Cirque du Soleil's twenty-sixth show and seventh Las Vegas effort ran from 2010-2012 at the Aria Resort and Casino.The quick-and-dirty summary would be "The Beatles LOVE with Elvis Presley's life and songs substituted for those of the Fab Four", but Viva Elvis is more akin to a traditional Jukebox Musical in its structure and staging. It unfolds on a proscenium stage rather than an in-the-round (or rectangle, to be specific) setup. While Elvis's own vocals are used throughout, they are backed up by onstage female vocalists — who get solo turns on several occasions — and a live band, whereas all of LOVE's music was prerecorded. Perhaps most importantly, where LOVE is heavily metaphorical and draws many of its onstage characters from the songs of the Beatles, Viva Elvis is more straightforward.An actor playing "Colonel" Tom Parker (Elvis's manager) guides us through scenes representing Elvis's Southern upbringing and musical influences, rise to stardom, military service, return to the U.S., Hollywood career, relationship with wife Priscilla, and finally his late-in-life stretch as a Vegas headliner. The setup allows for a good deal of Cirque whimsy and grace nonetheless, from a pair of acrobats twirling upon a guitar in the starry sky representing Elvis and his stillborn twin brother Jesse, to Elvis's love of comic books inspiring a trampoline romp.A segment from this show was incorporated into the 3-D Movie Cirque Du Soleil Worlds Away in 2012. Compare All Shook Up, a Broadway Jukebox Musical built around Presley's songs.
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