One of the positive changes in Vegas’ attitude towards shows is a substantial increase in live music and bands, especially rock and indie. Nearly every band and singer on tour in the US will make a stop at Sin City, playing at the Sam Boyd Stadium, the House of Blues or one of the larger resort theatres. While headliners still sign on for two-year engagements, it’s now common to find bands rolling through for a couple of nights.
In fact, many shows in Vegas are overtly sexual and not really suitable for kids. Be sure to check into this before bringing your 10 year old to Treasure Island’s Pirate performance. Sexy shows aren’t limited to male audiences in affirmative action Las Vegas. Adonis-like men and their ripped abs remind us what we’ll never have in shows like Thunder Down Under from Australia.
The Cirque du Soleil shows, although expensive, are worth every penny. The Bellagio’s O and MGM Grand’s KA are both absolutely stunning productions featuring impossible acrobatics and surreal musical themes. There are five other Cirque shows with a focus on music, sexuality and circus acts.
Magicians and comedians are another mainstay of the Las Vegas show circuit and performing here is something of a right of passage for any self-respecting entertainer. Illusionists like David Copperfield are still regular features, though Criss Angel’s Believe at the Luxor is impressive. For a more classic magic show, you can’t beat Lance Burton at the Monte Carlo.
The jokes roll out every night around the Strip, from the intelligent comedy of Penn and Teller at Rio to the magical leanings of Mac King at Harrah’s. You’d almost expect to see superstars like Cher and Bette Midler playing Vegas, and indeed these two divas are in long engagements at Caesar’s Palace.
At the fringe of Vegas showmanship are unique performances like the Blue Man Group, currently at the Venetian, and Broadway-style shows like the Lion King at Mandalay Bay. Jersey Boys and Phantom are two other long-lived popular musicals still running at the Venetian.
There are a handful of afternoon shows, mainly showcasing magic and comedy with a youthful and elderly audience in mind. These early shows are cheaper than evening performances but are just as good. Check out the magic of Dirk Arthur at the Tropicana or the illusions of Nathan Burton at the Flamingo.