Plans are well underway for the star-studded VIP celebration for Viva Elvis' premiere Feb. 19 at Aria at CityCenter, and Cirque du Soleil is expecting Paul McCartney and members of The Beatles Love family at The Mirage to attend.
Cirque officials also are hoping for Ringo Starr with Barbara Bach, Yoko Ono with Sean Lennon and George Harrison's widow Olivia. All of them are fans of Elvis' music, and both John Lennon and Harrison have admitted that the King of Rock and Roll inspired the two Brits.
Additionally, Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley are scheduled to attend next week's premiere at the Elvis Theater in Aria. Other musicians and Hollywood stars have already accepted invitations. It will not be a red carpet gala, but in fact a blue carpet celebration paying tribute to Elvis and those blue suede shoes.
As the spectacular $100 million production nears its official unveiling, Viva Elvis still is undergoing creative fixation by Cirque's top producers. This past week the production suspended four nights of previews, including Saturday night's late show, for continuing rehearsals as segments were deleted and numbers added.
This is said to be a normal part of Cirque's creation process, as the colorful, action-packed musical nears its premiere. Priscilla Presley herself has shuttled back and forth from her Malibu, Calif., home watching over and approving the changes as the Elvis show takes its final shape.
"Nothing is wrong, and it's all going to be absolutely incredible when it's really seen for the first time. The exciting audience responses through previews have been phenomenal and wonderfully enthusiastic with supportive suggestions," a theater source said. A source also has confirmed that the Elvis character on stilts has been dropped from the show.
For those who want to witness the star turnout, the blue carpet starts at 6 p.m. Feb. 19, with a post-premiere gala planned for that night, possibly lasting past the midnight hour.
The surviving Beatles continue to show Elvis respect. Its too bad Elvis didnt feel the same way. He may have liked some of their songs, but that silly letter he wrote Pres Nixon showed his true feelings.
That being so, the Beatles had more time to (re)consider their points. If Elvis had lived longer he could have made up for so many things he did and said. I don't think we know what he really thought of many things.
A little known fact about what Elvis did like...He loved the boys Bud & Lou's TV series. He was a big fan of Stinkey who was his favorite character on the show.
Steve I think Elvis had lot of respect for The Fab Four. The Nixon letter was a crazy way Elvis used to obtain his narcotic badge. Don't think it showed his feeling about The Beatles. No way. Two years after the Nixon meeting he met George Harrison backstage in New Your MSG and in 1973 sung “Something” to the World, in the Aloha. Too bad dead found him first, and 3 years after him it was Lennon time. Elvis and The Beatles are the two most powerful forces musically and socially, in the last 100 years, and will live forever. And the way the music and stage management changed in the 80’s, if they were alive they would had worked together, for sure.
I'm not sure about anything Pedro. I have read in countless books he had no desire at all to meet them, was basically forced to by the Colonel and then didn't want a repeat meeting. Also you couldnt mention The Beatles around Elvis. I think he was a little jealous at their success as only he had that type of wild success in rock and roll up to that point. Coupled with the fact that he was stuck in lousy movies and given lousy songs to sing didn't help. Its hard to believe he mellowed out in the 70's but maybe he did.
Steve, I wonder what Elvis really thought of the Beatles. That Nixon letter is a huge source of embarrassment and I tend to think Elvis was just trying to say what he thought it would take to get the silly badge he wanted. Just the fact that he recorded Yesterday, Hey Jude and Something, plus going into Get Back on stage and doing Lady Madonna while messing around in the studio tends to make me think he must have liked some of their music. (Though the fact that he didn't bother with knowing the lyrics to Hey Jude or Lady Madonna tells me he was certainly not a big Beatles fan...)
I agree, he had to have been jealous of their huge success in the 1960s (particularly with some music fans holding up signs saying "Elvis is dead, long live the Beatles". That's gotta sting...), but whether it was the colonel pushing him or not, both the meeting and the telegram read on Ed Sullivan were very gracious. Of course that's all still before the Beatles would have reached the stage of being "hippies" or part of the "counterculture" of the late 60's, which Elvis might indeed have not been down with. And his comment on the 68 special where he mentions liking "the Beatles, the Byrds....whoever" definitely sounds half-hearted. But he clearly had to have at least some grudging respect and appreciation for them; he'd never have sang or recorded those Beatles' songs otherwise, especially doing Lady Madonna just for his own personal enjoyment.
I would absolutely love to know what Elvis thought of John Lennon's huge controversial hit in the 70's "Imagine". If Elvis liked that song, it would really tell me a lot about him. (My love of Elvis would not be diminished either way, but I admit it would please me immensely if I were to learn that he did like that song back in 1971 when it came out. )
Regardless of all that, I think the things Elvis said in the Nixon letter were an attempt (successful) to manipulate Nixon into giving Elvis what he wanted. It was a letter he never expected to be made public, and I kinda wish it never had.
Of course Elvis felt threatened. The same way Sinatra felt about Elvis & ended up changing his mind about Elvis & the music. We can't say for certain whether Elvis liked them or not, he really didn't know them. And the Beatles really didn't know Elvis either. They liked his music & Elvis certainly had a copy of the Beatles Songbook in his collection (according to Schilling & Esposito) & with these guys & other artists like them it's really all about the music. It's the rest of us who tend to read more into the situation than necessary. As for the badge business, we all know it was a low point in Elvis' life & a means to an end, to get that badge.
On a lighter note, this is going to be awesome & I am going to miss it all by 4 nights! That's what I get for buying tickets too soon. Oh, well, I am sure I will enjoy the production minus all the celebrity fuss & really looking forward to it.
let's give credit where credit is due. this news came out from the LAS VEGAS SUN NEWSPAPER. i can't post the link, but it's easy to search for. elvis unlimited has no 'insider' with the viva show. a las vegas local. :)
As I have said many times before, Bob Sillerman is the man to thank for this show as without him there would have been no incentive to do it. 'Viva Elvis' is going to be massive and I predict a worldwide No.1 for the CD when released in September.
i'm very dubious about this line-up. these stars have never turned out together for anyhing as far as i know? as for Elvis hating the beatles I don't think it was anything more than creative competition. both tipped their hats to each other on more than one occasion. thats satisfactory, you could hardly expect them to be drinking buddies! Btw this may sound silly but just exactly what is this viva elvis? can anyone explain?
Steve V writes "The surviving Beatles continue to show Elvis respect. Its too bad, Elvis didnt feel the same way". Well deep down Elvis did like the "Beatles" and their accomplishments in music. He, without a doubt, liked them enough, to record, some of their songs, which to me, shows he had a deep respect for their music. And by the way, he kept in touch with the guys, by phone. They often called Elvis, at "Graceland". Elvis, I think meant well, in his deep concern, over the drug culture. He felt, that alot of the artists, in music and the arts, were embracing "Illegal Street drugs". And he wanted to help, deglamorize it. Could he have handled it better. Yes ! But I don't think he was out to hurt "The Beatles".
Yes I have read that Lennon called Graceland several times (dont know about the others) but I heard Elvis never took any of the calls. Didnt want to talk to him. Thats respect? Its funny when the worst abuser of all of them was Elvis. Pills are as bad if not worse than street drugs. Instead of the pusher getting rich, the pharmacies & doctors do , but the end result is still the same.