When you take a trip to Las Vegas, you probably plan to do some gambling, hit a buffet or two, and take in a show. Sin City probably has more entertainment and shows packed into a few square miles than any other city, and whether you want comedy, music, theater or some combination of everything, one of the hotels in Vegas is bound to have a show for you.
If you can’t decide, here are some of the best shows currently running on the Strip.
Ka, MGM Grand
Cirque du Soleil in its many incarnations has always been a Sin City favorite, and Ka is no different. One of several Cirque shows on the Strip, Ka is the newest, and considered by many to be the most breathtaking. It combines amazing feats with magic and mystery, making full use of the $100 million theater that was specially built for the spectacle. Older kids will be enthralled with this tale of twins separated at birth, but younger kids might not sit through the performance.
Donny and Marie, Flamingo
Visitors of a certain age will be thrilled to see their childhood icons live on stage, doing their “little bit country, little bit rock and roll” act, and will seek tickets just for the nostalgia of it. Younger visitors may visit in a bid to be ironic, but one thing is for certain: everyone will be entertained and leave inspired. Combining music, comedy and a bit of campiness for good measure, this show is a pleaser for all ages.
Jersey Boys, Palazzo
Like Donny and Marie, the Four Seasons appeals to a certain generation, and a certain portion of the audience will head to this show to enjoy the music they grew up with. Even those who didn’t have a crush on Frankie Valle will enjoy this musical, though, and the well-written and acted story that ties the musical numbers together.
The Showgirl Must Go On, Caesars Palace
Is there anyone more “Vegas” than showbiz Legend Bette Midler? The Divine Miss M performs all of her classic hits in this show, which serves as an homage to all things over the top and spectacular.
Disney’s The Lion King, Mandalay Bay
If you brought the kids with you for some fun in the desert, then this show is probably your best bet. Based on the Disney film of the same name, the stage show transports you to the African savannah, where you follow the adventures of the lion cub Simba as he tries to find his place in the world. The sets and costumes are breathtaking, and the music . . . well, if you have kids, you probably already know all the words.
This show is definitely not for the kids, but if you want to see actual showgirls, both topless and clothed, then this is the show for you. Showgirls are perhaps one of the most iconic images of Sin City, and in this spectacle, nearly 100 of them sing, dance and entertain in a series of vignettes. One performance per week is not topless, if that bothers you, but otherwise the show is 18 and over.
The Beatles LOVE, Mirage
Considered by many to be the best show on The Strip, this one is guaranteed to please all ages. LOVE is a Cirque du Soleil show, combining the aerial and acrobatic feats of the Cirque performers with the music of the Fab Four. It’s stunning visually, and the music . . . well, it’s the Beatles.
Mac King Comedy Magic Show
No trip to Vegas is complete without a magic show, and King’s show is both affordable (no $100 + tickets here) and entertaining. Combining awe-inspiring magic with humor, this show will let you get your “watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat” fix.
Phantom of the Opera, Venetian
Another Broadway show that’s migrated west, this is the Phantom you know and love. If you haven’t seen the show before, this is a good one to try. If you have seen the show, this performance is still worth checking out, even if it’s just for the intricate set design.
Penn and Teller, Rio
Chances are you’ve seen Penn and Teller’s act on television at some point in the last 20 or so years. However, nothing compares to seeing the magic/comedy act live. This long-running show is a crowd-pleaser, and most audiences leave happy.
If there is one thing that’s constant in Vegas, it’s that things are always changing. These are some of the best shows today, but new shows are hitting town all the time—meaning there’s always something bigger and better to see in the desert of Nevada.
Sandra Dawson is a Las Vegas native and blogger who has been writing about her hometown for more than a decade. She has seen every Cirque du Soleil show on the Strip more than once, but her all-time favorite is LOVE.
Photo courtesy of zdenkam from 123rf.com