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Dec11

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The Thrill Lives On

I remember the first time I ever came in contact with Michael Jackson's music. I was in junior high and Off the Wall had just been released on 8-track featuring the hit "Don't Stop til you Get Enough." You had to dance in the car a little when that song came on. I recall being a little confused by some of the sounds he made between lyrics - like "Shamone!"  It was nothing like I'd ever heard. Then in my early high school years came Thriller, which combined with the mini-movie that was the video, catapulted Michael into a whole new realm, and was nothing like I'd ever seen.

With the passing of Michael Jackson in 2009, so went the spark of a man so famous for his unbelievable musical and entertainment talent. Think what you will about his ever-fading skin color and morphed facial features and the unmentionable legal battles that plagued him late in life; this man was so huge in every way, electric and charismatic on stage, in front of an audience.

Now Cirque du Soleil brings to Saint Louis the Immortal Tour, a compilation of song, theater, high-flying acrobatics and dancing. And I do mean dancing. There are arresting visuals of Michael in re-edited video clips that play on giant video screens behind the stage. Michael's actual voice is accompanied by the band on horns and guitars along with back-up singers. There are elaborate sets, even a "Neverland" gate made of brass and gold. Dancers wear costumes with lights that change color with the beat of the music as they fly and spin through the air. From "Smooth Criminal" to "Beat It," the show wasn't just an interpretation of Michael's music, it was as if Michael was right there himself.

I'm no expert in music. I can't carry a tune, and my moves on the dance floor have devolved and are sadly closer to those of Elaine from Seinfeld. But I felt goosebumps and my eyes began to tear when I heard his music and saw his image. This magical show proves to us that he's still huge, even years after his death. Which made me think - Michael isn't dead. He's Immortal.