A long-time staple of the Las Vegas performance scene, Cirque du Soleil operates a number of resident shows along The Strip – bringing to life the true artistry and flash that defines Sin City. The permanent Vegas shows each play to more than 9,000 spectators a night, but not all Cirque shows are created equal.
In order to maximize your time under the Strip’s bright lights, check out this list of the top-five current Cirque shows in Vegas.
Music from arguably the most iconic band of all time, The Beatles, sets the tone for the “Love” show that has held residency in Las Vegas for almost a decade. While Cirque du Soleil shows are most commonly a visual experience, there is not a moment in “Love” where the music is not the centerpiece of the show – every movement, trick, and performance element is done in tribute to The Beatles. While staying true to the classic rock ‘n’ roll band, the remakes of “All You Need is Love” and “I Am the Walrus” blasting from 6,000 speakers introduce the “Fab Four” to a new generation and a new medium as aerial artists perform the works in a way that has never been done before.
Venue: The Mirage Hotel and Casino; tickets starting at $79.
One of the longest-running Cirque shows in Vegas, “O” is considered a staple of the city and one of the more upscale performance options on The Strip. The aquatic show claims water as its stand-out feature, dunking trapeze artists and tumblers into an on-stage pool filled with skilled synchronized swimmers. Surrealism and theatrics make “O” one of the more romantic Cirque shows; constant movement creates a flow that helps actors seamlessly transition from one set to the next. Divers join the usual cast of characters for this show, which features 85 performers and 150 stagehands and has been on the go in Vegas since 1998.
Venue: Bellagio Hotel and Casino; tickets starting at $98.
3. “Michael Jackson One”
When “Michael Jackson One” first came to the stage in May 2013, it replaced another show dedicated to a single iconic performer: “Viva Elvis.” The tribute to the “King of Pop” did something that sounds cheesy until it comes to life – created a roving machine-man made up of cameras, lights, and projecting tabloid images. A staggering 5,800 speakers create a sonic experience similar to that of “Love,” presenting a show focused as much on sound as on visuals. “One” paints Jackson as an out-of-this-world performer, someone who would have appreciated watching his music come to life with dedicated actors and expertly remixed music.
Venue: Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino; tickets starting at $69.
“Mystere,” presented at Treasure Island Las Vegas since 1993, is the longest-running permanent Cirque du Soleil show. “Mystere” is a collection of unique acts that come together to form a production reminiscent of a high-tech magic show. Soloist Ginger Ana Griep-Ruiz, who performs entwined in long swaths of silk fabric, and the closing trapeze act make are just part of the ever-changing performance style. The only show on The Strip that really involves the audience (via an emcee and light-hearted comedians that perform between acts), “Mystere” has performed for over 13 million people, and it’s easy to see why.
Venue: Treasure Island Hotel & Casino, tickets starting at $69.
A coming-of-age story which tells a classic boy-meets-girl tale, “KA” is one of the more direct stories presented by the often-abstract troupe. One of the most lavish shows ever produced on a Cirque stage, this gravity-defying performance combines pyrotechnics, puppetry, and other media to create the one-of-a-kind experience. “KA” is considered one of the best Cirque shows of all time, but it also boasts a less-desirable feature that makes it stand out above the rest: in June of 2013, Sarah Guyard-Guillot, a French acrobat, became the first person to ever die from an accident onstage in Cirque du Soleil’s 30-year history. The accident happened during a live performance and her injuries later resulted in her death.
Venue: MGM Grand Las Vegas; tickets starting at $69.
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