The price of Love

A quick recap: Got that new Beatles disc, Love. Liked it. A lot. Decided that a trip to Vegas was in order to see Love, the show created by Cirque du Soleil and playing at the Mirage to which this CD is the soundtrack. Here’s the report.

It’s a good show. At times, a great show. I’m not gonna get all breathless and rave upon the graves of John and George that you simply must streak to Vegas to see this thing. Nope. It’s not that wonderful. But it does have some very good and extremely creative “stagings,” where the Circasians romp around to various Beatles songs. It also has some moderately successful stagings, as well as a couple of “sorry, good try” numbers.

The imaginative conjunctions of song and theater can, at times, surprise, delight and dazzle. They did for me during (1) “Something,” which featured a stunning aerial dance with four “flying” women; (2) “Octopus’s Garden,” with its amazing array of mind-boggling costumes; (3) “Within You, Without You,” which was centered around an amazing quasi-psychedelic effect achieved with just one very large white sheet; (4) “Here Comes the Sun,” featuring a bunch of groovy meditators and a spectacular stage star. Sometimes, these stagings are OK but forgettable. I couldn’t tell you, for example, what was going on during “I Am the Walrus,” outside of a lot of people running around with a big pile of rubble and bricks on the stage because it was supposedly some kind of scene from post WWII London. Hunh? Whatever. That didn’t mesh real well with the memorable string of non sequiturs that comprise the lyrical foundation of this strangely epic John song. And while I kept an open mind during “Revolution,” I had to, in the end, completely dismiss the experience of guys bouncing off trampolines while John sings about some rather serious stuff—namely, his rejection of the notion of violent revolution in the streets. It seemed as though the Cirque people said, “Well, all right then, here’s an upbeat rocker, so let’s get some guys out there doing something upbeat.” In the final analysis, a less political Lennon tune, like “Rain” or “Across the Universe” might have more easily lent themselves to a satisfying “Cirque-up.”

If you want to “Beatles up” and see Love, figure on a $1,000 night out for two people (airfare: $200; room for one night at Strip hotel: $150; tickets: $250, dinner and cocktails: $200; plus another $200 just because you’re in Vegas, and that town will get it out of you somehow). For that thousand bucks, you and your s.o. will have a great time. But consider this Plan B. You can find on Web sites, like, the entire Beatles CD collection for around $230. Meaning the 15 albums (the full, clean British albums, not the mucked up American versions) released during the eight years the group was together, and the set arrives in its own little wooden box with a roll-back cover, which is kinda cool. Plan C: Do both!