Lions and tigers and...giant snails? Oh my! At least, I think these things are lions and tigers, or maybe large birds, rather. Hmmm. Honestly, I’m not sure what the strange, multicolored animals are in Mystère, but they sure as hell put on a good show, and I know the huge thing at the end is a giant snail. Oh, and there’s definitely a gigantic baby with a bottle.
"Mystère," currently playing at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, is another installment from Cirque du Soleil -- the company behind the ongoing shows at the MGM Grand, Bellagio, New York, New York and Mirage casino resorts, and it may be their best. It is certainly the wildest; best described as a cross between an exotic childhood dream and a wild acid trip.
Not surprisingly, this Cirque du Soleil show maintains the company’s tradition of creating theme and ambience rather than traditional plot in its productions. "Mystére" involves thematically-connected circus-like acts interspersed with comedy routines. Highlights from the 90-minute production include a Korean plank skit, a sequence involving Chinese pole climbing, and hand-to-hand balancing acts, as well as high bar, trampoline, and bungee acts.
Memorable characters give "Mystére" an edge over other Cirque shows. They are as outrageous as they are amusing, without being obnoxious like those in the overzealous "Zumanity." From the massive inflatable insects to the stilt-legged bird creatures, the characters inspire curiosity and stir the imagination. For a while, it is as if we are kids again, in wonder and awe, and want to lean over to ask our parents "what kind of animal is that?"
Notable characters include a giant baby that opens the show by tossing props into the audience and choosing parental figures from the front rows; they are later invited to participate in the show. There’s also a mischievous clown-usher who causes mayhem for both cast and audience members with his outrageous and hilarious antics, and a strange looking red bird-like creature.
The 1,629 seat theater in Treasure Island was the first permanent Cirque du Soleil venue custom built to exact show specifications. The auditorium forms a partial circle around the stage, and the cast (which includes 75 members from nearly 20 different countries) often swings out over and wanders through the audience. One is never far from the breathtaking athleticism, striking costumes and makeup, and enticing music numbers going on close by.
Interestingly enough, "Mystére" is one of the less expensive Cirque shows on The Strip, cheaper than "O" at Bellagio, "KÀ" at MGM Grand, and "Love" at The Mirage. The price difference may be to attract the younger crowd that is drawn to the hotel, or it may be reflect the fact the show has been onstage now since 1993! However, the bargain doesn’t reflect quality. In fact, it proves that diligent consumers really can get the best for less!
Mystere is playing at Treasure Island, 3300 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, Saturday through Wednesday at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm. Ticket prices range from $60-$95 for adults and $30-$47.50 for children and military. To reserve tickets, call 800-392-1999 or visit www.cirquedusoleil.com or www.treasureisland.com.