Everyone travelling to Las Vegas knows they’re going to eat well, gamble, stay up late, and enjoy some favorite cocktails on their trip. But not everyone makes time to take in the city’s live shows. No one will mistake Sin City’s offerings for the high-brow of Broadway, but – as with all things – Vegas knows how to max out the entertainment value. Below are five of my favorite shows currently running on the Strip.
Absinthe (at Ceasars Palace)
This is classic Vegas entertainment. There is sex, variety, comedy, and acrobatics. Not for the faint of heart (nor children), members of the audience, who sit inside a modern circus tent, are often transported onto the stage during performances. Located at Caesars, the show revolves around a classic late-night emcee, a salesman and showman who enjoys a dirty joke and never exited the 1970s. The sometimes raunchy, other times dizzying performance, will have you smiling throughout.
Lipshtick (at the Venetian)
An ode to the greatest female comedians of all time, this is appropriately performed at the Sands Showroom at the Venetian. If you like to laugh, this is the best show currently running. Loni Love, Roseanne Barr, and countless other classic funny women are lauded and sometimes roasted during this amusing retrospective.
Le Reve (at the Wynn)
After more than a decade on stage at the Wynn, Le Reve – The Dream has come into its own. There is no real storyline, but if you like special effects, pyrotechnics, and extreme engineering, this high-budget attraction is for you. Wynn put in an extra $3 million in updates to the show last year, and in a word, it is mesmerizing. An aquatic stage performance, with loud music, and high octane movement, this is as close as you get to the Olympic opening ceremonies on a stage.
O (at the Bellagio)
What Wynn tried to do with Le Reve is what Cirque du Soleil has been doing for years. O, really a Cirque tradition in Las Vegas these days, has been around for nearly 20 years. The story is abstract but understandable, and the huge water stage keeps eyes of all ages engaged. Cirque’s standard high-wire excitement is rampant, but there are also laughs to be had. The Bellagio feels right for the opulent and tradition-rich extravaganza.
Blue Man Group (at the Monte Carlo)
A show for all ages, three blue men acting out the day-to-day concerns of all humans doesn’t seem like a premise for success. However, since the late 90s, the Smurfish trio has put on a rousing show for audiences at the Monte Carlo. It is funny in a creative, thoughtful, and up-to-date way. The music is unique, bold, and memorable. On the whole, the show is well conceived and well worth your time.
(Photo credit: Marc Flores (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode].)
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