Friday, February 03, 2006


*******SHOWS AND MORE SHOWS*********
(note: last updated 10-24-2006)


Most of the time I think that the best bet is to buy tickets at the Box Office on the phone. You don't pay a service fee and often you have the right to cancel without penalty. Always ask about that. But other times the discounts are just too good to pass up. Here are some sources to skim:

My vegas show information, especially for the higher priced shows, is not based much on personal experience. I have seen very few of the best shows because tickets sell for over $100. When I go solo, I don’t really enjoy paying for a show. For the little entertainment I crave between poker games I like the free lounges where I can listen for a while and then move on, usually to bed.

However, I can offer a way to consider and decide what you might like to see and some resources for evaluating the choices. And I have seen some fine groups in the lounges.

Here are sites that lists many of the shows currently offered in Vegas. It will be more helpful as December approaches; however it is a good place to skim to get an idea of the choices:

I think that it is best to divide up the show choices in terms of price.

HIGHEST PRICED, MEDIUM PRICED, LOW PRICED (including those that offer a FREE TICKET as long as you buy an $8 drink), FREE LOUNGE ACTS (Some require a drink but most do not.)

As you have seen in monitoring hotel prices, nothing in Vegas has a firm price. All rack prices are inflated so that gamblers and package customers appear to be getting a free ticket worth a bundle. Of course, if you decide last minute to get tickets for a show, you will sometimes have to pay that rate. That is why good planning is essential. You can also decide to gamble on shows and take whatever is at the half priced ticket outlets that day. Even the good shows will be there on occasion. We saw tickets to “O” last time which were very good seats being sold at the last minute. Generally, however, tickets to the Cirque Du Soleil Productions must be reserved about three months in advance. And if you know you want to see one of these shows, reserving directly with the casino offering the show will give you very generous cancellation opportunities, often right up until 24 hours before the show happens.


( click above for main site)
(Click here for overview)

These shows are by far the must see presentations in Vegas. They are extravagant, usually include dance and acrobatics and wild special effects, and are interesting because they communicate using music, song, dance, color, rather than any particular language. If you spend some time surfing reviews and bulletin boards, you can get a sense of each show.

Here is a site with an overview of each of the five shows now playing:

Here is a site with lots of positive information and more link:

In December some of these, including will be “dark” so that will limit your choice.

"O" is dark Dec 5-17
ka is dark Dec 14
Zumanity is dark Dec 8-19

Love is dark LOVE will not be presented on the following dates in 2006:
October 19
November 28 to December 13Dec 27

Mystere is not dark in December and probably your best pick

Here is some good advice on thinking about these shows:

"Many top tier Shows go on sale 120 days in advance now...
60 and 90 days used to be the 'norm', but some are earlier.
When you know your dates, pick your Shows, and call the
Boxoffice direct.

Look at the seating charts for the Shows you're interested in...know
where you want to sit and price range...

If you need suggestions or have questions...the trick is to ask early.
Allow as much time in advance as you can to get all your options on
the table before you call the Boxoffice.
I have Boxoffice 1-800 numbers, DARK DAYS, seating ideas, as do many
others folks here........just ask and try and have your Show possiblities
narrowed down.

These darn Shows are so expensive now, getting your tickets in advance
allows you (many of the times) to at least have your Show tickets all paid
for by the time you leave home...this gives you more money to loose once
you get there!, Planning ahead really helps and allows you all the more time(and money)
for fun once you get to Las Vegas."
MYSTERE was going to be my suggestion also, it'll work
for the whole family just GREAT!

But if you want to take a last minute chance TIX4TONIGHT should have tickets for MYSTERE now...they should be 20%off rather
than 2for1. I'm not sure what choices you have using their system, but I think the
best seats in the house are found in SECTION 203, Row AA thru HH at $95.00
Their new hours are 11am to 8pm and they've added
a 'sneak preview' to their website
which should help a lot!"

I'd be happy to find out anything you want to know, but you might like posting your questions directly on this board:

in the entertainment section.

I think that “O” and “Mystere” are by far the highest rated. I also hear good comments about “Ka” Of course, , there are some who don’t like one or another. I think if Elizabeth is willing, I will try to go with her to see Ka in late December.
Here from a poster is a good sense of where to sit:

The first time we saw KA, we sat in the sixth row of the lower center section (102). While we love being up close for most of the shows we see, we felt we were a bit too close to take it all in. So this time around, based on recommendations and comments on this forum, we opted for seats further back. We have section 201 row EE. The seats were "only" $99 each! There's so much going on above and around the entire stage that we think we'll enjoy this different perspective. Plus, we're in love with the soundtrack, and that will sound good from any seat. If you haven't been to a Cirque show before, it's hard to describe what you'll be seeing. We've spoken to a few people who were not impressed, but that's because they were stuck at a convention and decided, "What the heck, let's see a show tonight." We've seen all the Las Vegas Cirque shows and this one is our favorite.
Actually, there are no really "bad" seats at KA. In fact, sitting back from the stage will give you a good view of a lot of things going on that the folks up front miss. We sat up front in row L and there were things going on overhead and behind us that we had to crane our necks to see. As far as I can remember, there are no view obstructions in the theater.

This is a good show. It starts out a little slow, but the last half has feats that will amaze you. Get there a little early because there are things going on before the show actually starts.

My wife and I saw Ka a few weeks ago. The theater is larger than Mystere or O. We sat in the best of the $99 seats (got them very early). Being farther back from the stage we could see everything fine, but it was hard for me to recognize and keep track of various characters (being more of a "drama" than the other shows), especially with the costume changes. The trade-off is that sometimes some of the cast is out in the audience or on the "apparatus" on the sides of the theater, so being farther back allows you to see more of what's going on out there rather than having to turn around a lot. So it's probably a trade-off. If it were me, I'd try early to get the best $99 seats as much towards the center/front as possible (think they go on sale 4 months before). I would not want to be in the back corner. The theater's really large. If the better $99 are not available for the dates you want to go, I'd go up to $125 and try to get as close to the center of the theater as possible.
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Here is a good thread on Ka including some suggestions of seating:

Here is some seating suggestions:

Best seating at KA is Section 102 Rows L-R, seat #'s 13 -18 - $150 each
Also: Section 202 rows AA - DD - $150 each.

Section 201 Rows AA-DD high seat numbers, Section 203 AA-DD low seat numbers - $125 each

Best bargain seats at KA Section 201 Row EE high seat numbers and Section 203 low seat numbers - $99 each.

The rows close to the stage for $150 are not necessarily the best/

My wife and I saw Ka a few weeks ago. The theater is larger than Mystere or O. We sat in the best of the $99 seats (got them very early). Being farther back from the stage we could see everything fine, but it was hard for me to recognize and keep track of various characters (being more of a "drama" than the other shows), especially with the costume changes. The trade-off is that sometimes some of the cast is out in the audience or on the "apparatus" on the sides of the theater, so being farther back allows you to see more of what's going on out there rather than having to turn around a lot. So it's probably a trade-off. If it were me, I'd try early to get the best $99 seats as much towards the center/front as possible (think they go on sale 4 months before). I would not want to be in the back corner. The theater's really large. If the better $99 are not available for the dates you want to go, I'd go up to $125 and try to get as close to the center of the theater as possible.
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LOVE at the Mirage


We had the $99 seats I believe in section 303 and also had plenty of leg room. I enjoyed being in the upper level so we could see all the action. I think the lowest level seats miss out on a lot of what's going on from props and performers blocking their view of the opposite side of the stage.


Michelle and I were in section 209 end seats and no problem with the leg room ( I am 6'4" so leg room is a concern) great show.. We saw the last preview was neat watching the preperation for the premier

For what it's worth ... we saw it last Monday night from the $66 seats ... second to last row. It was fantastic. I don't feel we missed a thing. We loved the remixed and juxtaposed music, the backdrops, the sets, the stunts, the costumes ... everything. Best show we've ever seen in Vegas (others we've seen are Mystere, Danny Gans and Folies Bergere). Also the "Hard Day's Night" at the bar is a tasty drink!


Row 'E' is the last, back row of Section 102 on the opposite side
of Section 209 where I was the first time and...IT WASN'T TOO CLOSE!
In fact, you feel right in the middle of the Show and can see everything
just great.
It sets right next to one of the enterance runways so you see
the Artists entering and exiting the various scenes. The view is such,
you see everything from a bit of an 'off center' angle, which made it
all the more interesting/enjoyable for me!
Before sitting down, I tried the very front two rows...they were
definitely too close for me.

To book LOVE it is cheaper and better to book with the Mirage itself. Usually, that also means that you can cancel without penalty up to a few days before the show. Nothing like a little insurance.

ticket information

These are threads with hints at how to choose seating. If you can't bring them up on your computer, let me know and I'll copy relevant suggestions for you. If after reading over these discussions, you still have questions or feel conflicted, let me post your dilemma on the boards and see what they say. One fellow Gregrio is really very knowledgeble about shows. He will answer if I post a question.

Here are a few more such discussions:

click one

click two

click three

click four

click five

click six

click seven


I have to agree that the $69 seats are good. We saw the show from these seats on Sunday, and they were pretty good. I say this having seen the show in preview in June from the $125 seats (discounted at that time). The closer-in seats do allow you to see expressions on the faces, etc. that you won't see from on high, but you also get a different and good perspective on the aerial acts. There is occasional, minor obstruction from the hanging screens of some of the solo dance performances, but not enough to ruin the show.

If you're looking to see a fantastic show, but are not willing to lay out the additional dollars, you'll still have a very enjoyable experience from the low cost seats. By the way, we were in the top row of section


Blue Man Group : I saw this strange and wild show in NYC and I loved it. It is very odd, abstract, symbolic and fun. That being said some people hated it and thought it was stupid.
Scintas - this is a fine variety act including music, comedy and impressions. This family group came from the West Side of Buffalo and made a great hit in Vegas. They were at the Rio for awhile and had great reviews. I found a couple free tickets somewhere and thought they were a great act. The impression of George Burns was the best I have ever seen.
Now they have moved to the Sahara and they appear often in the 2-1 coupons and half price tickets. So I think this is a good bargain.

check this calendar for dates:



Jubilee or Folies Bergere - These are two classic shows with song and dance and flamboyant costumes. Usually parts of the show are tastefully topless. I think they both are great, and often there are half priced or discount tickets available. In my opinion these shows epitomise Vegas. Jubilee also offers a back stage visit on some days. The tour allows guests to meet a "real" showgirl and get a sneak peek into the makings of an extravagant Las Vegas production show. Everything from hair and makeup to contumes and set design are explored as guests experience the backstage secrets of the show and listen to interesting annecdotes from the showgirls themselves. I hope to do this in December is the dates work out.

Here is a fine review of Jubilee including some discussion of seating from a Vegas board:

In June, I took the JUBILEE Back Stage Tour.
Four stories under the stage live the costumes, dressing rooms,
the three 100,000lb. elevators that move the sets up into position
on stage. The inspuration of past dancers still live on the walls in
the form of newspaper clippings and press releases to feed the
hopes and dreams of the currant dancers, and you hear lots and lots
of backstage stories from your guide.
Having seen JUBILEE many times over the years, and it was with
'new eyes' I watched the "hundreds of thousands of rhinestones
covering practically nothing" do it's thing.

Bob Mackie's bright whites, mandarin, magenta, jewel-tone velvets,
ivory and canary colored costumes accented with exotic feathers
make the dancers of JUBILEE a real treat for your eyes.

The life expectancy of Las Vegas Shows these days, leaves little
guarantee they'll still be there your next trip...
JUBILEE is celebrating 25 YEARS and I hope it survives.
Entertainment in the eyes of the corporate brain surgeons is an
odd thing.............

If you've seen JUBILEE before, you know it's 'old school' Las Vegas and
YES, they still use the 'Samson and Delilah' and 'Titanic' scenes, the
tributes to 'Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers', 'Gershwin', 'Ziegfeld Follies',
and the GRAND STAIRWAY WALK...and I hope they always do!

Section 'C' is the mid-room/center theatre seat area for $77 or $79 or $82.00
and are your 'best bangs for your bucks' and view.
This time, I sat a bit closer in a booth down front...just in back of the
'long tables' right in front of the stage.
Row 'A', Seat 9, in booth JJJ...$89.00, and with a coupon (I probably found in 'Las Vegas Magazine' or 'What's On') dropped it to $72.00.
Section 'D' in the back of the room offer theatre seats for $65.00.

Splash at the Riviera was my pick for this trip, but it is closing September 30.

Lance Burton - I went on free tickets and it was alright, but I would not pay to see it. The fellow who won the tickets thought it was great and it is one of the most popular shows in Vegas so maybe it was just me.



These family entertainers are a little smaltzy but very good. I especially liked the comedy and an interpretation of George Burns.

Review thread



This is a tricky way of marketing Vegas shows. The rack price for these shows is almost never paid. People gather coupons that offer “free” tickets providing you buy a drink, and the drinks cost on average $8, which in Vegas is a pretty expensive drink. Of course, for folks who sign up for vacation packages or get the tickets free from a casino host as a gambling comp, it is important to have the rack price up there high so it looks like they got a $25 show ticket as part of the good deal even if most people are only paying $8 for the same show.

My favorite show in the “almost free” category is the Viva Las Vegas show at the Stratosphere. There are usually coupons around that let you get a ticket for about $8 and for that you see an old fashioned Vegas review which includes some singing, some comedy, a dog act, and pretty dancing show girls.

Also in this category is the MacKing comedy magic show. It is an afternoon show and rated very high by many Vegas sites. There are usually ways to find the “free with a drink” tickets for this one. The comedy is more family friendly. It is not the raunchy king of comedy that you might find at a comedy club at night. And the magic is not the big kind of magic that you might have at a Lance Burton Show. For me it was perfect.


Most of the sexy shows in Vegas are not pornographic, but some are a little stupid. I have not seen too many. I liked Crazy Girls and La Femme, but I would not rave about them. Here is a well respected poster responding to a search for an adult show for a married couple:

When you say you want and adult show for the two of you, I picture
a sexy, provocative, smart, preferably something with lots of skin and
there just isn't a Show like that in Las Vegas.

Le Femme at MGM is creative in it's lighting effects, smart, with beautiful
women, but no guys...good comedy break in the middle, I really like it, lots of folks think it's boring.

Jubilee has the classic topless Showgirls, beautiful costumes, guys and lots
of dancing, but not exactly sexually stimulating and no real skin...

Zumanity has both men and women...women as guys and guys as women, skin,
a taste of S&M and quite suggestive for the conservative minded...I think it's great!

Any of the other topless tourist trap Shows are a crap shoot...maybe you'll be entertained,
maybe you'll just feel like a mindless tourist victom.
I can't understand why no one has come up with a real good sexy adult Show...they're all
kinda cheap/stupid. Fantasy used to be OK at LUXOR...haven't seen the new version, but it's
all women too.

Burlesque is getting real popular....maybe an evening in one of the clubs with some sexy
entertainment might fit the bill: FORTY DEUCE at Mandalay Bay, TANGERINE at t.i.,
PUSSYCAT DOLLS LOUNGE at Caesars Palace..........?



These feature stand up comics, usually two and sometimes an announcer who is a third comic. They can be very good and then again they can be terrible. Too much modern comedy for my taste is just based on saying “Fuck”.

Well, there, I said it. Are you laughing?

Teaching inner city all these years has kind of deadened me to the humorous qualities of “Fuck.” It does not offend me. It bores me.

Then there is the insulting comic whose jokes are not witty or well constructed, just insulting. So you watch people being insulted for an hour. My kids do a better job of this right around the buffet table, and I don’t need to pay $25 to hear it. Well, sometimes they make me pay, but I get tasty food along with their harassment.
That being said, I have seen some of the funniest comedians on Vegas stages. I’m going to try to find out a little about them before I go this time and see which I might like.

(maybe you have to buy a drink some places to sit and watch, but at regular drink prices. Sometimes I just carry my free beer from gambling in to the show and am not bothered. In December there is less pressure too because there are fewer people looking for seats in the lounges.)
another search site

The cool thing about traveling around to hear the lounge music is that you can listen for a while and if you don’t like it, you can move on to another place with no loss of ticket price. One of the things I like best about the Orleans is the performers in their main lounge. and since I have so many free drink coupons, I rarely have to pay to have a drink with the show. Many of the groups I have seen there I can’t name. The Smith Brothers comes to mind.

Here are a few of my favorite groups from other casinos:

Ghalib Ghallab who is at Caesar’s
I love swing music and here are two great places to hear it, although one is a long way from mainstream Vegas. This group plays at Fiesta Rancho. You probably want a car to see them.
This doo- wop group plays all the old favorites from the 50’s and 60’s and is really fine. The stage is full and the dancing is great to watch.
The Royal Dixie Jazz Band plays right at the Gold Coast on most afternoons. When I go, I am often one of the youngest persons there. They play old swing from before the 50’s.
Huck Daniels Review at the Stratosphere on Monday nights:
This is a very cool experience. On Mondays most shows are dark, and many performers gather in this lounge, especially Black performers. Huck Daniels has his own band and does a set and then starts to include performers from all around Vegas and other instrumentalists and over the course of the late night (usually from midnight until 2 AM he substitutes players and the sounds are very interesting.
Big Elvis at the Barbary Coast - This fellow claims that Elvis is his biological father and he sings fine. He has quite a following.

I’ll search out what is around and what might be of interest before we go. Not all groups play at all times.

Here is a thread where people listed their biggest waste of time at a show.

If seeing actual DEAD BODIES preserved in plastic appeals to your aesthetic sense, check this out:



*One way to judge the better shows is to ask regular visitors to Vegas what they have seen twice. Here are some answers:


Another site discussing Vegas shows:


This first one is a dinner and an interactive show based on the HBO series Sopranos. It has gotten good reviews.

The second is a mob tour of Las Vegas including a visit to where Tupac was gunned down.




December is the quiet month so more shows are dark more often. Keep checking here as you plan and I will slowly update this chart, so you can see what is dark in December. I am not a show expert, but I have seen many of these and read enough about the rest to feel comfortable recommending them. I won’t post really bad shows here. If you have particular questions or an interest in a particular show, ask me and I’ll search more sites and ask more people for information.



Always dark on Monday and Tuesday. Otherwise the most accessible Cirque show.


always dark on Monday and Tuesday
On hiatus Dec 5-17


Always Dark on Sunday and Monday except for December 11 when two shows have been added.
Also dark on Dec 14


Always dark on Monday and Tuesday
On hiatus Dec 8-19


Dark on December 27


Blue Man Group

La Reve




Always dark on Fridays
Dark on December 19th
Mondays, Wednesdays or Saturdays at 11 AM there is a tour of the backstage for $10.


Always dark on Sundays
On hiatus December 17-25


The box office has no idea.



They put in a sub on Sunday and Monday. I’d skip that.
No December hiatus.