The 11 Best Shows to
See in Vegas
by Daniel | Last Updated January 5th, 2020
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Known as the most fabulous playground on earth, there are many reasons to visit the city of Las Vegas. Also called "Sin City," it's a colorful and vibrant place to visit and a dream destination for many travelers. People go there to enjoy the excesses of gambling, nightlife, dining and entertainment on a grand scale.
While it's known primarily for its gambling casinos and resorts, Las Vegas also hosts some of the most breathtaking shows you will ever experience. If you are looking for some of the best comedy, circus, theatre and musical acts to grace the stage, Las Vegas has you covered.
Here are eleven of the best shows to see when next you visit Las Vegas.
1) Le Rêve: The Dream
Voted the "Best Production Show" in 2018 for the eighth consecutive year, Le Rêve is the only aquatic stage show in Las Vegas. It is set around the heroine of the show who alternates between her desires for mind or body, and love or passion. She is then thrust into the dream world to help her decide what path to follow.
The Wynn casino resort can lay claim to being the only stage in Las Vegas with an aquatic arena stage. And each member of the cast must be SCUBA-certified before they can perform. If you decide to attend this enthralling aquatic fantasy, expect to be blown away by the synchronized swimmers and the electrifying special effects. Also, look out for its famous 80-foot dive.
Franco Dragone premiered the show at the Wynn Las Vegas on May 6, 2005. It has since gone from strength to strength, with numerous revisions to the flow and stunt performances.
Absinthe is that show that delivers on all we have come to know Las Vegas for - provocative, seductive, hilarious, and outlandish. It was recently named the greatest show in the history of Las Vegas by the Las Vegas Weekly. It is held nightly at Caesars Palace in a circus tent with a faux rag-tag interior.
It is an unbelievable blend of stand-up adult comedy, daring acrobatics, and some of the wildest performances you can experience. It is perfect for someone who isn't sure of what to see while in Las Vegas, and you'll get a taste of everything with Absinthe. However, bear in mind that you can't take your little ones to this show - it is downright racy. So keep the kids occupied with something else, or plan to go when you visit Vegas alone or with adults only.
3) Penn & Teller
Billed as the longest-running act in Las Vegas, Penn and Teller are American magicians who perform a mix of comedy and magic. Penn acts as the show's raconteur, while Teller is mute and communicates through his non-verbal performance. Even though their show has gone on for a long time, they constantly produce fresh material. You won't get bored if you go for a second time.
The duo performs a magic show with a variety of illusionist stunts, but their main stock in trade is letting the audience in on some of the tricks that other illusionists and magicians use. Penn also tackles political and religious issues using satire and off-beat humor. Penn and Teller have won various awards for their work, and it doesn't look like they will stop anytime soon.
4) The Blue Man Group
The Blue Man Group - currently owned by Cirque du Soleil - is a comical but imaginative stage act. It combines music and eye-catching stage effects to create a visual pageant that will keep you at the edge of your seat all through. The show usually lasts for two hours and you are sure to be held spellbound for all of those 120 minutes.
The show is set across various themes, ranging from societal or cultural issues to science and technology topics. The three masked "Blue Men" who are a fixture of the show perform according to these themes, accompanied by music and a non-stop festival of colors. If you decide to go for a Blue Man show, leave your biases and assumptions at the door and let the three "Blue Men" take you on a beautiful journey of surprises and music.
5) Mystere by Cirque du Soleil
Mystere is Cirque du Soleil's longest-running show - the first show they brought to Las Vegas. Best of all, it is also family-friendly. It's a fusion of gravity-defying acrobatics, theatrical dance and comical performances by clowns. Exclusive to the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, it is a must-see act anytime you are in Las Vegas.
It stars a diverse cast of 67 artists, all playing outlandish and enigmatic characters. The story centers around a giant baby that can't seem to stay out of trouble and ill-fortune. Mystere is one of the classic Cirque du Soleil shows: its mix of reverberating music, breathtaking special effects and imagery are sure to leave you open-eyed in awe.
6) The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil
Another of Cirque du Soleil's impressive shows in Las Vegas, the Beatles Love is the result of a partnership with Beatles Apple Corps Incorporated. It is a blend of unpublished studio cuts of the seminal British rock band the Beatles and refreshed versions of their hits. Both are accompanied by what Cirque du Soleil does best - heart-stopping acrobatics and well-rehearsed choreography.
Directed by the effusive Sir George Martin and his son, Giles Martin, The Beatles Love is a well-blended mix of great music and even better acrobatic performances. The show is held at a specially built stage at the Mirage Hotel and Casino, taking the audience on a journey through the Beatles history. It starts from the founding of the band, through their various hits, and then culminates with their break-up through a spine-tingling final performance.
7) Ka by Cirque du Soleil
Ka is one of those Vegas shows that only Cirque du Soleil can pull off. Set against an Asian background, the show combines succinct storytelling, realistic martial arts fights, and a stage that seems to have a mind of its own. Launched in 2005, Ka is one of those shows in Las Vegas you will never stop talking about once it's over.
Ka is the first Cirque du Soleil stage shows to have a coherent and easy to understand storyline - unlike the abstract productions that made them famous. The story centers around a twin brother and sister who get separated during a battle. It then follows them through their encounters with love, life, danger, and conflict.
8) O by Cirque du Soleil
O, a play on the French word for water "Eau", is another of Cirque du Soleils' acclaimed shows. It is an aquatic-themed production and involves the usual mind-blowing performances that Cirque du Soleil has come to be known to produce day in, day out. The show is exclusive to the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, and you can catch it twice every night.
The specially-designed theatre seats 1800 people per show. So, be sure to expect some loud cheers and screams as the crowd gets immersed into the synchronized swimming and death-defying leaps and acrobatics. It is a truly mesmerizing experience and a perfect show to watch with the family.
9) The Chippendales
Formed in 1979, the Chippendales is the hottest male act in Las Vegas. Featuring a cast of sizzling sexy men, this is one hilarious but racy show. The performers are very involved and will work their butts off (no pun intended) to keep the audience engaged. The viewers are primarily female - which is not surprising.
The group is said to be the ones who legitimized stripping as a popular form of entertainment. Their routine involved distinctive choreographed dance moves. They also perform an exciting and creative striptease act that gets the audience screaming in delight most of the time. Again, this is a show for adults only!
10) David Copperfield
Hailed by some as the greatest illusionist of our time, David Copperfield is a magician extraordinaire. David performs at the MGM Grand, where he reels out one outrageous act after the other, such as making members of the audience float or seeming to pull a car out of thin air.
His shows are known for their seamless blend of visual storytelling and captivating magic. Some of David's most popular acts include making the Statue of Liberty disappear. He has also walked through the Great Wall of China. Enough said - this isn't a show to miss on a trip to Las Vegas.
11) Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil
The Michael Jackson ONE show is Cirque du Soleil's dance-centered show. It is a healthy mix of the usual Cirque du Soleil elements and the high-energy performance you would expect from a Michael Jackson musical. The cast is a very talented group, and bring the show to life in a powerful, never-felt-before way.
The show centers around Michael Jackson's life and what he stood for, evoking memories of his most famous performances using various artistic expressions. Hosted at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, the show is a must-see if you are a die-hard fan of the acclaimed "King of Pop."
The Best Vegas Shows for Tourists
If you are in Las Vegas or planning for your next vacation, you should be clear on what shows to write down on your to-do list. Whether you are with the family or a bunch of your best friends looking for a show that will get your blood pumping, Vegas has the best show to suit your fantasies.
To learn more about what shows are on and which are the best to start with, visit the events section of our website to decide which of the best shows in Vegas you'll see first.
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My name is Daniel and I am a full-time world traveler and constantly on the move.