Category Archives: Las Vegas Shows

“Le Reve” to Close Permanently at Wynn Las Vegas

The inside word is the popular show at Wynn Las Vegas, “Le Reve,” will close permanently.

“Le Reve” is water-based, Cirque-style show (no association with Cirque du Soleil) and has been closed for several months due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Le Reve Wynn Las Vegas

Performers in “Le Reve” had dozens of holes drilled in their shoes to let the water drain out.

We quite enjoyed “Le Reve,” and the closure of the show is yet another blow to the Las Vegas entertainment community.

“Le Reve” means “The Dream” in French, but the COVID-19 crisis has become a nightmare for Las Vegas theatrical productions, including their casts and crews.

The show employed about 90 performers (all SCUBA-qualified) prior to the shutdown, as well as 140 technical staff members, including a team of about 16 divers (who spent the entire show submerged).

The “Le Reve” theater features a 1.1 million gallon water tank.

Le Reve closed

Up to 1,000 towels were used each day at “Le Reve.”

“Le Reve” opened at Wynn Las Vegas in May 2005, but it’s been “re-imagined” a time or two since then.

Le Reve Wynn Las Vegas

Sorry, no snark this time. Even our photo captions are bummed about this.

The future of the $75 million “Le Reve” theater space is, well, fluid.

Here’s a look at “Le Reve” in 2015.

We received this statement from Wynn Las Vegas: “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent physical distancing requirements for which an end-date cannot be predicted, but are necessary to keep our guests safe, we have been forced to close the award-winning show ‘Le Reve — The Dream’ at Wynn Las Vegas. ‘Le Reve’ has performed more than 6,000 shows since it was launched in 2005 and has been voted ‘Best Production Show’ in Las Vegas for nine consecutive years, a record number, by the Southern Nevada Concierge Association.”

Big Cat Magic Show in a Tent Approved for Las Vegas Strip

A magic show featuring big cats has been approved for the Las Vegas Strip. The show will take place in a tent near McCarran International Airport.

What could possibly go wrong?

Magician Jay Owenhouse’s show was approved by the Clark Co. Zoning Commission over the objections of both animal rights activists and, initially, Clark County staff.

Jay Owenhouse magician

As far as we can tell, everyone in the Owenhouse family is super likable. So, there’s that.

Jay Owenhouse, who bills himself as the “Authentic Magician,” isn’t really a well-known quantity in Las Vegas.

Owenhouse has said his animals participate in the show “because they want to.” We’re thinking he might want to start billing himself as an “Animal Psychic Comedy-Magician.”

To his credit, Owenhouse has a pretty much spotless record of animal treatment over the last 25 years.

As is required of all performers using big cats in their shows, Owenhouse says he’s an advocate of conservation and believes exotic animals raise awareness of the plight of the creatures in the wild.

Owenhouse says he’ll spend $150,000 for a “sanctuary” at the site, just across from Mandalay Bay.

Owenhouse Vegas

Seems legit.

The 51-foot-tall show tent will accommodate 312 people. We trust that’s the number without social distancing.

Owenhouse magic show tent

This whole situation is a little tense.

Owenhouse’s show is a family affair, with his camera-friendly kids both taking part in the show and assisting with promoting it.

PETA jumped in with their take about the show. Hint: They’re against it.

Concerns about animal exploitation aside (some would say constant aircraft noise is inherently abusive, or at least stress-inducing), this is just a weird situation overall.

Clark County approved waivers of Animal Control permit requirements and development standards, including a rule that limits the length of time such an operation can take place (20 days is the usual maximum).

Owenhouse claims his show opens mid-September and will run six months. Good luck with that. Few, if any, shows in Las Vegas at the moment due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Here’s the site in question.

Owenhouse tent site

What will it take to turn this into an entertainment venue? A lot.

KTNV Channel 13 here in Las Vegas did a pretty good overview of the situation.

While we lean heavily toward animal advocacy, we’re on the fence about this show.

We like kitties, but shows using big cats and other exotic animals have fallen out of fashion due to concerns about animal welfare. (Not to mention the whole Roy Horn thing, indelibly etched in the minds of many Vegas watchers.)

Big companies like Sea World and Ringling Bros. have overhauled their practices or eliminated the use of exotic and wild animals altogether. (It’s worth noting Ringling Bros. closed for good in 2017.)

It’s possible the COVID-19 crisis will make the debate about this production moot. It’s unknown when Las Vegas shows will be able to open.

Rest assured, animal rights activists are gearing up for a fight if plans for the big cat show in a tent moves forward.

This saga will be one to watch! Even in the middle of a pandemic, there’s still plenty of appetite for a rip-roaring drama on the Las Vegas Strip. Emphasis on “roaring.”

Cirque du Soleil Files for Bankruptcy Protection

We first broached the possibility of a bankruptcy for Cirque du Soleil back in April 2020, and we’re sad to report the company has done just that. Sometimes, we hate being right.

While news coverage of Cirque’s bankruptcy has focused on “immense disruption” caused by the COVID-19 crisis, Cirque du Soleil was in deep financial trouble prior to the closure of its shows, 44 in all, including six Las Vegas productions.

What kind of trouble? Roughly $1 billion in debt, largely due to leveraged loans.

Cirque du Soleil

Let’s hope the sun isn’t setting for Cirque.

Read our story to learn more about some of the WTF moves leading to Cirque du Soleil’s staggering debt.

Cirque furloughed about 3,500 employees in March 2020. Now, those employees are terminated.

The company has signed an agreement with its existing investors to take over Cirque’s liabilities and invest $300 million to keep the company afloat. A Canadian government body called Investissement Quebec will contribute $200 million in debt financing.

Yeah, it’s confusing. We just want our bendy people and creepy clowns back!

It’s expected that once Cirque’s capital is restructured, most of its Las Vegas shows will return: “O,” “Zumanity,” “Love,” “Ka,” “Mystere,” and “One.”

Insiders believe one or more Las Vegas shows won’t be back. Likely candidates are “Zumanity,” “Love” and “Ka.”

Among Cirque’s challenges, there’s no clear timeline for reopening their shows.

Here’s hoping Cirque du Soleil can get its act together. Cirque shows are as much a part of Las Vegas as roulette wheels, strip clubs and people mistakenly using an apostrophe in “Caesar’s Palace.”

MSG Sphere Resumes Construction in Las Vegas

Officials have been reluctant to confirm the news, so we will: Construction has resumed at MSG Sphere following a halt activity due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The site was shut down in late March 2020 due to concerns around the pandemic, but when we hit the site, it was bustling with activity.

MSG Sphere

MSG Sphere is back in action!

The $1.66 billion entertainment venue is a partnership between Madison Square Garden Co. and Las Vegas Sands, owners of Venetian and Palazzo.

The previous plan was to open the Sphere in 2021, but officials say those plans have been dashed by the pandemic.

While other Las Vegas construction projects continued through the shutdown—including Resorts World, Allegiant Stadium and Circa Las Vegas—Sphere was down for the count until recently.

Construction projects across Las Vegas have been impacted by disruptions in the supply chain, the Sphere included.

MSG Sphere Las Vegas

If our supply chain could stop being interrupted, that’d be great. It’s affecting our orbs.

In recent news reports, company reps have been cagey about publicly announcing construction has resumed at the MSG Sphere. A spokesperson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “there is no update on the resumption of construction.”

The hell there isn’t! You just got one!

It’s likely the project would prefer as little attention as possible given the metric ass-ton of drama behind the scenes at Allegiant Stadium and other Vegas construction sites.

MSG Sphere Vegas

The Sphere is currently topless. It is Vegas, you know.

It’s great to see MSG Sphere springing back to life!

The massive budget has been a source of some concern about whether the project would be completed, especially given the uncertain future of live entertainment. The question of demand versus supply in Las Vegas was a hot topic even before the pandemic. It was mainly us questioning that, but ignore our crystal ball at your peril.

At this point, it appears MSG Sphere is full steam ahead, and the company announced Ted King, the longtime veteran behind “Caesars Magical Empire” at Caesars Palace and “Star Trek: The Experience” at what’s now Westgate, will oversee content creation for the Sphere’s massive screens.

Logistics and cost aside, MSG Sphere has the potential to rock the world of Las Vegas entertainment.

MSG Sphere Arena Las Vegas

Las Vegas is about to get an injection of OMFG.

MSG Sphere will accommodate about 17,500 people and will stand 366 feet tall.

The venue will feature inner and outer high-definition screens covering about 160,000 square feet.

Sound quality is expected to be off-the-chart, mainly because the Sphere will use an infrasound haptic system. We’d tell you what that is, but that would involved “effort,” and we are very busy
drinking for further field research involving a Top Dollar slot machine, so lower your expectations.

MSG Sphere is one of the shiny new toys Las Vegas desperately needs to help jump start Sin City again.

Keep those cranes craning, MSG Sphere.

Update (7/22/20): Construction has been halted again at MSG Sphere. Our sources say the reasons are financial. Many trade folks haven’t been paid in months. Big red flag this project is stalled indefinitely.

Update (8/14/20): Construction has resumed at MSG Sphere. Starting to see a pattern here.

Big Elvis Returns to Harrah’s Las Vegas

Our buddy Pete “Big Elvis” Vallee returns to Harrah’s on June 12, 2020, and it’s about damned time.

Las Vegas wouldn’t be quite as Vegas without Big Elvis.

Pete Vallee Big Elvis

Big guy, bigger voice, biggest heart.

Big Elvis performs in the Harrah’s Piano Bar on Friday, June 12 and Saturday, June 13 at 2:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Weekend shows will continue for the foreseeable future.

As always, the show is free, but there’s usually a two-drink minimum.

We trust Pete also takes tip, so tip generously.

Guests: Please do not touch or breathe on Big Elvis. He is a Vegas institution. He’s also a heavier guy, and that “underlying condition” means you need to keep your distance, and if possible, wear a mask.

This talented, big-hearted icon will be back to hugs and handshakes soon enough.

Roy Horn, of Iconic Magic Duo Siegfried & Roy, Dies at 75

Magician Roy Horn, of the famed Siegfried & Roy, died May 8, 2020 in Las Vegas.

The performer recently contracted COVID-19 and was reportedly recovering.

On April 28, 2020, Horn’s publicist told ABC News he was “responding well to treatment” and “on the road to recovery.”

Roy Horn’s representatives have attributed his death to “complications of COVID-19.” Roy Horn was 75.

Here’s the official statement about the passing of Roy Horn.

The official sadness.

German performers Siegfried & Roy performed for 13 years at the Mirage, until Roy Horn was attacked by a 400-pound white tiger named Montecore on October 3, 2003, Horn’s 59th birthday. Read more.

The attack resulted in near-fatal injuries for Roy Horn, and even after his recovery, he had difficulty walking and talking.

Siegfried & Roy

Siegfried & Roy were in their element during Oktoberfest at Hofbrauhaus.

Siegfried & Roy also performed at MGM Grand, Stardust and Frontier.

Siegfried & Roy hold a place in Las Vegas history for being among the highest-paid entertainers in their day. Their contract at Mirage was reportedly worth $57.5 million-a-year.

Siegfried & Roy also hold a place in the hearts of those who love Las Vegas and its colorful history.

Roy Horn dies

It really doesn’t get more Vegas than Roy Horn.

The rumor of the death of Roy Horn was first shared by @LasVegasLocally on Twitter.

Despite his career-ending injuries, Roy Horn continued to make public appearances and he’ll be missed by legions of magic fans. The legacy of Siegfried & Roy, of course, will live on.