Out of Cirque’s Hands: “The Beatles Love” Show Closing in July

Hard Rock doesn’t want to rock

There is quite a bit of irony in the idea of Hard Rock shutting down “The Beatles Love” by Cirque du Soleil, but that is exactly what is going to happen. On Tuesday, the show’s producers announced that the famed production at The Mirage in Las Vegas will close on July 7. And it wasn’t at all what Cirque wanted.

Hard Rock needs to take control of the entire venue and do some major renovations.”

“This wasn’t our decision,” Cirque du Soleil CEO Stéphane Lefebvre told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “As you know, Hard Rock needs to take control of the entire venue and do some major renovations. So they need to get the show closed by July 7.”

Lefebvre added that, despite the wishes of fans, there are no plans to turn “Love” into a touring show. Among the reasons for this seems to be that its format doesn’t lend itself to constantly changing venues.

“If it has a life beyond this venue, it will need to change the format a little bit. The theater is so unique, it’s a 360-degree stage and very deep,” Lefebvre said “If we want to move it elsewhere, if we look at somewhere in Europe, we need to make some significant changes.”

Hard Rock International completed its acquisition of The Mirage in December 2022. No date has been set as to when the property will be rebranded to Hard Rock Las Vegas.

Pure Beatles

“Love,” the brainchild of former Beatle George Harrison and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, opened at The Mirage in June 2006; Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, and Harrison’s widow Olivia Harrison were all in attendance.

“Love” was the first theatrical production to earn the partnership of The Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd.

The show presents a story in the form of interpretive dance and acrobatics that loosely follows the history of The Beatles. The performances are not literal – while silhouettes and voices of the four members of the band appear on screens at different times, the characters in each scene are fictional, often depictions of people from the group’s songs.

Over 11.5 million people will have attended “Love” by the time it closes. In addition to fans visiting Las Vegas, the show has attracted performers from around the world; Cirque says that 44 countries are represented in the cast.

Changed my life

On a personal note, I was fortunate enough to see “Love” shortly after it opened in 2006. It is truly a special show that ignited my passion for The Beatles. Like many, I had always enjoyed The Beatles’ music, but also never really “listened” to it, never made it a focus of my music library. That all changed from the opening seconds of “Love.”

connected to both the performers and my fellow audience members

Part of the magic of “Love” is the theater itself. It is setup as a theater in the round, which made me feel more connected to both the performers and my fellow audience members. I wasn’t just watching a show, I was experiencing it with everyone else. It is also a very intimate setting; we had great seats, but there are really no bad ones, as the farthest seat is only 98 feet to the center of the stage. And every seat has speakers built in, adding to the immersion.

Ever since I saw “Love” 18 years ago, The Beatles have been an important part of my life. My daughter was born later that year; one of the CDs my wife and I played in her room to help her sleep was “Baby Beatles,” instrumental versions of their songs in the style of gentle, baby music. My son is a percussionist – one of his early inspirations was Ringo, who he imitated when we saw a Beatles tribute band when he was little. I’m currently sitting next to a boxed set of all their albums made to look like their records on a bookshelf.

While my kids, now in high school, have developed their own tastes in music, some of my happiest memories are those of driving in the car, blasting Beatles tunes with my little ones singing along in the back seat. I was hoping that when they were older, I’d get to take them to “Love,” but alas.

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