Thursday, December 1, 2022

Las Vegas highlights: Sin City's array of shows welcomes the holidays


"Rouge" is an extraordinary show combining fabulous dance, acrobatics, stories and humor
with a cast of perfectly proportioned men and women in scanty but tasteful costumes. 

Delightful dancing with performers in lights makes
"iLuminate" a hit with audiences looking for a unique show.


Showgirls dazzle and delight in "Extravaganza" which
has an old-fashioned Vegas show vibe with beautiful girls,
spectacular sets and all the feathers and head gear of yore.

LAS VEGAS is always lit up and ready for action -- no more so than during the holidays.
Then the nation's showiest city rolls out more lights. And lights are what the latest shows in Vegas are all about.
Many visitors come to Sin City -- population nearly 3 million -- expressly to see shows. Others come to gamble, drink and misbehave. Many come to view  millions of lights -- three million of them alone at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when its Glittering Lights show showcases 170 lit up trees.
NEW SHOWS kick things up a notch with fantastic lighting and extra  pizzazz for the holidays.
From Caesar's to the Bellagio, Paris to the 
Venetian, Mirage to Rio, look for holiday lights,
blinking trees and dozens of  Vegas style Santas.
A stroll down the famous Strip yields everything from naughtily dressed showgirls in blinking costumes to classic nativity scenes with a Vegas twist, elegant Christmas trees and spectacular lights. More is always more in Las Vegas but during the holidays more is expected and brightly delivered.
THIS TOWN is about performance, so don't miss a show or two. The city's stages offer plenty of "enlightening" reasons to visit, with many shows suitable for families.  New and recently introduced productions sparkle with enticement for a visit. We saw eight top ones in a week's marathon and recommend these: : 
*Wow! This is a "see it to believe it" must, transporting astonished viewers into a world of water, wonder and fantasy. It combines all that Vegas does best -- dazzling dancing, amazing acrobatics, international talent in the form of 30 gifted artists.  Plus 3D multi-media projections, holograms, and a memorable musical score. Terrific for family with its jugglers and humor. At the Rio showroom.
Rouge: beautiful bodies in unusual
positions with extraordinary muscle 
control, grace and flexibility.
*iLuminate. This is a complete Vegas original, designed by a woman whose pair of passions are dance and software design. The show fuses technology and dance when glow-in-the dark costumes light up a darkened stage. The musical mix -- from rap tunes to jazz and Folies Bergère favorites -- produces an engaging, unique show with expert dancers delighting in their flashy and flashing LED suits. At the Strat (formerly Stratosphere.)
*Extravaganza.  This fun, family show has the feel of an old-fashioned Vegas revue. It showcases the dazzling talent of 30 artists including dancers, acrobats, skaters, aerialists and comedians. A world champion crossbow expert shoots an apple off her own head -- just one of the show's startling feats of strength, flexibility and derring-do. We sat next to a completely  mesmerized family. At Bally's Jubilee showroom.
A glowing Las Vegas attraction, the High Roller.

*Rouge.  This was the last of the octet of shows we saw. So glad not to have missed because it's our favorite. Fabulous dancers, aerialists, contortionists and one of the funniest emcees on the Strip present what's billed as "a journey of seduction and adult adventure." A jaw-dropping ensemble of beautiful bodies -- men and women -- perform a captivating series of sketches in settings ranging from the 16th Century French court to the Roman forum. Gorgeous costumes, terrific dancing, laughs, thrills. Adult slant. At the Strat.  

"Immersive Nutcracker" brings the action to the
 audience, with floor to ceiling imagery and lights
*Immersive Nutcracker." This holiday classic gets a contemporary,  kaleidoscopic spin through music and "surround" imagery. The Tchaikovsky holiday favorite is reinvented to jazz up the title character, Sugar Plum Fairy and dancing company. Like all immersive works, it breaks through that "fourth wall" that traditionally separates audience from performers. There's no "stage" in the literal sense, but the imagination of its creators shines through in flash, dazzle, lights and larger than life imagery to tell the tale of the magical toy's awakening. The creators of "Immersive Van Gogh" endow this "Nutcracker" with that same magical feel. At the Shops at Crystals, Lighthouse Art Space.

We also recommend any of the spectacular "Cirque du Soleil" shows. Each has the trademark energy and excellence that mark this Canadian born enterprise. Our favorite remains "The Beatles LOVE" at the Mirage,
An homage to New York is the new Cirque du Soleil show,
with fabulous acrobatics, music, dance and comedy.

which we've seen many times. "Ka," "Michael Jackson,' "Mystere," "O," and the newest Cirque show, "Mad Apple," are all winning choices. The latter showcases Cirque's unique combination of acrobatics, music, dance and comedy with a New York twist at -- where else? -- New York, New York.  
RuPaul's Drag Race is glitzy fun at the Flamingo, and "All Motown" is an excellent production at Alexis Park Resort, with a fine five-woman cast.  If you haven't been to Vegas in a while, now's the time to let its lights shine on you!
Happy holiday viewing!
A Vegas show girl (or
is it a guy?) Fun shows.;;;
Check out this website for discounts, coupons, family fun: 

Actor-director Sean Murray gives Scrooge depth and humanity
in a touching, beautifully directed version of "A Christmas
Carol" on stage at Cygnet Theatre

BEST BET: One of San Diego's most versatile actors, Sean Murray, breathes new life into a classic. Cygnet Theatre's "A Christmas Carol," is a holiday heart warmer. Murray, who also directs the time honored Dickens tale, endows his Scrooge with an engaging stage presence and expressive gestures. Watching Scrooge's transformation from miser to philanthropist is sheer delight. The imaginative production is enhanced by original music with a nod to familiar carols, elegant Victorian costumes, creative stagecraft, charming puppets and beguiling visits from Marley and the trio of ghosts. A crack cast expertly plays multiple roles. Treat yourself or a loved one to a theatrical jewel.;; 619 337-1525

The "attic" at La Pedrera, has more character and charm
than any other room in all of Gaudi's imaginative work.
STORIES ON TAP: With the holidays underway, we're celebrating genius, cathedrals, show biz and houses of "worship." Next up is a trip inside the imagination of famed Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi.  He celebrated life and nature every day, with his eclectic masterpiece, Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona.  He also celebrated nature and man's connection to it, making that his personal artistic crusade.  We take you to southern Spain as we segue from Las Vegas with its glitz and glamour, to a favorite showy city. Then to Portugal, where Clerigos Tower's spectacular "Spiritus" multi-media show celebrates life and the beauty surrounding us. Remember to explore, learn and live.  Catch us weekly, for a fresh spin on the arts, nature, travel, family and more:



  1. Very fun piece. Enjoyed the show recommendations.

  2. We go to Vegas at least twice a year. Now it's time for a third trip. Great enticement.

  3. We were just there, saw two "Cirque" shows. Your piece makes us want to go back soon!

  4. Love holiday shows. Will take note of your fine recommendations.