Las Vegas Acrobatic Shows: Cirque du Soleil, Michael Jackson 'One' - Rolling Stone
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Las Vegas’ Most Astounding Acrobatic Shows Now: The Definitive Ranking

Legendary spectacles like Cirque du Soleil’s ‘O’ as well as recent thrilling theatrical performances consistently stun audiences

The finale of “O,” Cirque du Soleil’s long-running aquatic stunner. [Photo credit] “O” Photo: Tomasz Rossa

No question, Las Vegas long ago established itself as the entertainment capital of the world.

You love an arena concert or 18-city-block music festival? You’ll find ‘em there. Like sporting events with Hollywood-level opening ceremonies? Vegas has you covered. And if you want a mind-blowingly beautiful live show, this town’s stellar selection gives Broadway a run for its money.

Even when shows are iterations of productions that became famous somewhere else, Vegas versions are uniquely Vegas. Staging is bombastic and over the top. Actors always show more skin. And in recent years, across the board, the acrobatics have reached, ahem, incredible new heights (couldn’t even try to resist).

We’re not just talking tightrope and trapeze here, but death-defying acts of physical prowess. The kind of stunts and spectacles that make audiences throw themselves back in their seats, cover their mouths and squirm with delight. These are feats of derring-do you’ll remember through the haze of late-evening events that’s sure to follow.

The theatrical magic started when Vegas welcomed Cirque du Soleil, a French troupe that combined acrobatics with just about every circus style on Earth. Vegas’ first Cirque show, the landmark Mystère, opened in 1993 and continues to amaze at Treasure Island. Over the last 25 years, nearly a dozen other Cirque shows have followed. Vegas is now home to seven Cirque productions, along with a handful of other shows that have taken different spins (or leaps, as the case may be) on the Cirque approach. Here, how our favorite flying spectacles stack up.

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