REVIEW: Viva Elvis!

REVIEW:  Viva Elvis!REVIEW:  Viva Elvis!REVIEW:  Viva Elvis!REVIEW:  Viva Elvis!

Elvis has not left the building!  His music is alive and well, and performed every night in the ARIA showroom.  Viva Elvis! ,the new production show from Cirque du Soleil, traces the life of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll from his humble beginnings in Tupelo, Mississippi to his headlining days on the Las Vegas Strip.  And in between, well let’s just say there’s a whole lotta shakin’ going on.

The show follows a largely chronological time line, telling the life story of Elvis Aron Presley through photos, staging and his music – both recorded and taped numbers.  While Elvis never actually appears on stage, there can be no doubting that his presence is larger than life.


The life story of Elvis is paired up with music representative of the time and the performances of 28 acrobats and 32 dancers with the creative costuming and theatrics that Cirque du Soleil is known for.  Some of the highlights include:

  • It’s Now or Never – Repurposed and set to a flamenco routine.
  • Viva Las Vegas – The finale, complete with showy costumes and fireworks evoking the glamour of Las Vegas in days gone by.
  • One Night – Transformed into a ballad as two men climb and frolic about a guitar-shaped design hanging above the stage.
  • Jail House Rock – The inmates stage a lively and flashy jail break.
  • Are You Lonesome Tonight – The beautiful love song sets the mood for two aerialists soaring through the air.
  • Got a Lot o’Livin’ to Do – ,The song provided the backdrop for an impressive trampoline routine by performers dressed in superhero costumes.  This was by far the audience favorite, with murmurs of WOW and “how do they do that.”  At the time I didn’t understand the significance of the superhero reference, but it turns out Elvis was a comic book fan.
  • Return to Sender – Elvis’s induction into the Army, complete with video showing his thick, wavy locks being shorn off, and looking handsome in his uniform.
  • Bossa Nova Baby – Providing background for an acrobatic stacking and climbing chairs that seemed to reach all the way to the ceiling.
  • Burning Love – Video clips showed the hunk-a-hunk of burning love kissing co-stars from his movies.  Film buffs will want to be looking for Anne Margaret, ADD OTHERS HERE
  • Mystery Train – Cowboys out on the range perform lasso tricks, including lassos on fire, in a routine that I wasn’t quite sure how it fit in

The fact that the showroom was well under half full for a Thursday night performance is more about a struggling economy than about the production.  The show room will hold 1,840 people.  I can only imagine how challenging it is to play to an audience whose response was, at times, lukewarm, but the performers still gave it their all.


Who will like the performance?  For me that’s a tough question to answer.  Fans of Elvis’s music will probably like the music, assuming that can make the transition to some of the creative ways the songs have been covered and styled.  Fans of Cirque du Soleil will likely be entertained, but feel disappointed that the show was more about the music and the persona than about the impressive performances for which the troupe is known.  ..

My take on it:  I liked it, but I didn’t love it.  I’ve seen LOVE – playing at the Mirage – Cirque du Soleil’s show celebrating the music and life of the Beatle’s and found it far more entertaining.

It’s worth the time and money to catch Viva Elvis!, and for most of us, it’s the only way we’ll hear the King perform.

Thinking about staying at the ARIA?  Read my review of ARIA to help you decide.

Location:  ARIA Hotel Showroom

Show times:  7 ad 9 pm, Tuesday through Saturday.  The show runs 90 minutes, with no intermission.

Tickets:  Priced at $99 – 175, plus taxes and fees  CHECK FOR PROMOTIONAL PRICING

Photo credit:  Courtesy of Julie Aucoin and MGM Mirage

NOTE:  I received a complimentary ticket for the performance of Viva Elvis; the opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Israel, Stockholm, and a Baltic cruise.


  1. Tweets that mention REVIEW: Viva Elvis! -- - January 27, 2011

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  2. Small Plates Delight at Julian Serrano at ARIA Las Vegas - Traveling with MJ - February 14, 2014

    […] & Casino in Las Vegas and became a fan of the LEED certified property.  While there, I saw the Cirque du Soleil show Viva Elvis!, spent an afternoon at the spa, and had many fine meals, one of which was at Julian Serrano, a […]

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