LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) – Two great forces in entertainment have combined with the announcement an arrangement between The Estate of Michael Jackson, represented by Executors John Branca and John McLain, and Cirque du Soleil.
The duo is teaming up for the creation, development, production and promotion of Michael Jackson projects, featuring touring and permanent shows, based on the music and songs of Michael Jackson. Special lifestyle projects, including a nightclub to open with the Las Vegas production, will also be developed.
The first project, Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, written and directed by Jamie King, began its North American run Oct. 2 in Montreal. It plays 14 mostly Canadian cities in 2011, with 13 more announced already for 2012.
The show is expected to carry an extended run in Las Vegas in conjunction with longtime Cirque du Soleil partner MGM Mirage. The Las Vegas permanent show, also in partnership with MGM Mirage, is expected to open in late 2012. MGM Mirage has yet to announce the location and plans for the permanent theatrical venue.
The Estate of Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil will each own 50 percent of each Michael Jackson project, sharing equally in the cost of creating, developing, building and producing the projects and in the profits from each project. The Estate of Michael Jackson will also receive royalty payments on various aspects of its intellectual property used in the Michael Jackson projects.
John Branca, Co-Executor for The Estate of Michael Jackson, commented, “This will not just be a tribute to Michael’s musical genius, but a live entertainment experience that uses the most advanced technology to push every creative boundary as Michael always did. Having attended Cirque du Soleil performances with Michael, I know he was a huge fan,” according to the press release.
Katherine Jackson, mother of Michael Jackson commented, “Our family is thrilled that Cirque du Soleil will pay tribute to my son in such an important way.”
— Crystal Lynn Huntoon