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News createt: 02-12-2010

Viva Elvis at Nascar's Sprint Cup Series banquet

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Cirque du Soleil bringing a taste of 'Viva ELVIS' to award ceremony

Long before NASCAR brought the Blue Deuce to town for the Sprint Cup Series banquet, Las Vegas was the home of Elvis Presley and his Blue Suede Shoes.

The two not-so-different fan bases will be brought together during Friday's Cup banquet when Viva ELVIS by Cirque du Soleil puts on an abbreviated version of its monstrous show for the cream of the NASCAR crop.

It's over-the-top and absolute sensory overload, much like NASCAR itself. It's no wonder the two came together for a celebration.

But if you're attending the show, or watching the broadcast, don't expect the Cirque du Soleil you've seen in the past.

"What makes it different is there's a lot more dancing than a lot of our other shows," Kenn said. "The acrobatics are specific to things Elvis loved, like amusement parks. It's very emotional. We have the whole section of him going into the Army, and all the dance numbers. What comes out of that is a perfect tribute to Elvis created by Cirque du Soleil. That's what sets it apart."

"They said, 'Here's the tapes, play around with it a little. Just don't mess with Elvis.' " Kenn said. "We had a few more options there and we could play around a little bit. We wanted to make it sound like Elvis was singing in a nightclub today, in 2010, so we rearranged it but you still recognized it and it's still his voice."

Elvis was never one for subdued stage performances, so Canulli's costumes attempt to play off that without going for strict reproduction or parody. 

While there are no Elvis impersonators in the show, there certainly have been some in the audience. Kenn said they generally join the rest of the audience in being filled with questions afterward.

He's hoping for an eye-opening show that will entertain those at the banquet and those watching on TV.

"I think the unmistakable thing here is Elvis," Kenn said. "Everyone loves Elvis. It takes Elvis and introduces them to Cirque du Soleil. We'll see, but I think the reaction will be very positive."

With nearly 400 costumes, 450 pairs of shoes and 16 platforms, 'Viva ELVIS' is a spectacle for all the senses