Cirque du Soleil will succeed one of Michael Jackson's unfulfilled wishes. The acrobatic troupe is partnering with Michael's estate to put on a live touring show featuring songs from the late singer. Michael is said to be a big fan of the group's show and had once wanted to put on a show based on "Thriller" among others.
Michael first saw the tent show years ago in Santa Monica, California with his then lawyer, John Branca and visited them in the group's Montreal headquarters. Cirque CEO Daniel Lamarre said, "He said he was an acrobat himself. As an artist he had this amazing way of bringing some visual element to his performances."
Watching the show inspired Michael to do his own version. "But he passed away and everything just went by the wayside," Jack Wishna, the president of consulting firm CPAmerica Inc., said. "It's a little different now, but at least it'll still get on. The music will still be there."
The idea is now revived sans the singer who passed away last year at the age of 50. The tour will begin late next year followed by a permanent production in Las Vegas in 2012. The cost and income will be divided equally between Michael's estate and Cirque but the estate will also receive royalties from the use of Michael's music. Some of the songs will be remixed and unreleased songs could make their way out.
The tour will be kicked off in North America before going international. "The expectations of Michael Jackson fans around the world are going to be huge," Lamarre said. "And we have to deliver." There is no plan for other Jackson family member to participate yet but Michael's mom Katherine has commented, "Our family is thrilled that Cirque du Soleil will pay tribute to my son in such an important way."