REVIEW: “Michael Jackson Immortal”

The immense cheesiness of the show is embodied in this overblown campy moment from the show, which is lip-synched.

Michael Jackson Immortal did something no other Cirque du Soleil show has ever done: Bored me.

Cirque truly is a magic-maker, having almost single-handed reinvented the concept of the circus, turning it into something unmissable rather than might-as-well. The trick of Cirque shows is that they combine the simple elegance of feats of athleticism with beauty and muscularity, while employing cutting edge technology in startling ways. Its best shows — Ka and Love, two of the permanent shows in Las Vegas — seamlessly wed plot, engineering and the human form.

Immortal does none of that. Yes, there are some pyrotechnics (the best of these, an indoor fireworks display, comes too little, too late) but the entire production feels conceived as an after-thought, some second-tier acts tacked on to boring choreography and muddled production values.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson Immortal show tonight

Remember the time

Dallas Michael Jackson fans will come close to the real thing tonight thanks to Cirque du Soleil’s tribute to the singer. But this is far beyond any regular tribute show. Cirque brings its thrilling reputation to the game making Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour both a concert and an experience. With the three-year anniversary of his death this week, the show even seems more poignant to his fans. And don’t expect to sit, applause and repeat for this Cirque event. They want to rock with you.

Read more about the show here.

DEETS:

—  Rich Lopez

Coldplay at AAC 06.22

Photos by Rich Lopez/DallasVoice

—  Rich Lopez

Coldplay, Robyn tonight at AAC

Coldplay and the Gang

We like Coldplay enough, but their openers might be the real gem of the shows. The alt-pop/rock of Wolf Gang recalls the exuberance of MIKA with the tenacity of The Shins. Better yet, Robyn brings her Euro pop brilliance back to town in a big way. She kicked Dallas’ butt all on her own last year at the South Side Music Hall. Now she gets to do it big time. Oh, and of course Coldplay headlines.

DEETS: American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. 7 p.m. Through Saturday. $26.50–$107. Ticketmaster.com.

—  Rich Lopez

GIVEAWAY: Tix to Festival of Black Dance and to Brian Stokes Mitchell with Lea Salonga

We’re doubling up on you today with tickets to two major events coming up.

The Black Academy of Arts & Letters (TBAAL) is offering Dallas Voice readers the chance to win tickets to Friday (opening) night of its 8th Annual Festival of Black Dance. The show will feature Jamaica’s Stella Marris Dance Company, the Dallas-based Happy Nia Dance Theatre and the Djely Kunda West African Dance and Drum Ensemble. The festival will be held at the Naomi Bruton Main Stage, 650 S. Griffin St. at 8 p.m.

We’ll keep this one easy. Just send an email my way with “Dance the night away” in the subject line and your name and phone number in the body. TBAAL has been pretty generous so please state if you prefer one or two pairs of tickets.

Broadway fans can rejoice because we also have tickets to the upcoming show Do You Hear the People Sing at American Airlines Center. The showtune extravaganza will feature Broadway stars Brian Stokes Mitchell and Lea Salonga headlining with the Dallas Pops Orchestra performing signature tunes from Les Misérables, Miss Saigon, The Pirate Queen and more.

To win a pair of tickets to this epic-sized show, send your email here with “SING” in the subject line as well as your name and number to contact winners.

The show is scheduled for March 23.

—  Rich Lopez

Madonna adds 2nd Dallas show, drops new single

Madonna offers fans here a double dose of good news. First, as you may have heard, she’s released her second single of her upcoming album. She dropped “Girl Gone Wild” today much to the likely pleasure of pop music bloggers everywhere. I can’t say I’m knocked out by it compared to her first single, but I’ve had some deadlines today that have kept my focus elsewhere. As we do. I kinda miss the sophisticated edge she had for Ray of Light or Music. I fear she’s trading her hot cougar-ness for some reductive pop confections.

No video yet, but you can give the song a listen on this lyric video.

To add to a good day of Madonna, we found out a second show has been added to her Dallas date at the American Airlines Center. She’s added Oct. 21 to her itinerary with tickets going on sale March 5. So save up your $358.50 for some primo seats at AAC.

—  Rich Lopez

Show vs Show Alterna-divas face off

From lez to Leslie, female musicians bring both the eccentric and the sophisticated to North Texas

Lead

The fates have convened once again to bring a healthy dose of live music to the area. From big to small, the concert calendar fills up with a spectrum of aural pleasures. Former New Kid on the Block Jordan Knight (not the gay one) headlines the Lakewood while alt-rock legends Radiohead make their American Airlines Center show an event next week. But we’re stuck on a couple of ladies who speak to queers in vastly different ways.

CLICK TO ENLARGE:

For more than 20 years, Mary Gauthier has brought her lesbian sensibilities to her smart brand of Americana music. Touring in support of her seventh album, The Foundling and 2011’s The Foundling Alone (a companion of acoustic demos), Gauthier continues to amass an impressive discography with graduating brilliance.

Cult singer Leslie Hall, with her band the Lys, let forth a trip of dance-ish tunes on 2011’s Destination Friendship, with her signature rapping on cheeky songs like “Blame the Booty” and “No Pants Policy.” But Hall is no joke. She veers toward the eccentric but she doesn’t disappoint live, sweating up a storm with rambunctious
energy and funky dance moves.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 24, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

REVIEW: Love Train show at AAC

Chaka Khan at Love Train. (OldSchool45.com.)

Last night, radio station Old School. 94.5 pulled off an impressive first outing as their rebranded self. The station turned the American Airlines Center into a party, a church and even a Soul Train line with a strong roster of classic R&B and soul artists from The O’Jays to Chaka Khan. The show had its ups and downs, but there was no doubt, they brought the funk.

For the show to start almost an hour late was not cool. They were still sound checking and 6 p.m. when it was supposed to start. Most concerts rarely start on time, but this kind of delay was ridiculous and mind you, this was a six-hour event. All was forgotten when Confunkshun took the stage and brought the house down quick. Soulful vocals, rich horns and a few choreographed steps helped the band show music doesn’t need a lot of accessorizing to be awesome. If there was anything to be said for that long-ass sound check, it was the wonderfully lush, layered sounds of the band. The Mary Jane Girls hopped onstage to perform “In My House” adding to the bustling energy. The BarKays threw in some gimmicky quick pyros and a live anaconda and Slave held their own with a spirited performance, but it was the Ohio Players who killed inthe first half. That intro bass line from “Skin Tight” sent a nuclear reaction through the arena and “Love Rollercoaster” was a jam best enjoyed live and at loud volumes. The audience was whipped into a frenzy all before the first break.

—  Rich Lopez

“Love Train” R&B legends concert tonight at AAC

Time to get funked up

While the late Whitney Houston recharged one of Chaka Khan’s biggest hits, there’s no denying the funk queen’s own style. Khan comes to Dallas for a night of some legendary R&B with The O’Jays, Jeffrey Osborne, The Mary Jane Girls and Ohio Players as part of the Love Train show. What’s better — that’s not even the entire roster.

DEETS: American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. 6 p.m. $24.50–$79.50. Ticketmaster.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Best Bets • 02.17.12

Friday 02.17Vera-Pearl-3qtr

Time to get funked up
While the late Whitney Houston recharged one of Chaka Khan’s biggest hits, there’s no denying the funk queen’s own style. Khan comes to Dallas for a night of some legendary R&B with The O’Jays, Jeffrey Osborne, The Mary Jane Girls and Ohio Players as part of the Love Train show. What’s better — that’s not even the entire roster.

DEETS:
American Airlines Center
2500 Victory Ave.
6 p.m.

$24.50–$79.50.
Ticketmaster.com.

……………………..

Sunday 02.19

Knight in shining armor
The Dallas Opera gets all soap opera like in their production of Richard Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. Sparks fly between a princess and a knight, but her husband isn’t too thrilled. He also happens to be the king. The tale is a classic and doomed love story, but the show gets a refreshed touch with this modern production.

DEETS:
Winspear Opera House
2403 Flora St.
2 p.m. Through Feb.
25. $25–$275
ATTPAC.org.

……………………..

Tuesday 02.21

No helper needed for this Tuna
Joe Sears and Jaston Williams reprise our favorite roles for Tuna’s Greatest Hits: 30 Years of Laughter. Vera, Bertha, Petey and the rest all get a bit older, but only get better as they remind us why we can’t get enough of some Tuna.

DEETS:
Eisemann Center
2351 Performance Drive, Richardson.
8 p.m. Through Mar. 4.
$44–$55.
EisemannCenter.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 17, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas