We all know that taking a Las Vegas holiday is an experience like no other that allows visitors to enjoy a completely unique getaway – and one that is certainly always memorable! One of the many things that Vegas does better than anywhere else in the world is staging live shows that thrill their audiences with crazy combinations of theatre, acrobatics, dance, music and more – no wonder it’s known as ‘America’s Playground’.
In this article, we look at four of the shows that have been so well received in ‘Sin City’ that they now take up permanent residence in some of the biggest and best venues there. Which one will you go to see?
O by Cirque du Soleil
There’s not much we can say about the extraordinary Cirque du Soleil performance troupe that hasn’t been said before. Delighting and often baffling audiences around the world since the 1980s, this absurdly talented group possibly hit their creative peak when they came up with the bizarrely beautiful show that is simply called O.
Inspired by the pronunciation of the French word for water (‘eau’), it would be fair to say that O is entirely unique in every way. Expertly executed by between 75 and 90 synchronised swimmers, divers, acrobats and other gifted performers (some of which are former Olympic athletes), the show always provides an incredible evening of entertainment for the 1,800-strong crowd of spectators.
O is based at the elegant Bellagio, which featured in our recent blog naming our top five must-visit Las Vegas casino-hotels. We mentioned in that article how this resort is probably most famous for the iconic Fountains of Bellagio that stand outside the front of the hotel and burst into choreographed life several times every afternoon and evening; perhaps that’s why this particular location was chosen as the venue for the spectacular O – either way, we’re sure that anyone who stops off to witness Cirque du Soleil’s finest moment will never think of water in quite the same way again!
Blue Man Group
Much like Cirque du Soleil, the Blue Man Group is known worldwide for its innovative shows, ground-breaking use of music and art and, of course, their performers’ weird and wonderful appearances. Their constantly evolving theatre show has long-term residencies in no fewer than five U.S. cities - and it should come as no surprise to learn that Las Vegas is one of them.
The Blue Man Group’s residency here is relatively new, having been introduced to the Luxor Las Vegas hotel-casino in November 2015. The performance, however, was an instant success, and we think it’s safe to assume that it will be a staple of Sin City’s high-quality live entertainment programme for years to come.
Seeing this amazing troupe up close and in person is something that will stick with you forever – and not just because of their distinctive look. Exploring complex themes like innocence, self-consciousness and modern technology in fun and accessible ways, every Blue Man Group show at the Luxor takes the audience on a rollercoaster journey through worlds they didn’t even know existed.
The group may have started out in the late-80s as three friends doing experimental street theatre on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, but it has now grown into a full-on, global cultural phenomenon. Make sure you book a ticket to see them if you’re staying at the Luxor (or anywhere else on the Strip, for that matter). We know you won’t regret it.
If the incredible nightly performances put on by Cirque du Soleil and the Blue Man Group are the definition of sophisticated, highly cultural acrobatic theatre, then Absinthe is the absolute opposite – but it’s still an extraordinary feat!
Although it has been around since 2006, Absinthe truly became the sensation it is today when it set up residency on the forecourt of the legendary Caesars Palace hotel-casino. The ironic thing is that it was never even meant to be staged here; originally, the show was due to be based at the planned Fontainebleau Las Vegas resort but, when this casino’s building project went bust, Absinthe was rescued and given a temporary home by the Palace. Nearly ten years later, it’s still there, which is a pretty good sign of how successful it’s been.
Strictly for adults only, this outrageous spectacle crosses every line you could think of when it comes to decency and vulgarity…but this is Vegas, after all! Often described as a strangely effective cross between ingenious acrobatic displays and crude, stag do-style entertainment, Absinthe features everything from tapdancing and balancing acts to comedy and, as you may have guessed, risqué burlesque routines.
Don’t let its somewhat scandalous reputation put you off, though – make no mistake, Absinthe is among the most impressive, mesmerising and meticulously choreographed performances you are likely to see anywhere. In fact, local newspaper the Las Vegas Weekly went as far as to say it is the ‘#1 greatest show in Las Vegas history’. High praise indeed!
Finally, we have another water-based show which, amazingly, is almost as highly rated by critics and the public as its closest relation – and the first pick on our list - O by Cirque du Soleil. The Wynn Las Vegas is widely regarded as one of the most glamorous and luxurious hotels in the city, so it is the perfect setting for the endlessly elegant Le Rêve (English translation: ‘The Dream’).
It takes 90 artists and over 250 crew members to pull off the twice-nightly staging of Le Rêve, and this titanic effort certainly pays off. With a greater emphasis on plot than any of the other shows we’ve discussed, this enchanting performance tells the tale of a woman who falls into a dreamlike state where she must choose between the love of her two suitors.
Still going strong after more than 6,000 performances, the show is beautifully diverse and includes some sublime displays of swimming, dancing and gymnastics, as well as a jaw-dropping 80-foot dive. Every show we have chosen may, for different reasons, be as memorable and unique as Le Rêve, but you would be hard pressed to find another which is quite as magical.