume pieces are worn on show night, including 250 pairs of shoes and 225 wigs. Audiences throughout the show’s run, Cirque said, have been showered with 13.5 tons of confetti during the final act, which closes with the Beatles’ 1967 hit “All You Need is Love.”

“Beatles Love” is one of six Cirque production­s on the Las Vegas Strip. Tickets for the final shows in July will go on sale in the coming weeks.

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