Las Vegas is known as the Entertainment Capital of the World, a nickname that born from the range of resident acts, magic, cabarets, and comedy shows that keep fans returning for more in Las Vegas. Here's a look at the best shows to see in Las Vegas.
"Le Rêve: The Dream"
"Le Rêve: The Dream" wows audiences in-the-round theater with its underwater performances. The aquatic wonder explores the surreal nature of dreams as its overriding theme that’s augmented by 16 fire-shooting devices, 172 high-powered fountains, 120 individual LED lightning fixtures, and sensuous dance sequences. Fire, fog, acrobatics and a water submerging set make this a Las Vegas fan favorite. Highlights include 13 new songs, a new scene called “Paso” with plenty of synchronized swimming, and a showstopper 80-foot dive drop.
This adult carnival of eclectic performers in "Absinthe" takes its queues from burlesque, vaudeville, and the circus with the eccentric and in his words, “filthy rich (and just plain filthy)” Gazillionaire leading the charge. A pair of roller skaters spin on a small platform in the center of the Spiegelworld tent, or a pair of security guards strip down to briefs to perform some awe-inspiring acrobatics and feats of agility. Practically anything can happen in the bawdy show at the front of Caesars Palace.
Penn & Teller
Penn does almost all the talking for this dynamic magic duo who have been performing together since the late 1970s. Teller is the true magician of the duo, stupefying fans with his sleight of hand that may include a shadow flower snipped leaf by leaf or a simple "where’s the ball" three cup Monte trick. Even when Penn & Teller show you how the illusion was done, you still can’t figure it out. The finale may have fans scratching their heads for days to come. Be sure to arrive early for the Mike Jones Duo, a jazz group that performs before the show with a very familiar face on the standup bass.
Michael Jackson ONE at Mandalay Bay
Cirque du Soleil’s take on the King of Pop includes the lean from “Smooth Criminal” and moonwalking from “Billie Jean,” plus the acrobats practically climbing the walls through his parade of hits. "Michael Jackson One" offers a thrilling ride through Jackson's catalog brought to life as only Cirque can at Mandalay Bay.
Blue Man Group
A trio of blue men create this theatrical experience where nary a word is spoken. Performance art and cool music, much created by the Blue Man Group on drums constructed from plumbing equipment, keep the audience excited to see what's next. Everyone gets involved with the finale, while some lucky audience members have a chance to be part of the show.
"Mystere," one of the most family-friendly Cirque du Soleil shows, brings acrobatics, balancing acts and a giant baby who always seems to be about to encounter trouble. This show at Treasure Island is the first Cirque du Soleil show to launch in Las Vegas with its carnival atmosphere, feats of strength, balancing acts, and clowns.
"The Beatles Love"
This stunning show from Cirque du Soleil brings together acrobatics and the music of The Beatles with never-before-seen cuts from the studio and reinterpretations of beloved songs set to choreographed skits. Sit anywhere with 360-degree seating for stellar views from every angle. Cirque asked Beatles producer Sir George Martin and his son Giles Martin to remix well-known tracks from the original masters at Abbey Road for an entirely new soundtrack. Songs were pulled apart and reassembled, sometimes taking a drum beat from one track and adding it to another. Ringo Starr even noted that his original vocals were added to “Octopus Garden,” giving the song a new depth. "The Beatles Love" performs at the Mirage.
Piff the Magic Dragon
An "America's Got Talent" standout brings Piff, an imaginative if not grumpy magician, and Mr. Piffles, the World's Only Magic Performing Chihuahua, to the stage. Piff showcases his own approach to magic that's stumped Penn & Teller and brought more than 12 million views on YouTube. Note, Piff is not related to Puff, but he does perform at the Flamingo. No dogs are harmed in this show.
Consider Jabbawockeez at the MGM Grand a good choice for the kids with its awe-inspiring choreography, pulse-pounding music, and stunning special effects. This Asian-American dance group, which won on the first season of "America's Best Dance Crew" in 2008, dons white masks as they pump and pop to hip-hop music in a show pleasing to youngsters and adults alike.
Cirque du Soleil rules this town with shows ranging from tributes to The Beatles and Michael Jackson to an exploration of a baby’s wanderings and a seductive frolic that mimics a burlesque show. But the 15-year-old "Ká" at the MGM Grand features a narrative that’s easy to follow, the first Cirque show to follow this format, along with a set you’ll never forget. First the storyline, which follows a twin brother and sister separated by a battle and their journey to find their ways back to each other. Along the way, they encounter Wushu martial arts fights, aerials, a wheel of death and Chinese opera as only Cirque can perform. Second, that stage is really two giant moving platforms that almost become another character in the show as they rotate, even to vertical.
Don’t think you know Carrot Top, the comedian who constantly updates his resident show that’s been at the Luxor since 2005. More than 25 years ago, Scott Thompson debuted on “Star Search” and since, he’s gone on to rifle through his trunks of props nightly with his takes on pop culture, headlines of the day and more. The redhead fills his stage with a dozen trunks filled with almost 200 props, pulling out random pieces with a quip for each.
The hunky “Chippendales” at the Rio features the right guy for every girl with each hunky dude decked out in cuffs and collars. Firemen, construction workers, Navy heroes and more feature all body types — incredibly buff — and states of undress represented. Catch your breath afterward in the Flirt Lounge while the sizzling hotties file through to say hello.
Australia’s Human Nature
These four boys from Down Under belt out the Motown hits in a jukebox show. Human Nature's modern quartets range from “Baby I Need Your Lovin’,” “Dancing in the Street,” “Uptight” and “Runaround Sue” backed by a live band at the Venetian. The Australian boy band originally got together in 1989, and went on the tour with Celine Dion in 1995-1997. By May 2009, they landed on the Las Vegas Strip with a residency backed by Smokey Robinson. You can’t help but stand up, dance and sing along with this charming quartet.
Some consider David Copperfield the world’s greatest living magician. His works include making the Statue of Liberty disappear and walking through the Great Wall of China. In person at the MGM Grand, where he has practically a permanent residency, Copperfield makes a car appear out of nowhere and a member of the audience float. Pretty cool.