When I think of Las Vegas glitzy girls, bass pumping pool parties, Fremont Streets flashing neon signs and rows of casinos come to mind, but I wanted to see a different side to the city. I wanted to find a more cultured side while still having all the cheeky fun the city is known for on the Strip.
I had never considered Las Vegas as an entertainment destination, yet around 70% of visitors travel to the city for this reason. While at the Henley Regatta I was very generously given tickets to Le Rêve the top rated show in Las Vegas, by the hosts. Theatre? In Las Vegas? Searching further I found tha Vegas is home to dozens of shows from famous Cirque du Soleil to comedy houses, magic to Celine Dion, and maybe a sexy strip tease… M-rated not R!
In the end I saw five shows in six-days – no judgement please! With ticket prices being up to 50% cheaper than New York or London it was money well spent. Here are the five I saw and a few insiders tips I learnt from experiencing the shows or talking with Edward – an amazing concierge at the Vdara, Aria’s boutique hotel, who gave me the low down on all of the shows and his recommendations.
French for “The Dream”, Le Rêve is a stunning show set around pool/stage with fire, ballroom dancing, acrobats and a beautiful love story that will keep you captivated.
The unnamed Dreamer’s story has parallels between her real life where two men – her real life love and dreamer lover – vey for her attention, all while the controller of the dream, Morpheus, puts on a showcase of some of the most fantastical things that can be accomplished in a dream. Sound confusing? It is a little bit. It’s a show that engages your mind and imagination all while leaving you on the edge of your seat.
No seat in the house is a bad one as the show is performed in a theatre-in-the-round style, though the cushy VIP seats at the back of the theatre do come with champagne, snacks and a TV screen to watch the show, including backstage footage.
You can also take photos during the performance (no iPads/tablets or flash allowed) which is a unique thing and I highly encourage you to take advantage of it because the performance is visually stunning.
Location: Wynn Theatre
Michael Jackson ONE
For Michael Jackson fans this is the ONE musical you have to see in Las Vegas (like what I did there?!). Michael Jackson ONE revives the spirt of the King of Pop through his music and Cirque du Soleil’s amazing cast of performers and dancers who come together in a show that has heart and may even leave you in tears.
Based around four misfits finding their way into Jackson’s music world through some of his most iconic costume pieces – the shoes, the glasses, the hat and of course the glove – the show takes your through some of his biggest hits and even a few surprises along the way in only a way that Cirque could do.
The show is suitable for all ages and I recommend that you come early for the pre-show performance as characters roam the theatre. Be sure to stay for the finale, there’s a surprise that I’m sure all M.J. fans will LOVE!
Location: Mandalay Bay
Blue Man Group
If you want some family fun then the Blue Man Group is the show for you! Enter the strange world of the Blue Men where neon paints and marshmallows fly and there’s more plastic tubing than a plumbers van. There’s also more topical skits about smart phones and Twitter, the Internet’s obsession with kittens and emoticons.
Be educated about the human brain as the whole theatre comes alive or watch as the Blue Men host a Twinkie dinner party. The best part is the giant party at the end of show where confetti and streamers fly and everyone wants to have a chance to hit the huge inflated balls around the theatre.
If you sit in the middle of the theatre in the first few rows be warned, this is considered the splash zone and they provide plastic ponchos for you to wear ‘just in case’. These seats sell for a premium so I suggest paying half the price to sit on the edges of the splash zone where you’ll get the same experience for a much cheaper price.
The Blue Man Group also have a parade through the hotel each night so arrive early!
Location: Monte Carlo
Kà (by Cirque du Soleil)
The story about the coming of age of two twins, Kà is a show that I had wanted to see since reading about the plot line online a year ago.
The show begins the moment you walk inside the theatre as every attendant is a character in the story – the intelligent, the love-struck, the muscle – so do ask them “who are you?” because everyones story is different.
The theatre is also designed to replicate the inside of the Archer’s Den which performers utilise to climb, fire arrows from and even stage battle scenes.
I really enjoyed Kà and was left amazed at some of the scenes, particularly when performers are climbing a vertical wall and the pegs fall away leaving the performers to fall – on wires – from astounding heights. Then there was a digitised pixellated scene projected onto the same wall and it just didn’t seem to flow with the otherwise intricate plot and colourful storyline.
It’s a beautiful show and the perfect show to bring your partner to as it combines rich costumery with Wushu-style martial arts, acrobatics, Chinese opera, poi and Brazilian Capoeira.
Location: MGM Grand
Thunder From Down Under
I did say that I wanted to find the “cultured” side to Las Vegas and chatting up six sexy Aussie men has to count for something even if I am an Aussie, right?!
Leave your men in the casino because it’s time for ladies night! The Thunder from Down Under is an internationally acclaimed act featuring six spunky Australian men bringing fantasies to life. It’s a feast of flesh and fantasy as firemen, country boys and lifesavers makes everyone scream, even the Grandma’s!
Yes, it’s a little bit Magic Mike – though touching IS allowed – with plenty of rock hard abs and cheeky butt-cheeks on display but it’s also fun with plenty of laughs, and what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?
The guys will run through the tables in the front of the stage and with their “hands on” policy these are the best seats in the house. If you can’t get a seat down the front you can stay for photos at the end (at a cost) or meet the boys in the bar out front after the show.
Now it’s over to you
Which sea creatures would you like to swim with?
What are your favourite ocean activities?
Planning your own trip to Las Vegas?
I am a huge theatre buff so was very thankful to receive complimentary tickets to
Le Rêve and Michael Jackson ONE thanks to Tourism Las Vegas, Discover America and MGM hotels.
All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.
Please note, I do not own any of these pictures. They are all owned by their respective brands
and I am using them with permission.