Seeing a Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil show while you visit is part of the Las Vegas experience. The tough part is choosing which one. Here’s a description of each and some advice on which one to select.
Absinthe – Roman Plaza at Caesars Palace
Unlike all the other Cirque du Soleil shows, Absinthe is NOT a big production show and you must be at least 18 to attend. It’s in a tent out on Roman Plaza outside of Caesars Palace. The seats are wooden and small. It’s a campy circus venue with lots of low brow humor and a “Circus Master” emcee who throws insults based on race, religion, sexual preference and is about as politically incorrect as you can get. He’s like Don Rickles (hopefully some of you know who that is) on crack. The f-bombs fly and of course there is plenty of inappropriate graphic sex (between puppets) to round out this tasteless yet very funny show. There are acrobats and other circus performers that will truly amaze you when your not getting insulted by Gazillionaire.
This show is a tribute to the music of the Beatles. It’s an interpretation of lyrics into a visual feast that will captivate you with components of artful staging, eclectic costumes, and wonderful dance and acrobatic choreography.
Ka – MGM Grand
Ka is a magnificently grand production in every sense. It tells the story of siblings who become separated during a battle and their journey to reunite. This is true Cirque du Soleil at its finest. The choreography of acrobatics on a colossal stage that pivots, twists, turns and rotates is simply amazing.
Le Reve – Wynn
Technically, this is not a Cirque du Soleil production. Le Reve was created by Franco Dragone, director of Cirque du Soleil’s “O” and Mystere. Le Reve means The Dream in French. The show has all the components of a Cirque production; acrobats, creative costumes and unique staging. Two key elements of Le Reve make it a wonderful and enthralling experience. One, it is a theater in the round and there truly are no bad seats and secondly the stage is an aquatic masterpiece.
Mystere was the first Cirque du Soleil show to hit the Strip in Las Vegas and has been a huge success. Vibrantly colored costumes, music, and incredible feats of acrobatic skill combined with balance and strength make Mystere a classic Cirque du Soleil production.
“O” – Bellagio
“O” is the epitome of creative staging. It’s stage is an engineering marvel. The cost…. $100 million. The stage holds 1.5 million gallons of water, kept at 88 degrees and can go from a depth of only an inch to several feet in mere seconds and amazingly, you won’t be aware it’s happening. “O” is eau in French and means water. There is a very thin story line, but the show is so fascinating that it doesn’t matter if there is a story line or not. Just go with it.
Zarkana – Aria
It’s a story about Zark, a magician who has lost his powers and the love of his life and is on a quest to regain both.
Zumanity – New York New York
Explore the sensual side of Cirque du Soleil at the cabaret style show Zumanity. Acrobats, contortionists, transvestites, and aerial artists combined with an erotic themed show make Zumanity a unique experience. This one is for adults only.
Which one should I see?
First Timers: Definitely choose “O” at the Bellagio.
This is the BEST example of what Cirque du Soleil is all about. Worth every penny of the ticket price. It’s the standard that you’ll compare all other Cirque du Soleil shows to.
Been There Done That: We recommend Ka.
If you’ve already seen “O” and want to experience another Cirque du Soleil production Ka at the MGM Grand is a great choice. It will amaze and captivate you. Most importantly it is completely different than “O”.
One the Husband Will Like: Ka is your best bet.
Ka will be the most appealing Cirque du Soleil show for the average guy. It’s got battles and lots of macho warriors and a straight forward plot. For more shows to enjoy with the hubbie read The Best Shows in Las Vegas that Won’t put Your Husband to Sleep.
Read Locals Deal For Cirque du Soleil for great prices on either Mystere or The Beatles Love. If you haven’t been to any Le Cirque shows I recommend Mystere. If you’re a Beatles fan (who isn’t?) and can’t get enough of their music go ahead and see Love. It’s more focused on the music and lyrics of the Beatles than a classic Cirque du Soleil production, but the prices are so good maybe you’ll see both.
On a Budget: For Visitors
Read Save Money on Las Vegas Shows & Restaurants for the best places to search for discounts on shows. You’re most likely to see Elvis, Absinthe, or Zumanity offering discounted tickets. If you see Ka, Mystere or Le Reve grab them quickly. It’s very rare to see those at a discount. As for “O”, I’ve lived here for 16 years and have NEVER seen the tickets offered at a discount.
What Not to See:
If you don’t care for low brow humor and insults skip Absinthe. I’ve seen people walk out in the first 10 minutes. If you’re conservative, Mormon or a redneck, Zumanity is NOT the show for you. There is a sensual scene between men where I’ve heard audible “Oh, hell no!” from homophobes in the audience. You need to have a little “freaky” in you to enjoy Zumanity.