If “O” stood for outstanding, Quebec-based Cirque de Soleil’s spectacular aquatic show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas would be selling itself short. The name actually stands for ‘eâu’, which is the French word for water – and for good reason. Most of the show is done from the blue abyss.
Spectacular! Awesome! Amazing! Those words combined barely express how beautiful and entertaining a show that uses 1.5 million gallons of water can be. You really have to see it for yourself.
As per usual, the stage that was tailored uniquely for the show is versatile and mind-boggling. At its best, it submerges from a fully functional theatre stage to a massive pool.
Many of the performers are former Olympians, some of whom have won medals in aquatic events. Former Synchronized Swimming Olympian Sylvie Fréchette put together the aquatic synchronization part of the show.
At one point, two clowns come floating into the picture, washed them away by a flood and sitting somberly on what used to be their home. Their comedic antics and sullen mood as they fight for what little space they have left made the audience laugh and feel sad for them at the same time. Very well done.
A highly qualified team of 14 fully certified scuba divers superviseseach underwater portion of the show. Equipped with headsets in their scuba gear, nothing is left to chance.
The costumes were designed to mimic the era of romance and in particular the trends during that period in the city of Venice.
A duo and single trapeze act could possibly be the first timea trapeze portion of any show works so closely with water.
The strength of the twin duo performers is awe-inspiring, Their gravity-defying moves take place under a makeshift pirate ship that acts as a roving stage. The crowd gasped as it seemedalmost certain they would fall into the water after missing theirconnection. But this is Cirque de Soleil, so it never happened, If anything, this show should be known for its creative stages, At one point a half dozen performers, whose costumes can bestbe described as a cross between the old Predator movies and something out of a Dr. Seuss book, lie on their stomachs on a metal grid with two-foot spaces in between the seven long pipes that hold them in place. Meanwhile, their partners, who they are holding onto with one hand underneath, swing about, performing tricks with unbelievable strength and agility. It was a treat to watch.
Another cool act saw divers catapulted from a moving platform high into the air, flip, rattle and roll and then splash into the water below. The height they reached had the audience holding their breath until they hit the water. They repeated the stunt over and over, at least two dozen times, to similar reaction each time.
The sheer power and grace the performers possess made many an audience member want to head to the gym and buff up a bit. From start to finish, Cirque de Soleil’s “O” is well worth the money and is one of the must-see events while you are visiting Las Vegas.
“O” required three years to develop and opened in late 1998.
The 1800-seat theatre sells out every night, so if you want to seethe show, it’s good to plan a couple of months ahead. Tickets canbe pricey, but the show is worth every penny. For more information, visit http://www.cirquedusoleil.com.