Wednesday 13th, April 2011Viva ELVIS, ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter, Las Vegas
As luck would have it found myself back in Vegas this week for the IBM Impact 2011 technology conference. Actually no luck involved - this is my 20+ visit to Vegas on business in less than 15 years. So its official -I've now played Vegas more times than Elvis :-). Pity I arrived in town some 20 years after Elvis had left for the final time after making his last appearance at the Hilton way back in December 1976.
On Wednesday, my last night, I managed to grab a ticket for the 9.30pm performance of Viva Elvis, at the wonderful new Aria Resort & Hotel on the strip. I had originally intended to take in the earlier 7.00pm performance but this had sold out - so was lucky enough to grab one of the few remaining seats after hot footing it down from the Venetian. Navigating Las Vegas Boulevard from the Mirage, via Caesars Palace, and The Bellagioonto the Aria is something an assault course of escalators, casinos, trams etc. So take my advise and grab a Taxi,or you will need to leave yourself plenty of time if you need to walk any sort of distance.
I am please to report that I was thrilled with the show, and believe I went there expecting to be underwhelmed. Cirque du Soleil,Elvis Presley Enterprises and the Aria have combined to produce a world class piece of entertainment featuring Elvis originaland re-mixed material front and centre. The show is a fitting and authentic showcase of Elvis's unique talents that I'm surewill thrill entertain old and new fans for many years to come.
Without spoiling your fun, some hilights for me were the high-energy trampoline routines to "Got A Lot a Living To Do", the hollywoodmontage of Elvis' leading ladies to the sounds of "Burning Love" accompanied by a great live band. It was nice to see some perhapslesser known performances such as "Saved" from the 1968 NBC TV Special (aka Comeback Special) featuring in a gospel section.
One of the challenges for Cirque du Soleil performers is that when Elvis is on screen its very hard to take your eyes off him,his charisma simply draws you in - and there is a danger you miss some of the action down on the stage.
The show will have you tapping your feet, jumping up and down in your seats, and straining to hold back singing the songswe all know and love at the top of your voice. Or maybe that was just me :-)
A thoroughly entertaining show, go see Viva Elvis and get a small feel for what it must have been like to have witnessed Elvisin person during the glory years. Elvis is back. King of Rock n' Roll. World Champion Entertainer, and actually lest weforget "King of the Dance" as this show demonstrates - from Hound Dog to Bossa Nova Baby (Fun In Acapulco) via Edge Of Reality (Love A Little, Live A Little) thru to Suspicious Minds (That's The Way It Is).
You can't fail to have fun...assuming you still have a pulse :-)
My only contructive criticism - would be the show could run for at least another 60mins - but I guess a running time under 2hrsallows for 2 shows a night.
Thank you Viva ELVIS, EPE and ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter for producing a modern world class showcase for Elvis Presley in the 21st Century.
See you again next April in Las Vegas if not before. When's the world tour ?