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Today, on what would have been Michael Jackson’s 55th birthday, many fans remember the amazing impact of The King of Pop.  Four years have passed since Michael’s untimely death, but I assure you his legacy, lyrics and electrifying dance moves live on in Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson ONE show at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas vacations can be exhilarating, wild and fun.  It’s the perfect adult getaway; a playgr0und for parents, if you will.  In all my trips to Vegas, I never thought about how much fun it could be to visit as a family until I saw Cirque du Soleil’s MJ ONE performance.  While I thoroughly enjoyed my mommy break, this show made me wish my children were with me.  The experience single-handedly made me look at Las Vegas through the eyes of a child.  I don’t know if it was the carnival-like energy of the show or MJ’s ever-present youthfulness and timeless music that sent me back to my childhood, but it was a joyful ride.

Michael Jackson has always appealed to the masses with his commitment to equality, love for people and his youthful demeanor.  Even though there are many years between my children and I, we love his music with the same intensity.  Since I was never able to take my children to see Michael perform when he was alive, I’ve decided to do the next best thing.  We are going to Vegas to see this show and celebrate Michael together!

If you don’t’ remember the impact MJ had on you, the performers of Cirque du Soleil will refresh your memory and ignite your dancing feet.  The musicians, performers and acrobats at this show have done an awe-inspiring job of capturing the essence and spirit of the King of Pop.

Before the actual show began, there were a few teenage characters climbing over seat backs and hyper paparazzi snapping surprise shots of random audience members.  Once the music began and the house lights dimmed, it was all eyes on the stage, ceiling and walls!  A guitar wielding, goddess who looked like the love child of Tina Turner and Steven Tyler, willed her musical powers over 20 or so entertainers as they Spider-man’ed up a 15-foot wall and replicated some of MJ’s most infamous moves.

From there the audience willingly sat at the edge of sensory overload as they watched tight-rope acrobatics, massive video images, men bouncing off of springboard floors, burlesque-style pole dancing and a neon-lit aerial gymnasts performance overhead.  And that was just the first few songs!

A very diverse group of about 60 performers took turns delighting the audience with costumes from all of Michael’s most famous entertainment moments and dance routines that featured his famous crotch-grab and his unexplainable 45-degree lean.  It was an amazing experience to listen to the crisp audio sounds of hits songs like Beat It, Billie Jean, Thriller, Jam, Man In The Mirror and Bad while fire and sparkles illuminated massive 3-D images of Michael and scenes from his videos.  Thankfully, in an attempt to bring the audience back down to earth, the show wrapped up with what appeared to a 4-D hologram of a young afro-wearing Michael who spoke directly to our hearts about loving one another and living life with joy.

There are many things to do in Vegas with your children: ride the gondola at the Venetian Hotel, climb the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel, scream on the roller coaster through at the New York, New York Hotel or take a day-tour to see the Grand Canyon.  Just know that whatever you choose to do, be sure to visit the Cirque du Soleil folks at Mandalay Bay and introduce your children to the magic, music and marvel that is Michael Jackson ONE.


La Shell Wooten is a mother, traveler, blogger and writer from NYC.

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