An audience lined up soup-kitchen style outside The Beatles LOVE theater at The Mirage Hotel and Casino on Aug. 18. They were full of anticipation and, unusually, ticketless.

Everybody queue up, as they say in Britain...

Cirque, it turns out, is taking a page from the “How to Make People Really, Really Want to Watch Your Show” Handbook that the hit flick ”Avatar” used. Using the same revolutionary (get it? The Beatles….Revolution?) technology, 3-dimensional Cirque commercials will be coming to a screen near you.

For those of us without 3-D televisions, fear not. A standard 2-D version will be broadcast as well. (The 3-D version is planned mostly as a trailer for 3-D films at movie theaters.)

Obviously, it would cramp John, Paul, George and Ringo’s style to have a big camera boom in the middle of their show. Consequently, an exceptionally patient audience was needed to sit and look joyously entertained on cue (but mostly just to sit) for the duration of the shoot.

(Apparently Cirque hasn’t heard of the great Inflatable Crowd, available, in sizes up to 30,000 people, here.

For the 68 Cirque artists involved, the shoot meant an extra day of work on what is usually a dark day (or one with no shows scheduled.)

For the audience, it meant four hours in a chilly theater, watching as certain film-friendly bits of LOVE were preset, filmed, cleaned up, reset, tweaked slightly, re-filmed, etc.

You have to hand it to Cirque—even this was entertaining. The 2-for-1 ticket vouchers passed out to the audience after the shoot also didn’t hurt.

However, the really entertaining segments came during the slowest parts of the filming process.

In between bouts of calling the show, head stage manager Jennifer Seigler relayed bits of LOVE and Beatles trivia. (Many of these tidbits were passed to her over head-set from the technicians and stage-hands.)

  • LOVE is performed 476 times a year, spaced out over 48 weeks.
  • At 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 20, LOVE celebrated its 2,000 show. The show opened just over four years ago.
  • The stage has six runways and 15 hydraulic lifts moving in almost every direction. Each lift has a weight limit of 6,000 pounds.
  • There are 122 automated points in the theater, which translates to 122 places from which to fly people or objects.
  • The fastest-moving object on this automated system moves at 20 feet per second. (That’s pretty quick.)
  • There are 6,000 speakers in the theater in 5.1 surround sound. There are three speakers point at each individual seat in the house.
  • LOVE employs 128 technicians and 68 cast members, representing 22 different countries. The youngest are 8-year-old boys. The oldest is a 75-year-old woman named Sylvia who, as Seigler put it, “can kick anyone’s butt at anything.”
  • There are 5,000 LED lights in “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”
  • The rooftop set seen in “Get Back” is a replica of Saddle Row, the impromptu stage for the infamous Beatles rooftop concert in 1969.
  • There are 3,000 bricks in that set and it takes 30-45 minutes to preset. This is done before the show. (This excludes commercial shoots, as we found out. In that case, it is done in front of a restless audience that has already seen the process twice before.)
  • There are a total of 528 individual props seen throughout the show. These are all hand-made on-site.
  • Fog seen throughout the show is created by 26 smoke machines and 4 liquid nitrogen foggers. Humidity negatively affects the fog, making the dry climate of Las Vegas a plus.
  • There are 28 video projectors situated throughout the theater.
  • All 194 moving lights in the show are computer-controlled.
  • The theater seats 2,013 people. No seat is more than 98 feet from the stage.
  • The ceiling is 54 feet from the surface of the stage. The basement, to which the lifts descend, is 18 feet below the surface of the stage.
  • Before LOVE, The Mirage was home to magicians Siegfried and Roy. After the show closed, Cirque gutted the traditional theater and created their theater-in-the-round. LOVE is the only Cirque show done in-the-round.
  • “La Reve,” at the Wynn, is not a Cirque show. (It is created by Franco Dragone, the same director behind many Cirque shows. It is also done in-the-round.) Not knowing this will get stage managers, stage-hands and performers rather annoyed with you.
  • The LOVE soundtrack has won three Grammy awards.
  • One of the performers was an Olympian for Romania in 2000.
  • Performers do their own makeup for every show.
  • Wigs and costumes are custom-made for each individual artist.
  • Cast members have year-long contracts with Cirque.
  • LOVE has a ten-year contract with The Mirage. Mystère, another Cirque show, has been on the Strip for 17 years. However, “we hope to be here twice as long as them,” Seigler said.

With the entertainment offered by LOVE, this seems likely. Interested in seeing the show for real? Check out ticket information here.

Keep an eye out for the 3-D commercials as well, slated to appear locally and at movie theaters in a few months. Enjoy the spectacular showmanship of Cirque and be mindful of what went into the clips’ creation.

Advertisements