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Photos: Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono share spotlight at 'Love' celebration

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Erik Kabik/Retna/ErikKabik.com
Sir Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell at the fifth-anniversary celebration of The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage on June 8, 2011.
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Scott Harrison/Retna/HarrisonPhotos.com
Dhani Harrison and his mother, Olivia Harrison, at the fifth-anniversary celebration of The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage on June 8, 2011.

It was a Love reunion with Sir Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono and son Sean Lennon and Olivia Harrison and son Dhani at Cirque du Soleil’s fifth-anniversary celebration of The Beatles Love at the Mirage last night, while Ringo Starr appeared from Europe via video to kick off the gala celebration.

The red carpet at the Mirage was jam-packed with celebrities, many who were, surprisingly, seeing the spectacular show for the first time. Even Sean told me he hadn’t seen it yet, although I honestly don’t know if he was kidding!

Certainly, when I had my own reunion with longtime friends Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden and talk show host Gayle King, whom I haven’t seen in ages, they told me they’d never seen it during its five-year run on the Strip.

Marcia, with her kids in tow, said: “None of us have seen it before. We’re big Beatles fans and have been looking forward very excitedly to this for weeks now.”

Gayle told me she’s here shooting for next Thursday’s 1-hour special episode all about The Beatles show. Today, she has her on-camera interview with Yoko, and yesterday she filmed with Sir Paul.

“I flew out to Vegas listening to Beatles music, so I was ready when he and I had an on-camera sing-along. He even pulled out a harmonica for us. I’ve met him before, but singing with him was a total dream come true. I’m 56, so I was in high school when they exploded. Way back then, I fell in love with them and their music and wondered if one day I’d ever get to sing with them. Now 44 years later, the dream comes true, and I see Love for the first time!”

A big thanks to a dedicated crew of photographers and videographers for their great coverage today: Tom Donoghue, Erik Kabik, Scott Harrison, Richard Corey and Chris Rauschnot from 24kMedia on Twitter, as well as Las Vegas Sun photographer Steve Marcus. They didn’t miss anything -- or anybody! Be sure to listen to Paul and Yoko’s short speeches to the audience from the stage with the cast at the close of the show. The Love VIPs received resounding ovations during introductions before the performance started, as well as post-show.

Also please check out my colleague Senior Editor John Katsilometes’ The Kats Report from the red carpet for another story about the festivities and his meeting with recording royals Sir George Martin and son Giles Martin, who I chatted with on the red carpet, as well.

Sir Paul brought fiancee Nancy Shevell with him on the Las Vegas visit, which tonight includes a private performance for a computer convention and then tomorrow’s tour concert at MGM Grand Garden Arena, which we will have full coverage of Saturday right here at Vegas DeLuxe. He also brought his own favorite personal DJ, Chris Holmes, for the after-party at Mirage’s tropical pool.

It was nice for me to catch up with former Pussycat Dolls knockout Carmit Bachar, who proudly showed her nearly 7-month baby bump, and we had to hug gently when we met up again. Also there: my pals Pussycat Dolls creator Robin Antin, Mirage headliner Terry Fator and his wife Taylor and Luxor stars Criss Angel and Carrot Top. Other celebrities included Elijah Wood, sisters Rosanna and Patricia Arquette, Caesar Palace headliner singer Matt Goss, rapper T-Pain, rockers Slash, Matt Sorum, Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray, The Killers (including frontman Brandon Flowers and his wife) and Green Day’s Mike Dirnt.

Cirque was represented by its President Daniel Lamarre, Artistic VP Gilles Ste-Croix (who has seen his show more than 60 times!) and Love director Dominic Champagne. I chatted with them on the red carpet, and they all agreed that The Beatles show could run forever because the music is immortal. Daniel and Gilles also updated me on the progress with the two Michael Jackson Cirque shows.

“The Beatles Love show is selling out every night still. Our Viva Elvis Presley show is doing just as well, and the changes we made to it have worked beautifully. We are finally very happy with it now,” Daniel said. “Now we’re just beginning rehearsals in Montreal of the Michael Jackson Immortal tour. It’s come together beautifully, and everything is done for it except integrating some of the newest 3-D hologram technology. That gets added a little later. We finally see what it will be, and it is incredible.

“We have just completed the designs for the Mandalay Bay Theater, which we’ll take over Jan. 1, and yes, you are correct, there will be a lot of the Neverland feelings incorporated into it. We will actually learn a lot from the touring Michael Jackson show. Having that first will give us the opportunity for the first time in Cirque history to get fans and public reaction as we work on the Las Vegas residency show. For now, it doesn’t have a title. ” A full interview with Cirque’s CEO was posted last month during a Cirque-Michael Jackson presentation at Mandalay Bay.

Ringo on his video acknowledged the dream for Love had begun with George Harrison and Cirque founder Guy Laliberte over a drink in a pub -- and “they’re still celebrating.” Yoko and Olivia summed up the magical night. “Five years has flown by, and it’s better, more beautiful with a bigger impact than when it began,” Olivia said. “I know Love will be here forever.”

Yoko added: “Their music will live for ever. It will never end. It is immortal.”

Last Updated: 06/10/11 11:57
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Photos: Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono share spotlight at 'Love' celebration


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News Summary

It was a Love reunion with Sir Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono and son Sean Lennon and Olivia Harrison and son Dhani at Cirque du Soleil’s fifth-anniversary celebration of The Beatles Love at the Mirage last night, while Ringo Starr appeared from Europe via video to kick off the gala celebration