A Real ‘Thriller’: ‘Michael Jackson One’ Changed My Everything

“To give people a piece of your heart is worth more than all the wealth in the world.”

~Michael Jackson

Those who know me know how much Michael Jackson means to my heart soul. As a child (and teenager), I wanted to be a background dancer for him, which is clearly the ultimate honor for a dancer. In the late 2000s, my then-fiance’ and I thought about changing our honeymoon to London when Michael announced his farewell tour, so we could see a show. And, of course, at our wedding our first dance was Michael Jackson authentic choreography (which was timely because he sadly occurred a couple of weeks before the wedding even though our dance was planned well before his death). We even spent our first morning of our honeymoon watching the funeral coverage.

So when I heard about the Michael Jackson One Cirque du Soleil show a few years ago, needless to say I was more than intrigued. Well, I finally caught the show about a week ago at The Mandalay Bay.

And… It. Was. AWESOME.

Spoiler Alert: Some aspects/details of the show will be revealed in this post.

If you aren’t already in reverence of Michael Jackson’s sheer talent, you will be after this show. The dancing, the high-flying, the elaborate sets, all brought back a strong sense of nostalgia. Having never been able to see Michael Jackson in concert, my soul was so happy. This show truly captured his essence, his gifts as a performer.

The performance started off with ‘Beat It,’ my all time favorite MJ song (and one of the songs we did at the wedding reception). The choreography was crisp and clean but also incorporated new and different elements. Throughout the show there was no real lag time between numbers, as the shows took you through an anthology of MJ’s greatest hits in whirlwind fashion.

Other songs that featured authentic choreography (to name just a few) were ‘Smooth Criminal,’ ‘Billie Jean,’ and of course, ‘Thriller.’ Perfect choreography and execution by the dancers. The only song they didn’t include that I really wanted to see the routine for was ‘Remember the Time.’

The dancers were superb! Especially the performer who pop-locked to ‘Human Nature’ and other numbers. It was almost magical to watch the smooth, rhythmic movements, with a lit-up, glitter body suit on. Absolutely mesmerizing. Couple the amazing dancing with all the action from the tumblers and high-flying acrobats that are signature to Cirque shows, and it was so much to absorb all at once.

I was on the edge of my seat the entire show. Literally. Throughout the whole 90 minutes, with no intermission, I maybe blinked 5 times. I didn’t want to miss even a single moment. The memories from that show unlocked took me back to my childhood.

And then, there was a HOLOGRAM.

Yes, I said hologram. How did I not know that the show featured a Michael Jackson hologram? And the hologram was dancing with the background dancers. At that point I darn near blew up! It was like seeing Michael actually perform for the first time. Thank you, modern technology.

It was too much to take in, to process, all at once. I definitely have to see the show at least one more time. But it changed something in me. I felt a peace, a happiness, an awe at the end of the show. I didn’t want to leave. But I will definitely be back. Because of all of the shows and concerts and performances I have seen, this by far was the best. Period. Bar none.

Michael would have been proud.

All photographs are copyright of Tyra Hughley Smith as seen at the Michael Jackson One show at The Mandalay Bay. However, the underlying works that the photographs depict are ownership of the respective copyright owners, and Tyra Hughley Smith makes no assertion that she owns the rights in any of the underlying works. 


I am a lawyer. I am a journalist. I am a writer. I am a photographer. And I love to travel.

9 comments on “A Real ‘Thriller’: ‘Michael Jackson One’ Changed My Everything”

  1. I’ve been to Vegas several times and this is the one show I want to go back for. I am a Michael fanatic too. I can feel the energy right now. I know Cirque did a wonderful job.

  2. How Fun!!!

    My 5 year old is obsessed with Michael Jackson and his music, in part I think due to the fact that she loves dancing so much and loves his dancing. I think she would love this show!

  3. My children LOVE Michael Jackson (age 6 + age 9). This show sounds amazing and I would love to be able to take them to see it one. It sounds like you had an amazing time.

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