in Sin City includes everything from the awesomely talented to the unbelievably
bizarre. With the intention of appealing to a wide range of people, Las Vegas
shows serve up what is arguably some of the best, and worst, in magic, theatre,
dance, song and comedy.
Dramatic changes have occurred in the last several decades. It used to be that
the hotels offered entertainment as an amenity. Hotel proprietors would produce
these events and present headliners for the purpose of drawing people to the
casinos. Las Vegas shows in these early days were affordable and exceptional
in terms of quality.
As the corporate world began to take over the casinos, entertainment was regarded
as another source of income, and consequently, shows had to make it on their
own merits. Many hotels got out of the producing business altogether in favor
of becoming leasing agents. Outside events and productions would rent the showroom
and give a percentage of the profits back to the hotel. The burden of success
fell upon the shows themselves, and the hotels rid themselves of the financial
burden or risk. The result of this was the implementation of long-running shows
that featured fewer headliners. Finding the shows that can withstand the test
of time has proven to be somewhat of a challenge.
Overall, the new system does seem to be working. Danny Gans, The Scinta's,
and Clint Holmes managed to prove themselves in lesser venues and have made
the move to bigger theatres and better contracts. "Follies Bergere"
has been around for more than forty years reinforcing the need for a quintessential
"Vegas" show. Even productions such as "Crazy Girls" and
"The Tournament of Kings," where the value is not imminently apparent,
seem to somehow fulfill a niche in the tourism and demographic and doesn't seem
to be going anywhere soon.
Home to master illusionists Siegfried and Roy and adopted home of the celebrated
Cirque Du Soleil, Las Vegas still conjures up enough entertainment options to
render even the most hardcore cynic spell-bound. Friday through Tuesday at the
Mirage, the German-born magicians put on a lavish production that pits them
against their signature white lions and tigers. Meanwhile, at the Bellagio,
Cirque du Soleil's astonishingly spectacular "O," showcases a colorful
cast of 74 synchronized swimmers, trapeze artists, contortionists and others
on a wondrous stage that transforms from an Arctic Ocean to an African watering
hole in the blink of an eye.
Music buffs can get their groove on over at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
The venue caters mostly to a younger crowd and while the older set is not unwelcome,
the place may be a bit too hectic and loud for some. Luckily, for those who
think Van Halen is some sort of automobile, there's always, Wayne Newton. Mr.
Las Vegas shows are immensely popular with the multitude of visitors who make
the pilgrimage to listen to the Vegas veteran croon "Danke Schoen."
For the most part, Las Vegas shows are no longer inexpensive. A thirty-five
dollar ticket is considered a bargain and ticket prices continue to soar, even
though the competition is fierce. The good news is that there are plenty of
entertaining shows out there, and while they are all competing for your entertainment
dollars, the majority seem to be getting better.
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