Cast members perform a scene during Cirque du Soleil's "Viva Elvis" at the Aria in the CityCenter resort complex in 2010.
Every Elvis fan knows that before he became the king of Las Vegas in 1969, he famously disappointed it in 1956. It seems he has done so again.
MGM Resorts is likely to ask Cirque du Soleil to close its "Viva Elvis" at the end of next year and replace the Aria production with a new title, according to a company memo.
It would be the first of Cirque's seven Las Vegas titles to close since the opening of "Mystere" in 1993. Ticket sales suggest Las Vegas showgoers are losing their infatuation with Elvis Presley -- or at least Cirque's version of his music -- for the first time since he bombed at the Frontier in '56.
"All of us at Cirque du Soleil are saddened that we may have to bring 'Viva Elvis' to the end of its journey. However, we respect the decision of our partner as ticket sales have not met expectations," Daniel Lamarre, Cirque's president and chief executive officer, wrote in a memo to the cast and crew of the show, which was released after a backstage meeting Wednesday afternoon.
"We will now take the appropriate time to focus on redeploying as many of the show's employees as possible, when the time comes, and evaluating next steps for exploring the many possibilities for creative content," Lamarre added.
The announcement changes previous plans to take the show down for an extended period next winter for substantial changes that would shift the focus from Presley biography to Cirque acrobatics. Now, the show will close only from Feb. 4 to 11, but it will still incorporate the "banguine" acrobatic act from "Zed," another Cirque closing in Japan.
"Elvis" will undergo "some artistic changes but not a full revamp," said Renee-Claude Menard, the show's senior director of public relations.
Lamarre's memo noted that nearly 900 performances have drawn close to 1 million guests since the Presley tribute opened with the hotel in late 2009 (with its formal grand opening in February 2010). "Like you, I am proud of our work on this show and understand that this is simply a business decision," he wrote.
"Viva Elvis" is produced in partnership with CKX Inc., owners of the Presley estate. The title, which drew mixed to negative reviews, was said to be more creatively restricted -- by the estate -- than Cirque's "Love" venture with The Beatles.
SOURCE; BY MIKE WEATHERFORD - LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL / BRIAN QUINN / EPGOLD