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September 17, 2019

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Never arid, Cirque ready to overhaul ‘Love’ and ‘Believe’ in early 2016

'Believe' by Criss Angel and Cirque du Soleil

Tom Donoghue/DonoghuePhotography.com/APWI

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

The Beatles: LOVE

Silhouettes of the Beatles are shown during Cirque Du Soleil's Love at the Mirage Friday, Dec. 19, 2008. Launch slideshow »

'Believe' by Criss Angel and Cirque du Soleil

Launch slideshow »

The One Drop Walk for Water was the event, and some of the talk inevitably led to how Cirque du Soleil fends off any creative drought.

Water conservation and access have been a passion of Cirque founder Guy Laliberte for decades. He set up One Drop to help disadvantaged countries and cultures access, manage and conserve water.

Impoverished countries in Central America, West Africa and India have been the focus of One Drop’s global water-infrastructure initiatives. The five-year programs are designed to achieve more than building new pumps to draw clean water from the ground. They also are to educate inhabitants about efficient water use and conservation.

In many Third World countries, residents walk an average of four hours a day to retrieve buckets of what looks like chocolate milk. One Drop is built to find and pump fresh water and teaches behaviors that will make the best use of that water (for more about One Drop, go to OneDrop.org).

The next annual “One Night for One Drop” Cirque benefit production is set for March 18 at the Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall, the starting point for Sunday morning’s Walk for Water. The finish was about three miles to the west at Springs Preserve.

It was at Springs Preserve that Cirque Senior Vice President Jerry Nadal put a timeline on some highly anticipated upgrades in a pair of shows on the Cirque docket: “Believe” at Luxor and “Love” at Mirage.

As earlier reported, “Love” is due for a major renovation in time for the show’s 10th anniversary in June. That effort should be underway in early 2016.

“ ‘Love’ will get an $8 million refresh and at the end of February, we’ll soft open that again after taking it down for a couple of weeks, then run that for a couple of months,” Nadal said. “Closer to the end of May, or in early June, we’ll do another red-carpet event, big event tied to the anniversary.

Giles Martin will again design the music, having access to all of the material The Beatles recorded over the course of their career.

“There will be technical changes. There will be choreographic changes. The sound is being changed out,” Nadal said. “It will be a big overhaul that will cover the show’s next 10 years.”

Criss Angel’s “Believe,” too, is set for a large-scale overhaul possibly by January, provided the budget and resources for those upgrades can be finalized this year. It was expected that “Believe” might be refreshened as early as November, around the show’s seventh anniversary on Halloween. But as Nadal said, “We’re looking at changes with Criss, sorting that all out, and I’d say probably January or February, hopefully, we can make some changes on that show with him.”

The show will remain titled “Believe” and in its current format at least through the end of this year. “We’d like to make significant changes to it,” Nadal said. “There are three more years right now on that (10-year) contract, and we need a big refresh. Criss has an amazing fan base, so you want to give them a reason to keep coming back again and again.”

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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