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June 29, 2016

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Cirque du Soleil plans changes for ‘Believe,’ ‘Love’ and ‘O’

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Tom Donoghue/DonoghuePhotography.com/APWI

Believe” by Criss Angel and Cirque du Soleil at the Luxor photographed in January 2013.

Criss Angel's Birthday and 1,000th Believe Show

Criss Angel's birthday and 1,000th Believe performance at the Luxor on Dec. 11, 2010. Launch slideshow »

Love Fifth-Anniversary Red Carpet

Yoko Ono Lennon and Sean Lennon at the fifth-anniversary celebration of The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage on June 8, 2011.

Launch slideshow »

Changes are underway at three Cirque du Soleil shows on the Strip thanks to “Mindfreak” magician Criss Angel and The Beatles widows Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison.

“We’re going to be major overhauling the Criss Angel ‘Believe’ show with him. He’s bringing in all-new illusions, new lighting, new costumes, and we’re probably going to do a name change, too,” Jerry Nadal, Cirque’s senior VP of resident shows, told me.

“We’ll close in April for a couple of weeks. We already have a week dark, then we’ll close an extra week and a half and come back in early May. It will be 70 percent … new.

“He’s already begun rehearsals for the new show. I don’t know how he does it. Somehow, he has found a 28-hour workday, and I’d love to have his secret because I would love to have those extra four hours. He doesn’t sleep. He’s amazing. He’s driven.

“I think the new show will be good for him and great for the brand. We’re in our seventh year, so there’s three more to go on the current contract.”

Jerry also confirmed a major refresh for “The Beatles Love” at the Mirage ahead of its 10th anniversary this year with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr set to attend.

“ ‘Love’ is undergoing a major refresh right now. We’ll go down mid-February and come back at the end of February with a whole refreshed version of the show, then have a grand celebration probably in June,” said Jerry in our interview.

“ We’re going to add elements over the next couple of months, technological stuff, then in June we’ll do another red carpet event around Paul McCartney and Ringo’s schedule for the 10th anniversary.

“Yoko and Olivia have been quite involved, Paul and Ringo at more of a distance, but the women are very involved in it. They’ve been around all the time running support and adding creative input.”

The third show that could undergo changes is “O” at Bellagio. Jerry continued: “ ‘Ka’ is in great shape. We haven’t had to touch that. I think if we’re going to look at the next one we may refresh, it’s going to be ‘O.’ We’ve never really touched that.

“There’s a lot of repeat business in there, and even just from the technical standpoint, there is so much other equipment out there that we could do, like the colors of the water making them more vibrant with projections.

“We played around with that theater the first time for ‘One Night for One Drop,’ so we think of the possibilities that are in there. It gives people a reason to come back and see it, particularly since so many people who stay at Bellagio are big customers and have seen the show 10 times or more.

“We’ve got to give them a different reason to come back and see a new show. Technology has improved and changed over the years. There are more toys on the market now.”

Check back Tuesday to see if Cirque is bringing a new show to a Las Vegas arena, a touring show, based on James Cameron’s Oscar-winning blockbuster “Avatar.”

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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