The Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil extravaganza may be the biggest Jackson news since the singer's death two years ago.
The show, called "Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour," delivered its first performance Sunday night in Montreal, and captured the essence and spirit of the departed King of Pop so much so that the Jackson family has become very emotional.
“They’re totally happy with it. Michael’s mother and his kids were in the audience, and his brother came backstage. They were all so happy and so touched,” the shows creative director, Chantal Tremblay, told The Huffington Post.
Jackson's mother, Katherine, praised the crew after the show.
"I really enjoyed it. It's fantastic," Jackson said. "I had heard about it from my oldest son Jackie. He came to see it and he told me how amazing it was. I was looking for something amazing, but I found something far better. And I really enjoyed it, and it captured Michael very well. It was kind of emotional for me but ... it was very, very good. Done very, very well."
The Jackson estate has been highly involved with the show from the very beginning, and the show is expected to be a moneymaker to the tune of millions of dollars for the estate.
“We kept checking with the estate to make sure we were going in the right direction,” Tremblay said. “There was a certain pressure because Michael passed away not very long ago, and it is still emotional. It was emotional with the family and with the estate. The pressure was to represent Michael as much as possible and to make him proud of the show.”
Cirque du Soleil also took great pains to keep the fans, even the fickle ones, in mind throughout the process.
“We use a lot of his hits and a lot of songs known best by the fans. There are 58 of them in all,” Tremblay said. “We wanted the fans and the non-fans to see the real Michael, his iconic moves and even different styles. So far I think the fans are responding really well. They’re also touched by the emotion of it. I think they feel his presence in it.”
This show, which will travel the world in 40 trucks with 64 international performers, will be a vehicle for the Jackson estate to keep the memory of the singer alive, much in the way Graceland has served as a beacon for generations of Elvis fans who were unfamiliar with the Presley brand during his lifetime.
“For the people who aren’t fans, this is a great opportunity to discover Michael," Tremblay said. "We had kids as young as five years old jumping on their chairs, and they had no idea who Michael was."