Elvis, Elton, Sinatra, Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion…the list goes on when it comes to famous Las Vegas shows. The entertainment capital of the world has done more than enough to earn its moniker; regardless of what’s going on in the outside world, the show must go on, and on it does. Some shows have been running for years, providing entertainment to generations, whereas others have sprung up in recent times to great fanfare and even better reviews, but the main thing that matters is that the people keep coming, and that they do, for good reason. There are enough Las Vegas shows to fill a lifetime, so we’ve compiled the best so you don’t have to sit through a dud when you could be enjoying the experience of a lifetime.
This much-loved variety show has its home in the iconic Caesars Palace. It’s been voted as the number one greatest show in Las Vegas history, and it’s not hard to see why. A fantastical spectacle, Absinthe is sure to bring back childlike wonder to even the most hardened cynic, as outlandish acts shock and amaze you, all whilst giving you the giggles. The show has a classic vaudeville feel but a modern set of acts, and a raunchy undercurrent that makes it very unsuitable for younger audiences. To top it all off, no seat is more than eleven rows back, so you’re in the heart of the action regardless of where you’re placed.
Murder, mystery, and delicious food: this Las Vegas show at Hennessey’s Tavern comes with a tasty three course meal and a slice of intrigue. Despite the macabre nature of the story, it’s full of laughs throughout and avoids the kitschy nature of similar shows by being a genuinely interesting mystery. The venue is fairly large, but not so big that you ever feel like you’re taken out of it, and the cast and staff do a stellar job of keeping everyone engaged and on their toes; it’s also suitable for teens and tweens, although there are some adult references. You can upgrade to the “RIP” package for extra drinks and the chance to go up on stage (and have a shot). Food orders are taken before the performance, and there are vegetarian and gluten free options.
Another wildly successful and well-loved show on the Caesars roster (but taking place at the Rio), the world-famous Penn & Teller will amaze you with their combination of sleight of hand, massive illusions, and brazen comedy. They even break the magicians code and show you how it’s done, although even with the explanations this is possibly the most perplexing magic show in Las Vegas. The theatre is a huge one, seating 1,475 show goers, and the fun doesn’t end when the curtain falls: the pair are famously happy to meet and greet fans afterwards.
Mind blowing acrobatics and epic storytelling are married in this unforgettable masterpiece. Cirque du Soleil are world famous for their death defying yet hauntingly graceful performances that will leave you stunned, and this Las Vegas show is their most ambitious yet. Held at the MGM Grand, you’ll see acts that you’d have once thought impossible for a human being to do. There’s no way to see this show and not come out amazed; and it’s not just the performers who are excellent, either. The production is top notch, with smoke and bangs in all the right places, and the show is mostly family friendly (although children under five aren’t permitted into the auditorium)
A classic, well-loved show on the strip, Tournament of Kings has such a wide cultural legacy it’s even been parodied on The Simpsons. Taking place in a 900-seat theatre with a surrounded stage in the aptly named Excalibur Hotel, the audience is treated to a fable of gallantry and betrayal. A three-course meal can be included in this family friendly show, consisting of soup, Cornish hen and a choice of baked goods for dessert. Despite the Medieval theme, the special effects and stunt work are anything but stale: indoor fireworks, live horses, and incredible feats of physicality make this one of the great Las Vegas shows, all the more amazing when you realise the entire production is run by only 36 people.
Homed in Harrah’s, this family friendly event is probably the most underrated magic show in Las Vegas. Laughs, mystery, and excitement all combine wonderfully to create an offbeat yet highly impressive show. The show runs twice a day, so there should be plenty of opportunity to catch Mac at his sparkling best during your Las Vegas stay.
The jewel in the crown of this famous hotel is The Big Apple Coaster. Iconic as it is thrilling, a ride costs GBP 17 but you can get an all-day ride pass for only GBP 27. Feel your heart jump into your mouth as you spin around with the dazzling background of the Las Vegas strip, in what’s undoubtedly the rollercoaster with the best view in the world. After you’ve had a spin, you can head to the arcade for some more fun.
You won’t need any Help to enjoy this wonderfully put together show which combines acrobatics and absurdly intricate choreography, all inspired by the music of the most famous band of all time. The highly celebrated show takes place at The Mirage, has 360º seating (so no bad views) and the soundtrack has won three Grammys; what more could you want from a Las Vegas show?
Stumble into The Back Room at Bally’s any time after 8 between Wednesday and Sunday, and you’ll feel like you’ve gone through the sassiest looking glass of all time. This game show style Las Vegas show stars Miss Behave, a Vegas veteran who’s performed at previously mentioned “Absinthe” and infamously spanked Simon Cowell on BGT. The joy of an excellent drag show is buoyed by the slight competitiveness that forms naturally when the audience is split into two, and there are prizes galore on offer for the winters. A proper laugh, this is the most interactive and unique drag show in Las Vegas.
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Looking for something a little more weird and wonderful? This post should do the trick.