Thursday, August 24, 2006

Why Las Vegas is (Not) the Town for Me

(Last of the LV vacation posts.)

1) Not into hiring hookers (no explanation needed)

2) Not into drinking (although I have a fondness for certain champagnes that are apparently unpurchasable in the United States, making it a fairly useless inclination. On Friday night, I was persuaded to taste SwingDaddy's trendy pomegranate martini, but the beautiful color didn't make up for the cough syrup taste. When a martini serves primarily as a segue into discussing the fascinating development of the "pom" market, my guess is that you've already missed the mark. But I digress.)

3) Not into gambling (I don't have the skillz to win at poker and took too many statistics classes to be willing to play other games.)

4) Hate cigarette smoke (but have discovered that it's not as bad when you stay at a nice hotel with high ceilings in the casino walkways. Sadly, Saturday night is a stinkfest that overwhelms even the Bellagio ventilation system.)

So Las Vegas is not an obvious vacation town for me. Why did we go?

I'm a maniacal Cirque du Soleil fan.

SwingDaddy and I both love dance/musical theater/spectacle, and New York is just too far to travel for a three day visit. We saw some great stuff this weekend, including Ka, Zumanity, and Le Reve. Thanks to some lucky internet discount deals for the hotel and days eating ramen to make up for expenses, we managed to see almost everything we wanted. Mini reviews:

Ka – The most accessible (read: least weird and most coherently storied) Cirque show that we've seen. Good martial arts, a phenomenal rotating stage set. The acrobatics were not as jaw-dropping as we usually expect, but still a great show. Plus they had a friendly crab and starfish in the cast! (photo above from the Ka gift shop)

Zumanity – An 18-and-older show, so don't sit in the front row if you're shy. Gorgeous design with amazing acrobatics. I generally hate clowns, but they had the funniest clowns ever.

Le Reve – Not technically a Cirque show, but directed by a former Cirque director, composed by a former Cirque composer, etc. It's like a mini-"O" – water based, but more intimate in a smaller theater. Beautiful combinations of artistry and imagery, full of those classic WTF Cirque moments where you have no idea what an image is supposed to mean, but it sure looks good.

We saw Le Reve on our "bonus" night, after our plane got cancelled and we were stuck in Vegas. We weren't in a great mood, and believe it or not, even I was a little overdosed on theater by this point. After seeing and critiquing some of the best, we've admittedly gotten a little jaded about productions.

To save us from grumpitude that night, we were visited by an angel in disguise. There was an Indian family sitting directly behind us, and the college-age son couldn't keep his mouth shut. Every time anyone would do anything, he would gasp, "Whoa!" It was like being with the Indian Keanu Reeves.

Water fell from the ceiling. Whoa! Divers leapt from their perches. Whoa! A dancer did a backflip. Whoa! It was really refreshing to be reminded of the purity of enjoyment, unsullied by measurement, comparison, and judgment. Thanks, dude. We had a great time too.


Mamacita Tina said...

What usually made Vegas a fun place for me, was having friends there to laugh with.

Kristen said...

I can't gamble either, and Vegas just confirmed that for me. But the shows were great..we saw Blue Man Group while we stayed at the Luxor - awesome.

lara said...

being that my mom's lived in vegas for nigh on a decade now, the city has never really been the same place for me that it is for most people. i'd guess 90% of my visits never include a visit to the strip at all, and when it does, i'm usually mildly uncomfortable the whole time.

i'm glad the shows were good, though! :)

Lady M said...

SwingDaddy has seen BlueMan, but I haven't done that yet.

Tourist places - I suppose most guests to the Bay Area visit the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf - which we haven't seen in ages, so a real Vegas-dweller would indeed have a different view of the city!

hotels in las vegas said...

Look for other shows that you may be interested to watch. Las Vegas always has a variety of performances.