Las Vegas isn’t just about casinos and nightclubs – it’s also about mind-blowing, larger than life performances. From the Cirque du Soleil to Céline, showgirls to magicians, Las Vegas finds the best of the best and slaps them on a stage with impeccably shaped stages. Every big entertainer finds their way to Las Vegas, and only the truly great survive. With shows in almost every major destination hotel, there’s always a spectacle to see.
Hey, remember all those Blue Man Group commercials for Intel Pentium III (lols) back in 2000? Right, well it’s amazing how much more entertaining the stuff they do is with LED-encrusted light suits and an artistic direction that isn’t informed by having to sell computer parts to the common masses. The Blue Man Group basically has a permanent home in Las Vegas, where they can freely practice their experimental, interactive art and create loud percussive music from PVC plastic. The themes they play with in their live performances deal with the information age and science and technology, the idea of isolation and connection, and despite the fact that the performers have and are uniformly blue neutral personae, they are able to connect with the audience on a visceral level through music and art. Visitors can catch them at The Monte Carlo Resort and Casino.
Céline Dion is, hands down, one of the biggest living legends of our time. And she deserves to be. Yeah, she’s got haters, as all divas do, but at the end of the day, Céline. Is. Untouchable. For one thing, her voice can bring angels to tears, and lift the heart of any and every independent single woman. When she belts out a line like "Don’t wanna be / Alllll byyyyy myseeeelllllf," her rapt audience feels the swelling tidal wave of heartbreak. The texture of her voice, hitting every single nuanced emotion expressed in that song: the longing, the desperation, fear and loneliness. And when she’s up, she brings the house to its feet, reminding people that there is always more to aspire to. Imagine: Céline, glittering on the stage, staring at you in the eye through the jumbotron. The lights, the costumes. Still a hater? Her explosive show in the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace sells out within hours after they go on sale. When she tours, it is all over the world, and it is for 3 million fans. When she returns home to Las Vegas, she dines at the table with Elvis and Frankie, the other two international megastars who owned Vegas, and performs accompanied by a 31-member orchestra in front of 4,500. So yeah, haters are gonna hate, and Céline is just gonna brush it off like the glitter from her shoulders.
Penn, the vocal raconteur, and the usually silent Teller have been performing at the Rio Hotel & Casino for over a decade, and they just signed on for the next five years. They’ve become a Las Vegas classic, entertaining audiences with death-defying acts and dark-witted illusions. There is no prop too dangerous for them – rifles, swords, nail-guns and 18-wheelers all have a place in their repertoire. Visitors who aren’t even magic fans find themselves falling into shock and awe at the stunts the duo do – but then again, those visitors probably wouldn’t appreciate being pulled onstage.
What started as a little Quebec circus troupe has since turned into a massive unparalleled leader in circus performance all over the world. With eight permanent shows in Las Vegas alone, there’s always an opportunity to take home a little bit of magic. Their acrobatic performers tell stories with their bodies on gorgeous stages, backed by a live band. Check out O at the Bellagio, with a pool in the middle of the stage, or their homage to The Beatles, which has been running at the Mirage for five years.
For a truly Las Vegas experience, check out the longest running show on the strip, now at Bally’s Las Vegas. The Jubilee! showgirls have shaken their tail feathers every night since 1981. These girls may be topless, but the show is much more than that as their costumes are brilliantly designed by celebrated costumer Bob Mackie with feathered headdresses weighing up to 35 pounds.