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Love by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage Hotel Las Vegas

Love is a 2006 theatrical production by Cirque du Soleil which combines the re-produced and re-imagined music of The Beatles with an interpretive, circus-based artistic and athletic stage performance.

A joint venture between Cirque and The Beatles' Apple Corps Ltd, it is the first production that Apple Corps Ltd. has partnered in. Love is written and directed by Dominic Champagne. Music directors are Sir George Martin, producer of nearly all of The Beatles' records, and his son, record producer Giles Martin. Love plays at a specially-built theatre at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. A soundtrack album of the show was released in November 2006.

On June 26, 2007, the surviving members of The Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, and the widows of George Harrison (Olivia Harrison) and John Lennon (Yoko Ono) appeared on CNN's Larry King Live at The Mirage Hotel.

The Love project at the Mirage Hotel arose from discussions in 2000 between George Harrison and his friend Guy Laliberte, one of Cirque's founders. Three years of negotiations between surviving members of The Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, The Beatles widows Olivia Harrison (representing George Harrison) and Yoko Ono (representing John Lennon), The Beatles' holding company Apple Corps Ltd. and the MGM Mirage culminated in an agreement.

The first executive producer was Neil Aspinall, then-manager of Apple Corps Ltd. Dominic Champagne shares the Show Concept Creator credit with Gilles Ste-Croix (a founder of Cirque), who is also credited as the Director of Creation. The Creation Director is Chantal Tremblay.

Tickets went on sale April 19, 2006. Preview performances ran from June 2 to June 29. During these shows, the June 16 and June 17 which were attended by McCartney, changes were made nightly based on audience reaction, cutting or adding sections to add polish.

In attendance at the gala opening on June 30 were McCartney, Starr, Ono, Cynthia Lennon, Julian Lennon, Olivia Harrison, Dhani Harrison and Sir George Martin. It was the biggest reunion of The Beatles' 'family' since the band's breakup. At the end of the show, McCartney, Starr, Harrison, Ono and Martin went on stage. McCartney requested the crowd, "Just one special round of applause, for John and George!"

On June 26, 2007 everyone met for the one year anniversary of the show at The Mirage, where the Love show is staged. McCartney, Starr, Harrison and Ono were interviewed by CNN's Larry King shortly before the show began. The group unveiled a plaque at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas in memory of John Lennon and George Harrison.

The loose story of the production traces The Beatles’ biography in broad strokes from The Blitz, through the band's founding and climb into superstardom, their psychedelic and spiritual works and their break-up in 1970. The finale is a joyous celebration of The Beatles' "reunion" that the show itself represents.

Love traces this path without relying on literal or historical representations of individual people. Its landscape is inhabited by fictional characters plucked from The Beatles' lyrics. Sgt. Pepper, a central figure, encounters many familiar faces, including Lucy in the Sky, Eleanor Rigby, Lady Madonna and Mr. Kite. In an exception to this stylistic choice, the "Here Comes the Sun" scene features a character resembling Krishna. Similarly, several scenes include mop-topped, dark-haired figures in black suits resembling Teddy Boys. The international cast totals 65 performers. Each song or medley is the name of a scene.

Unlike other Cirque productions, which feature live music, Love uses prerecorded material from The Beatles catalog. Many of the original Abbey Road Studios recording session tapes have been reorchestrated and inspired Love's dance, acrobatics, as well as visual and theatrical effects. Love samples 130 songs to create 26 musical pieces. The songs are mixed so that the lyrics and instrumentation from one song blend into the next. One musical highlight of the show is a new version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", which matches the first studio demo of the song with a string arrangement written for Love by Sir George Martin. A commercial soundtrack of the show was released in November 2006.

The Love stage at the Mirage Hotel was created by French designer Jean Rabasse. The Love theater at The Mirage houses 6,341 speakers and 2,013 seats set around a central stage. Each seat is fitted with three speakers, including a pair in the headrest. The sound system was designed by Jonathan Deans. The stage includes nine lifts and eight automated tracks and trolleys.

Video images on two walls above the audience on two sides of the auditorium emphasize elements of the show and provide transitions. High-definition projectors also create enormous images (designed by Francis Laporte) on four translucent screens that can be unfurled to divide the auditorium. A total of 28 projectors are used.

The Love theater, which replaces the Siegfried & Roy theater at The Mirage, is said to have cost more than $100 million.