From the moment you are greeted at the theatre by Swinging London characters—bobbies and dolly birds—to the sounds of “Hello Goodbye” or “Good Morning, Good Morning,” you know that The Beatles LOVE is not going to be just another stage show. Or even another Cirque du Soleil extravagance. Because this stage spectacle (and it really does deserve that lofty title) is not just another tribute show to the music of the Fab Four. It’s a creative collaboration between the actual Beatles and the Cirque’s visionary directors, incorporating elements of their music never before heard and presenting it in a way that will have you rethinking and re-appreciating everything you know about them.
For a Beatles fan, that’s an easy sell, The theatre-in-the-round experience (which could only happen in this unique, custom-built venue) starts simply enough, with screens projecting images of John, Paul, George and Ringo performing. But then, the cast emerges, bringing to life so many of their song characters, from Eleanor Rigby to Mean Mr. Mustard, Lovely Rita to the Walrus, and so many moments in their mythology, you’ll feel as if you’ve crossed Abbey Road and stumbled into Pepperland. Where does history end and imagination begin? Within LOVE, you’re never quite sure, and maybe you don’t care.
But do you need to be a Beatles aficionado to love LOVE? If so, it probably would not still be drawing people into the Mirage day after day, after month after year. The show is so enveloping, so uplifting, and exotic, even if you’ve never heard the music (if that’s possible). Just as the group’s music progressed from hard-rocking to baroque and introspective, the show weaves emotions into a tapestry of experience. Performers of all shapes and sizes dance, spin, bounce, flip, skateboard and fly in every direction, bringing to life a seamless symphony of remixed songs (again, you don’t need to be a Beatles fan to enjoy it, however if you know the songs, the way that producer George Martin and his son Giles have recombined the songs truly makes appreciate them anew). Keep your eyes wide open, or you’re likely to miss something: a caravan of rainboots, an exploding car, a scrim wrapping the whole audience like a cloud. Okay that last one you can’t possibly miss.
And don’t miss the gift shop afterward: it might just seem like another place to spend money, but there’s actually a lot of cool Beatles memorabilia on display, too.