O Las Vegas
One of the best shows available is certainly O Las Vegas, which is Cirque du Soleil production housed at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. This show centers around the theme of water and the entire performance takes place entirely in the water. The name O was derived from the phonetic spelling of the word eau, which is French for water.
Cirques first performance was Mystère at Steve Wynns Treasure Island. O was Cirques second debut, also at a Steve Wynn property. Both shows have survived the test of time. Developer Steve Wynn is no longer at either casino, but the shows have survived. They are still in their original location.
After great success with Mystère, it was not such a risk to spend $100 million financing the 1,800 seat theater inside the Bellagio. Cirque du Soleil is always pushing boundaries and creating new works of art and O Las Vegas was no different. The show took more than 400,000 of man hours in pre-production and production work and this does not even include the time it took actually building the theater. Why such a difficult task? This show was the first show in the world performed in the water. There is a 1.5 million gallon tank in the center of the stage.
This created a great need for entirely new water-resistant materials to construct the theatre and props. In order to ensure a great performance, cast members have to be able to hear one another and to hear cues. If you’ve ever tried to speak at the bottom of a swimming pool, you know this is rather difficult to do underwater. The O Theatre was constructed with a water pumping system that was made to be as noiseless as possible. There are 12 underwater speakers for the performers to hear the audio cues when they are submerged underwater.
Costumes also need to be durable to support constantly being wet and constantly being submerged in chlorine and other pool chemicals. New make-up had to be created that was beyond waterproof. The performers need to be comfortable in the water, so the water is heated to 84° F. This is in contrast to the needs of the audience who do not need to be heated to 84° F. Therefore, additional air movement systems had to be placed throughout the auditorium ensuring comfort for all.
As you can see, every detail that went into making this show was incredibly intense. O Las Vegas opened in 1998 and has gone through several rewrites and new perfections. The show we know today has a staff of 85 performers and 150 stage hands, which is completely incredible.
The show has a water theme and brilliant acrobatics are performed upside down and right side up, from the beautiful grace of the pool. It’s quite a stage exit, when someone dives into a pool, barely making a splash and then is never seen again. It’s graceful and elegant and quite breath-taking to witness.
O Las Vegas performs at the Bellagio O Showroom at 7:30 and 10:00 p.m. The show is dark Monday and Tuesdays. It is a 105 minute exhilarating performance and O is truly one of the best shows in Las Vegas.