9 Las Vegas Shows You Can’t Miss

9 Las Vegas Shows You Can’t Miss

If you’re visiting Vegas, you should absolutely make time to see a show. We always did as visitors, and as a local, we still try to check out what’s new at least once a month. Since there’s a constant flow of big names coming through town and a variety of entertainment that has made Vegas a home base for years, it’s easy to find a fun new show even if you’ve seen tons of them like us.

Since there are so many different types of shows, to keep them organized, here are our top 9 Las Vegas shows so far. Then below that, we have complete lists for each category.

Your Complete Guide to the Best Las Vegas Shows

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Last Updated: August 29, 2019

9 Best Las Vegas Shows You Can't Miss

If you were to only see one show in Vegas, Cirque du Soleil is the way to go. The production quality and talent never fail to amaze us. We’ve seen pretty much all the Cirque shows together, some multiple times. Beatles was the only one that Jacob saw on his own. Below, we have ranked them from our favorite to least favorite.

O at Bellagio
  • Synopsis: Weaving a tapestry of artistry, surrealism and theatrical romance, “O” pays tribute to the beauty of theatre. Inspired by the concept of infinity and the elegance of water, world-class acrobats, synchronized swimmers and divers create a breathtaking experience.
  • Our Thoughts: As far as the stage design and performances, O is the most impressive. It was the first Cirque show either of us watched in Vegas and held the bar really high for the others.
Ka at MGM Grand
  • Synopsis: Gravity defied, enemies confronted, noble combat becomes acrobatic. War has never been fought this way. A colossal, moving stage is the battlefield. Up is down, land becomes sky. These dimension-bending confrontations redefine what it means to fight.
  • Our Thoughts: Jacob loved the set design for this show and it fits well in the Las Vegas desert climate.
Zumanity at New York New York
  • Synopsis: Zumanity is a seductive twist on reality, making the provocative playful and the forbidden electrifying! Leave inhibitions at the door, let loose and marvel in a sexy thrill ride full of sensational acrobatics and naughty fun. Part burlesque and part cabaret, Zumanity is one full night you’ll never forget! Created for adults 18 and over.
  • Our Thoughts: This is the only Cirque show we’ve seen more than once. Not only is it one of the affordable shows, the humor makes it so much fun to keep coming back. It is an adults-only show, so if you’re offended by dildo fights and raunchy humor, this one will not be for you.
Mystere, Treasure Island
  • Synopsis: Inside the imagination is a playful place to be. This world is a jaunty, music-stuffed adventure bright with colour, athleticism and bubbly buddies. Silliness, insane acrobatics and gut-busting gags abound. It’s a joyous funhouse…and you’re at the front door.
  • Our Thoughts: This is the first Cirque show to make its home on the Strip and is the longest running show. A true classic. It might not be as elaborate as the others, but if you’ve seen some of the other shows, this is a great one to see how it all began in Vegas.
Michael Jackson ONE at Mandalay Bay
  • Synopsis: Hailed by Rolling Stone as “A virtual parade of ‘wow’ moments,” Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil is an electrifying fusion of acrobatics, dance and visuals immersing the audience into the world of Michael’s music. 
  • Our Thoughts: The show was entertaining but different from what we expected. If you want a classic Cirque experience, this one doesn’t have as much of the acrobatics that one might expect. Instead the focus is on the nostalgia of Michael Jackson’s music and life, and it includes  great dance performances. We don’t want to give away the reveal, so we’ll just say there’s a fun surprise at the end.
The Beatles LOVE, The Mirage
  • Synopsis: New acts, costumes, choreography, technology and music bring a more vibrant and engaging experience to one of the most celebrated shows in the world. The three-time Grammy Award winning LOVE is a Rock ‘n’ Roll poem, inspired by the poetry of the lyrics and brought to life by a cast of world-class aerialists, acrobats and dancers. Music Director Giles Martin, son of the legendary Beatles producer, Sir George Martin, has heightened LOVE’s listening experience with a completely remixed soundtrack, noting “The show is the closest anyone can get to being in the studio with the band.”
  • Our Thoughts: Similar to Michael Jackson One, it’s not the best Cirque show but enjoyable if you love Beatles music.

Pro Tip: Even if you’ve seen a traveling Cirque show, you should absolutely check out the ones in Vegas. They can do so much more with the stage when it’s permanent.

photo: Veronique Vial for Cirque du Soleil

Luxor, 3900 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119, map

Synopsis: Blue Man Group will rock your world, blow your mind, and unleash your spirit. Leave your expectations at the door and let three bald and blue men take you on a spectacular journey bursting with music, laughter and surprises.

Our Thoughts: We’ve seen Blue Man Group a few times, and it’s always a good time. It’s a great show because it crosses language barriers and gets the audience involved.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for photo ops, do the meet and greet or behind the scenes tour where you get to test out some of their instruments. They also stay in character which makes it fun for (and scary for me since I’ve never had a blue man stare so intently into my eyes).

9 Las Vegas Shows You Can't Miss
9 Las Vegas Shows You Can't Miss

photo left: Lindsey Best

Caesars, 3570 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, map

Synopsis: Hosted by the filthy rich (and just plain filthy) Gazillionaire and inspired by the absinthe-drenched cabarets of late 19th century Europe, Absinthe is an intoxicating cocktail of circus, burlesque and vaudeville for a 21st century audience. “Imagine Cirque du Soleil as channeled through The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” said The New York Times. Absinthe is for ages 18 and above.

Our Thoughts: This variety show is a lot of fun. They do a great job of mixing in humor with jaw-dropping skills and talent. We found ourselves laughing the entire time.

Pro Tip: If you’ve already seen Absinthe, Speigelworld also put together Opium at the Cosmopolitan and the Atomic Saloon Show at the Grand Canal Shoppes.

9 Las Vegas Shows You Can't Miss

photo: Absinthe

Excalibur, 3850 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, map

Synopsis: With over 50 mind-blowing illusions packed into a 70-minute Vegas extravaganza, internationally renowned magician Hans Klok brings his award-winning, world-class magic to Excalibur Hotel & Casino with his new production, “Hans Klok: The World’s Fastest Magician.” In a brand-new state-of-the-art, immersive showroom, Klok will suspend your belief of reality as he navigates through other worldly realms of good and evil. Prepare to be mesmerized in this family-friendly, fun-for-all-ages, magical adventure.

Our Thoughts: That’s no typo. He does 50 illusions in 70 minutes. We don’t typically watch many magic shows, and the couple we’ve seen were frankly painful to watch. Going into the show, we didn’t know what to expect, but we ended up enjoying it so much we’re considering seeing other magic shows. The show was the perfect amount of cheesiness, and the illusions were mind blowing. We spent the first half the show trying to figure out the the tricks and distractions, but they were happening so fast. Midway, we had to give up and enjoy the show. 

Pro Tip: Go for a booth seat if you’re shorter. They are higher up than the regular tables. Or you can just hope a tall person doesn’t sit in front of you.

Hans Klok Las Vegas Shows You Can't Miss

Mirage, 3400 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109, map

Synopsis: Terry Fator is a singer, comedian, ventriloquist and celebrity impressionist who burst onto the national scene after winning “America’s Got Talent” in 2007 (despite the fact Winston said he won it for Terry). A native of Texas, Terry spent over 20 years on the road performing at everything from schools to county fairs before becoming a Vegas headliner.

Our Thoughts: Terry Fator was the first ventriloquist we’ve seen and we were amazed by how many characters and voices he does spot on. We had the chance to meet him before the show, and he talked about how he’s always changing acts in the show to keep things fresh. It was also cool to see that a portion of his profits goes to various charities.

Terry Fator Vegas + 9 Best Las Vegas Shows You Can't Miss
Terry Fator Las Vegas + 9 Best Shows in Las Vegas + Complete List of Shows

Rio | 3700 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103, map

Synopsis: After 36 years of selling out every show, the Comedy Cellar has now opened its first West Coast location here at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. “The Cellar,” as insiders call it, brings its unique vibe from the iconic, underground, Greenwich Village, “brick wall and stained glass,” low ceiling design and feel —to its new, intimate 300-seat club at Rio. Even the menu is entertaining, as the food and bar service is provided by Rio’s world-class chefs and bartenders.

Our Thoughts: While living in NYC, we had fun checking out its comedy scene. We visited a few different comedy clubs including Comedy Cellar, and only realized after moving back to Vegas that they had a location here too. The one in Vegas had a very similar setup and vibe. We thought the talent happened to be better here than in NYC, but we also could have been lucky with the lineup. Our theory, though, is that they have to be pickier with who they choose here, since they are paying to bring them into Vegas vs a lot of them live in NYC.

Pro Tip: Check the site here to see who is on their current line up.

photo:  Edison Graff

Mandalay Bay | 3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119, map

Synopsis: This is an all ages event. Join us on Sundays for The Sunday Gospel Brunch, House of Blues legendary dining and live music show. Featuring a rotating cast of the area’s biggest and brightest gospel and R&B talents, you’ll enjoy traditional and contemporary gospel songs. Treat yourself to an amazing all-you-can-eat buffet featuring breakfast favorites, plus tender carving stations, southern specialties and mouth-watering desserts. Don’t miss our signature chicken and waffles! And, if you’re in the mood, you might end up on stage waving a napkin and dancing off some of that delicious cuisine.

Our Thoughts: If you prefer food with your entertainment, check out the Gospel Brunch at House of Blues. There is a massive spread of food and the choir is top-notch. They do a great job in getting everyone involved during the show and keeping it lively.

Pro Tip: Alcohol isn’t included in the buffet but they do have a bar where you can purchase drinks.

House of Blues Gospel Brunch Las Vegas Shows You Can't Miss
Gospel Brunch Las Vegas + 9 Best Shows in Vegas You Shouldn't Miss

Vegas attracts a lot of talent. A lot of artists come in for a residency, whether it’s a week long or an entire year. I’ve seen Mariah Carey perform and Britney Spears (the most disappointing show I’ve seen). Jacob has seen Elton John, who currently has only a couple more shows on his farewell tour. In the fall, I’m also excited to go see Lady Gaga!

Local Tip: Depending on the length of their residency, tickets can go fast! As soon as you see someone you’re interested in seeing, get tickets so you don’t miss out. Gaga tickets sold out so fast, we had to get them secondhand.

Las Vegas Residency Artists + 9 Best Shows in Las Vegas

Rio | 3700 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103, map

Synopsis: Let the sexy men of Chippendales sweep you off your feet as you and your friends let your inner flirts out to play. The Chippendales Las Vegas Show at the Rio is the sexiest display of live entertainment and the men are bringing you the heat. Get fired up because these guys are gonna make you melt. The show is a multimedia experience like nothing you’ve ever seen before. It’s 75 minutes of energy and entertainment as the men dance, strip and sing. That’s right ladies… the most doable men in show business also perform sweet, sweet serenades

Our Thoughts: We have a friend who dances in Chippendales, so obviously that’s the reason we had to go see it. ;) While a couple of girlfriends were in town, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to go (Jacob included). It was a fun time. Even Jacob said he found it entertaining and less awkward than he had expected. Say hi to Demitri and go buy all his merch! 

Pro Tip: Bring some earplugs just in case. This goes for all the shows that are going to attract bachelorette parties and screaming ladies. One of them in particular behind us had an unbearably high pitched scream.

Complete List of Musicals and Broadway Shows in Las Vegas

  • Wicked (09.11 – 09.29.2019)
  • Jesus Christ Superstar (11.05 – 11.10.2019)
  • Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (11.26 – 12.01.2019)
  • Escape to Margaritaville (01.07 – 01.12.2020)
  • The SpongeBob Musical (02.04 – 02.09.2020)
  • Once On This Island (03.10 – 03.15.2020)
  • Mean Girls (04.14 – 04.19.2020)
  • The Band’s Visit (06.23 – 06.28.2020)
  • The Book of Mormon (07.30 – 08.04.2019)

Adult Shows in Las Vegas

Affordable Shows ($50 and Under)

Essential Tips for Las Vegas Shows

  • Check to see if you have assigned seats or if it is general admission. If they are general admission tickets, they are first-come, first-serve. You should arrive at least half an hour before the show.
  • A lot of classic or smaller Vegas venues have tables and booths. Booth seats typically sit four to a booth and you will be seated with another couple if it’s just two of you. Tables are set up with the short end facing the stage, so you are sitting at the table facing each other.
  • Remember to give yourself enough time to park, walk through the casino, and find the venue. Casino layouts can be confusing, so it may take you longer than you expect. If you arrive early, you can always find a bar to grab a drink.
  • If you have to go to Will Call, don’t forget to bring your ID.
  • A lot of shows offer meet and greets or behind-the-scenes tours if you’re a big fan of the act.
  • If you get cold easily, bring a jacket. Most theaters will keep temperatures lower to ensure all the guests are comfortable.
  • Some theaters offer a booster seat. During the latest Cirque show we watched, they saw me struggling to see over the person in front of me and offered me an extra cushion. It never hurts to ask ahead of time if you’re worried about being able to see.
  • Most theaters don’t have a dress code. As long as you have shoes and a shirt, you’re good to go. If the show is in a lounge, they may ask you to dress for the occasion.

What to Pack for Las Vegas

More Resources

Have you seen any of these Las Vegas shows? Which one has been your favorite so far? I’m sure your wallet will thank you for the break from gambling. You may have to dish out some money, but at least you won’t feel as bummed about it after.

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9 Las Vegas Shows You Can't Miss

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

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