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October 21, 2017

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Photos: ‘Michael Jackson One’ to celebrate premiere with star-studded affair at Mandalay Bay


Isaac Brekken/WireImage

Welby Altidor, director of creation, and Jamie King, director and writer, introduce a sneak peek of Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson One” at Mandalay Bay on Tuesday, May 7, 2013.

Jamie King

Cirque du Soleil's 'Michael Jackson One' at Mandalay Bay

Cirque du Soleil's Launch slideshow »

Michael Jackson One

'Michael Jackson One' Sneak Peek at Mandalay Bay

A sneak peek of Cirque du Soleil's Launch slideshow »

Power Peralta

Michael Jackson

Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte will host matriarch Katherine Jackson and Michael Jackson’s brothers Jackie, Marlon and Tito at Saturday’s red carpet world premiere of their new show “Michael Jackson One.” It will be an star-studded event at Mandalay Bay, followed by a celebrity poolside party at Mandalay Bay Beach.

Cirque is experiencing such brisk ticket sales through October that once dark days for cast and crew are finalized for the end of year, the company hopes to announce at the premiere remaining 2013 dates and plans for 2014. Even three months before the first preview, $500,000 in tickets were sold.

I joined fans from as far away as Thailand and Japan for the first night of previews May 23. As I reported, the sensational show was so brilliantly produced, it could have been the premiere then. All that’s been necessary over these six weeks has been opening-act tightening, and engineers have fine-tuned surround sound, lighting, video and the genius hologram of Michael dancing with the cast. Maybe they can make the snowfall thicker and last longer to cool us down from the expected 117-degree desert heat?

My interviews with writer-director Jamie King, Michael’s estate lawyer John Branca and Mandalay Bay President Chuck Bowling were posted from our sneak peek in May. Jamie, who also masterminded “Michael Jackson — The Immortal World Tour” currently in Asia, revealed his behind-the-scenes ambitions in this YouTube video.

He also explained the show’s entire concept, its creation and how everything came together on a walking tour with its director of creation, Welby Altidor.

Everybody connected with the show, including creators, producers, the cast and Michael’s estate lawyers, say The King of Pop’s presence is not only felt throughout the splashy production, but also he was the inspiration for the endeavor.

Saturday’s expected Hollywood and New York stars and VIPS include Spike Lee, Berry Gordy Jr., Neil Patrick Harris, Roberto Cavalli, Gayle King, Adam Shankman, Allison Janney, Dot Jones, Rex Lee, Ian Ziering, Lupe Fiasco, Jon Secada, Veronic DiCaire, D.J. Ashba, Tom Higgenson, Kevin Love, Adrian Peterson, Pamela Anderson and David LaChapelle. That celebrity list will continue to grow from now until Saturday night.

Despite rumors that Michael’s children Prince, Paris and Blanket will be with grandma Katherine, there is no official confirmation — and won’t be right up until the red carpet is opened to media and photographers.

The stars also include the 63 unknown genius talents onstage, above and around the audience performing eye-popping acrobatics and stop-your-heart stunts along with music and dancing to take your breath away.

Reigning above the state-of-the-art visual and audio experience that creates this heartfelt tribute to Michael’s genius, innovations and legacy is the spirit of the superstar himself. The show will make you forget the tragedy of his life unwinding now in a Los Angeles courtroom or past screaming tabloid headlines.

Jamie, Welby and their enthusiastic cast have pushed the envelope to ensure that the memories of Michael are musical ones and not the lurid scandals that plagued his life.

We’ll use Twitter and Instagram video on Saturday afternoon from final preparations backstage and at night for celebrity reports of the premiere. Our full report, photo and video coverage of the show and the glittering pool party afterward will be posted Sunday.

Jamie had the last word: “This is the show Michael would have done himself. This is the show he would have wanted.”

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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