Cirque du Soleil, pop-rock concert combine in Michael Jackson show

By: Deanna Allen

Published: Wednesday, May 7, 2014

It’s Cirque du Soleil meets a pop-rock concert featuring the legendary music of entertainment icon Michael Jackson, and it’s coming to the Arena at Gwinnett Center for two shows only this Friday and Saturday.

From “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” to “Smooth Criminal” and “Thriller,” all the hits — and some lesser known songs — are included in “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour.”

“The show does a really, really good job covering as much of Michael Jackson’s catalogue as possible,” said Laura Silverman, the show’s spokesperson. “There is a really great mix of music, all of his top hits that people really recognized Michael Jackson for (are in the show).”

Silverman called the tour, which features an 11-piece band, 16 acrobats and 22 dancers, a hybrid — Michael Jackson’s music is combined with Cirque’s signature circus arts in a concert atmosphere. Jackson’s voice is pulled from his original tracks and played along with the live music.

One of the highlights of the show, Silverman said, is a sequence that begins with “This Place Hotel” and aerial dancing, transitions into “Smooth Criminal” featuring Jackson’s iconic dance moves and concludes with the song “Dangerous” to which a pole dancer performs.

“For really big fans and for everyone, really, its a really good show to capture the talent and impact of Michael Jackson,” Silverman said.

The show’s 11-piece band is also a highlight, with four of its members having toured with Jackson himself — drummer Jonathan Moffett, bassist Don Boyette, male guitarist Jon Myron Clark and percussionist Bashiri Johnson.

But the spotlight will be on Jackson.

“His music and his legacy, it is timeless, and it truly is important,” Silverman said. “It’s going to live on way past this show for years and years to come.”