Michael Jackson's kids to impress his hand, footprints at Grauman's
Michael Jackson never had the chance to have his hands and feet immortalized in the concrete in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood (probably because he was never really a movie star), but that hasn't stopped the executors of his estate and the new owners of the Chinese from making the impossible a reality.
On Jan. 26, Jackson will have his hand and footprints marked in concrete to celebrate the debut of the Cirque du Soleil production "Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour." The producers have recruited the late singer's children -- 14-year-old Prince, 13-year-old Paris and 9-year-old "Blanket" -- to use his sequined glove and shoes to make the impressions.
The ceremony is the latest to be held by the Chinese's new owners, movie producer Donald Kushner and entrepreneur Elie Samaha, who have removed some deteriorating slabs and replaced them with the hand and footprints of such luminaries as Jennifer Aniston, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart, Kobe Bryant and French DJ David Guetta. The Smurfs and the Chipmunks also got their paws and Smurf-hands set too, but those will not be displayed in the courtyard.
While fictional characters getting their prints set in concrete is nothing new (R2-D2 and C3PO did it years ago), it's the first time the guest of honor hasn't been alive for his or her own print ceremony.
The spate of new ceremonies has some in the film community harrumphing that the new inductees don't live up to the majesty and "for-the-ages"-ness of the Chinese's previous handprint honorees.
The new "Immortal" stage production combines Jackson's music with all kinds of Cirque du Soleil-style leaping and dancing. Or as the show's website describes it, the show "takes place in a fantastical realm where we discover Michael's inspirational Giving Tree -- the wellspring of his creativity. The secrets of Michael's inner world are unlocked -- his love of music and dance, fairy tale and magic, and the fragile beauty of nature."
Nothing celebrates the beauty of nature like a big slab of concrete.
--Patrick Kevin Day
Photo: Michael Jackson's kids -- Prince, left, Paris and "Blanket" -- at a taping of "The X Factor" in November. Michael Becker / Associated Press