Viva Elvis

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Viva Elvis
Company Cirque du Soleil
Genre Contemporary circus
Show type Resident show
Date of premiere February 19, 2010
Final show August 31, 2012
Location Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas
Creative team
Writer and director Vincent Paterson
Creation director Armand Thomas
Musical director and arranger Erich van Tourneau
Set designer Mark Fisher
Costume designer Stefano Canulli
Acrobatic performance designer Daniel Cola
Acrobatic equipment and rigging designer Guy St-Amour
Original lighting designer Marc Brickman
Additional lighting design and programming Martin Labrecque
Image content designer Ivan Dudynsky
Sound designer Jonathan Deans
Props designer Patricia Ruel
Makeup designer Nathalie Gagné
Choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo,
Mark Swanhart,
Catherine Archambault
Artistic guide Guy Laliberté,
Gilles Ste-Croix
Other information
Preceded by Banana Shpeel (2009)
Succeeded by Totem (2010)
Official website

Viva Elvis was the seventh resident Cirque du Soleil show on the Las Vegas Strip. It resided at the Aria Resort & Casino and premiered on February 19, 2010. The show closed on August 31, 2012.[1] Cirque du Soleil partnered with Elvis Presley Enterprises to produce this show, similar to how they partnered with The Beatles' Apple Corps Ltd to produce the resident show Love at the Mirage.[2]

CKX, Inc., the company that owns the rights to Elvis Presley's name, likeness, and music publishing, signed an agreement to have Cirque du Soleil create the Elvis-themed residency show. The gala premiere was originally scheduled for January 2010[1][3] on what would have been Elvis' 75th birthday, but was postponed until February 19, 2010.[4][5] CKX and Cirque du Soleil eventually intended to develop additional touring shows and multimedia interactive "Elvis Experiences" throughout the world.[6]


Due to low attendance records for Viva Elvis, MGM Resorts asked Cirque du Soleil to replace the show. The show had its final performance on August 31, 2012.[7][8] On March 7, 2012, Cirque du Soleil announced that following its second Radio City Music Hall engagement, the show Zarkana would be its replacement.

Set and technical information[edit]

The Elvis Theater was designed with a conventional proscenium layout reminiscent of an opera house. The stage had 16 platforms, divided into 12 sections which could rise 10 feet (3.0 m); the widest section was 18 by 80 feet (5.5 m × 24.4 m) and was controlled by four large motors located 26 feet (7.9 m) below the stage.[9][10]

The show's opening scene contained a jukebox made of chrome and gloss black which is 70 feet (21 m) wide by 22 feet (6.7 m) high. It also incorporated a 50-foot-tall (15 m) video screen. Also seen during the opening, a 29-foot-long (8.8 m), blue suede shoe weighed 7,000 pounds (3,200 kg) and was made of steel and fiberglass.[9][10]

During "Got a Lot of Livin' to Do", seven trampolines were utilized. The entire structure took up the entire width of the stage (78 feet (24 m)) and weighed 30 tonnes (30 long tons; 33 short tons).[9][10]

The set for the "Jailhouse Rock" scene was based on the technical requirements for a circus art called marche inversée. It had ten tracks that allowed acrobats to walk upside down, attached by their feet, while dancers performed right side up on other levels; the whole structure weighed 82,000 pounds (37,000 kg).[9][10]


The acts for Viva Elvis were staged to the music of Elvis Presley.[11][12]

  • Opening
  • Blue Suede Shoes: Dance and acrobatics
  • Don't Be Cruel: Dance
  • One Night: Aerial cadre, performed on a metal-frame guitar
  • All Shook Up: Dance
  • Saved: Dance and acrobatics
  • Got a Lot of Livin' to Do: Trampoline
  • Heartbreak Hotel: Dance
  • Love Me Tender: Singing duet
  • Return to Sender: Dance and aerial high bar
  • Are You Lonesome Tonight: Aerial pas de deux
  • Western Scene: Lassos
  • Burning Love: Film clip/band spotlight
  • Bossa Nova Baby: Balancing on chairs
  • King Creole: Dance, film clips and diabolo duet
  • Jailhouse Rock: Dance and acrobatics (Viva Elvis centerpiece)
  • It's Now or Never: Chinese poles
  • Can't Help Falling in Love: Ballet and roller skates
  • Love Me/Don't: Duo cerceaux
  • Viva Las Vegas: Dance
  • Suspicious Minds: Acrobatic dance duet
  • That's All Right: Hand-to-hand combat
  • Hound Dog: Finale


Viva Elvis' costume designer, Stefano Canulli, drew inspiration from the iconic Elvis fashion of the 1950s and '60s and added Technicolor lines to highlight the human body. The wardrobe collection as a whole contained nearly 400 costumes and around 1,500 costume components. Part of this total came from more than 450 pairs of shoes and 150 custom wigs. Cirque du Soleil, for the first time, used flocking to create some of the accessories, thus giving them a velvet appearance. Some of the several wigs used for the show were created using urethane foam, which gave them the appearance of Japanese manga.[13][14]


The music for Viva Elvis was created in partnership with Elvis Presley Enterprises. The soundtrack album, which was released on November 5, 2010, was released under Sony Legacy Recordings and was produced by Erich van Tourneau.[15]

Further information: Viva Elvis (album)


Coordinates: 36°6′28.50″N 115°10′37″W / 36.1079167°N 115.17694°W / 36.1079167; -115.17694

  1. ^ a b "Viva Elvis World Premiere Tonight at Aria Resort & Casino at Citycenter". Cirque du Soleil (Press Release). 2010-02-19. Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  2. ^ "Cirque du Soleil, Apple Corps Ltd. and the Mirage partner to create and Unprecedented Live Theater Production". Cirque du Soleil (Press Release). 2004-10-14. Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  3. ^ Press release containing future Cirque show information
  4. ^ Cirque's Viva Elvis postponed
  5. ^ Cirque du Soleil's Viva ELVIS opens in Las Vegas
  6. ^ Official CKX, Inc. Press Release on The Elvis Presley Projects with Cirque du Soleil
  7. ^ Dan Balcazo (2011-11-29). "Cirque du Soleil Asked to Replace Viva Elvis at Las Vegas' Aria". Theater Mania. Retrieved 2011-12-01. 
  8. ^ "Acrobatic Spectable Zarkana by Cirque du Soleil to Establish Residency at Aria Resort & Casino Following Successful Worldwide Run. Show to Find Permanent Home in Las Vegas Starting October 2012". 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Viva Elvis: Set". Cirque du Soleil. Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Viva Elvis Sets Factsheet" (PDF). Cirque du Soleil (Press Material). Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  11. ^ "Viva Elvis Scene Description" (PDF). Cirque du Soleil (Press Material). Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  12. ^ "Viva Elvis: Scene". Cirque du Soleil. Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  13. ^ "Viva Elvis: Costumes". Cirque du Soleil. Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  14. ^ "Viva Elvis Costumes Factsheet" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  15. ^ "Viva Elvis: Music". Cirque du Soleil. Retrieved 2011-02-16. 

External links[edit]