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Viva Elvis at Aria Resort and Casino, Las Vegas

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Feel the Music at "Viva Elvis" at Aria Resort and Casino, Las Vegas
Viva Elvis at Aria Resort and Casino, Las Vegas
Photo By Julie Aucoin
If I was to create a show that said something about Elvis Presley, his life and his contribution to music I might examine it the way “Viva Elvis” at Aria Resort in Las Vegas does. I might not add the Cirque Du Soleil brand to it for that would change my expectations of what I would eventually see on stage.

“Viva Elvis” presents Elvis Presley and his life in such a way that the Las Vegas visitor who is a fan of the King and his music will come out excited and pleased. What the show does not do is satisfy the Cirque du Soleil fan who wants to be mesmerized by the typical spectacular and stunning performers who have taken residence on the Las Vegas Strip.

“Viva Elvis” is choreography, dance numbers and a few impressive acrobats. “Viva Elvis” is also music from an icon heard through the ears of various generations from the voices and images of varying cultures.

Listen to “One Night With You” and you hear passion in the voice of a woman who fills the room with her piano playing and seductive voice while acrobats trapeze their way through a giant suspended guitar. It’s theater, it’s performance art, it’s dramatic and it’s the music of Elvis Presley presented in a way that is not so much the circus that is Las Vegas but the emotion that is the American icon.

Truthfully, I don’t completely get the cowboys, rope tricks and gunslingers but I understand that the music of Elvis Presley transcended so many subsets of the American landscape. Consider that Elvis Presley made over 30 films that took filmgoers on geographic adventures as well as romantic endeavors and you see the tone and the added Cirque slant in the “Bosso Nova,” “King Creole” and “Jailhouse Rock” numbers.

Ultimately, this show does one thing and that is it reintroduces the “Production Show” to the Las Vegas strip. Of course, I understand that plenty still exist, but quality is a dying breed in shows that demand choreographed dance numbers and talented performers. “Vegas Style Show” once meant something and these days there is a lack of identity when it comes to the shows on the strip. Is it a Broadway Show? Is it a Cirque Du Soleil Show? Is it a headliner?

No, it’s Elvis Presley in a show that catalogs his life and crams it into 90 minutes. Is it perfect? No. Is it entertaining? Yes. Is it Cirque Du Soleil? No. Is it Las Vegas? Definitely, it is a show that will appeal to those people who still have an image of Las Vegas before the Circus came into town when music defined us far more than it does today.

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