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11 Las Vegas Shows You Can’t Miss

If you’re visiting Vegas, you should absolutely make time to see a show. We 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 and some who have made Vegas a home base, it’s easy to find a fun new show even if you feel like you’ve been there, done that.

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 ShowsPinPin

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Last Updated: December 13, 2022

Your Complete Guide to the Best Las Vegas Shows

We’re making our way through as many shows as possible, and so far here’s a list of our favorites. Check back to see our newest reviews and tips on how to get the best prices on tickets.

9 Best Las Vegas Shows You Can’t Miss

1. Cirque du Soleil

If it’s your first time and you were only to 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 all the Cirque shows and some even multiple times. 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 we watched in Vegas and held the bar high for the others.

Ka at MGM Grand

  • Synopsis: Gravity defied, enemies confronted, and noble combat becomes acrobatic. War has never been fought this way. A colossal, moving stage is the battlefield. Up is down, the land becomes sky. These dimension-bending confrontations redefine what it means to fight.
  • Our Thoughts: Jacob loved the set design for this show most and it fits well in the Las Vegas desert climate.

Mystere, Treasure Island

  • Synopsis: Inside the imagination is a playful place to be. This world is a jaunty, music-stuffed adventure bright with color, 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.

The Beatles LOVE, The Mirage

  • Synopsis: 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: This is the most immersive Cirque show. It’s enjoyable especially if you love Beatles music. We did the behind the scenes tour and loved getting insight on how much work goes into the production of this show. Watching the show, there’s a lot happening with tons of easter eggs for hardcore Beatles stans. If it wasn’t for the behind the scenes, I would have missed some key story points.
beatles love miragePin

Mad Apple at New York New York

  • Synopsis: Mad Apple is a delicious Cirque du Soleil cocktail of high-flying acrobatics, music, dance, comedy, and magic celebrating the city that never sleeps. Close Starring comedian Brad Williams, Mad Apple is a nonstop New York thrill ride from the moment you step into the theater. From pre-show magic and boozy libations at the stunning stage bar, to the band playing the biggest musical hits inspired by the city, Mad Apple blurs the lines between circus, live entertainment, and New York nightlife culture.
  • Our Thoughts: This is the show that replaced Zumanity in NYNY. The format feels less like traditional Cirque shows and closer to the variety shows put on by Spiegelworld. We noticed they also poached the sword swallower from Opium. Overall, it’s a fun show with a good mix of acts. I never expected to see a comedian as an act. We arrived early so we could enjoy drinks at the stage bar.
mad apple Pin

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 for Michael Jackson’s music and life, including 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.

Zumanity at New York New York (18+) – Permanently Closed

  • 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 at 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!
  • Our Thoughts: Not only is it one of the affordable shows, but the humor also makes it so much fun compared to the more serious shows. It is an adults-only show, so if you’re offended by dildo fights and raunchy humor, this one will not be for you.

R.U.N., Luxor – Permanently Closed

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

Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil O + 9 Best Las Vegas Shows You Can't MissPin
photo: Veronique Vial for Cirque du Soleil

2. Spiegelworld Shows

Overall, we prefer Spiegelworld shows over Cirque shows. Cirque shows are classic, but we love the humor and talent in Spiegelworld shows. All of them are themed variety shows and a bit raunchy.

Absinthe, Caesars

  • 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.
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photo: Absinthe

Atomic Saloon, The Venetian

  • Synopsis: Atomic Saloon Show is Spiegelworld’s riotous and raunchy romp through the wild, Wild West as it never was, with drop-dead sexy acrobats and ridiculous comedy mayhem from a cavalcade of cowboys, showgirls, nuns, lawmen, and lay-abouts. It all takes place inside Madame Boozy Skunkton’s rowdy saloon, boasting the most delicious cocktail menu on this side of the Mississippi.
  • Our Thoughts: Now that we’ve seen all three Spiegelwold shows, this one is our favorite. The set design immerses you in an old western saloon as soon as you enter. The show had us laughing so hard. If you love raunchy humor, then don’t miss this show. Learn more about the show here and get tickets here.

Local Tip: We love the Venetian and Grand Canal Shoppes. Check out our guide for other things to do and places to eat.

atomic saloon show las vegasPin

Opium, Cosmoplitan

  • Synopsis: Journey on a trip to a new dimension of entertainment with OPIUM, the adults-only show at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from Spiegelworld, the creators of Absinthe. On a wild ride aboard the OPM 73 from Uranus to Las Vegas, the spaceship’s twisted crew is at your service, with in-flight entertainment provided by the galaxy’s most talented variety of performers and other space oddities.
  • Our Thoughts: Before seeing the show we had only seen vague ads of what it might be about but still had no clue what we were getting ourselves into. It’s similar to Absinthe being a quirky, sexy, and funny variety show but this time set in space. Our favorite act is the bubble guy!

Local Tip: If you’re looking for food before the show, they just launched Superfrico, a new immersive dining experience. We’ll report back once we can check it out ourselves.

opium show las vegasPin

3. Blue Man Group

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 me (and scary for me since I’ve never had a blue man stare so intently into my eyes).

See Related – Behind the Scenes at Blue Man Group Las Vegas

4. Freestyle Love Supreme

The Venetian | 3355 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, map

Synopsis: Before “Hamilton” . . . Before “In the Heights” . . . there was “Freestyle Love Supreme.” From producer Lin-Manuel Miranda and fresh from Broadway, Freestyle Love Supreme brings hip-hop improv to Las Vegas with a dynamic, rotating cast who creates the show live each night from words from the audience. No two shows are ever the same.

Our Thoughts: Improv shows can get cringy, but this was a spectacular show. The talent they have is amazing and you can definitely see Lin Manuel Miranda’s stamp on the music. We’ve seen the show twice and really enjoyed it both times. We sat in the back section the first time and the front section the second time and both seats were still great.

See Related – 15+ Best Things to Do at the Venetian Las Vegas

Freestyle Love Supreme The Venetian Best Shows in VegasPin

5. Mat Franco Magic Reinvented Nightly

The LINQ | 3535 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, map

Synopsis: Voted “Best Magic Show in Las Vegas” for two-years running by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Mat Franco’s immersive live show leaves audiences awe-struck with his unique feats of illusion. America’s favorite magician is redefining the genre with his signature interactive magic as seen on TV, and never-before-seen creations.

Our Thoughts: Mat Franco is a new school magician. The show was fun for the whole family, and is even more special that he does some illusions that are very specific to the night he shares with you, the audience.

See Related – The LINQ Promenade – What to Eat, See, and Do

Mat Franco + 9 Best Las Vegas Shows + Complete List of Current Shows in Las VegasPin

6. Jabbawockeez Timeless

MGM Grand, 3799 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, map

Synopsis: Jabbawockeez mesmerizes and entertains with its dynamic mix of awe-inspiring choreography, pulse-pounding music, and stunning special effects in their new show at MGM Grand Las Vegas. This high tech production will bring the audience up close and personal as never before with their signature white masks and intricate dance moves that have positioned the group as the world’s most influential dance crew. Voted “Best Family Show” and “Best All Ages Show” for three years in a row, Jabbawockeez at MGM Grand is laugh out loud cutting edge entertainment at its best.

Our Thoughts: We saw the show a few years ago and had fun. The new show has even more crowd-pleasers and will have you dancing in your seat. Every time we watch the show it makes us wish we could dance. Is it too late to learn?

Local Tip: If you love collecting tickets, they even have an NFT ticket where you’ll have a keepsake forever. Check it out on the Yellowheart app!

Las Vegas Shows JabbawockeezPin

7. Awakening

3131 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109, map

Synopsis: Awakening, the new show at Wynn Las Vegas, invites the audience to join the quest of our beautiful heroine and her two fellow travelers as they seek to restore beauty and love to the world. Travel with them and experience worlds never before seen on their journey in a 360-degree theater custom designed for Awakening. Infused with modern day myth and magic, Awakening comes to life through a combination of dramatic choreography, technology, fantastic creatures, and a custom sound system designed to showcase its breathtaking original musical score.

Our Thoughts: The stage, puppetry, and artistry of this show are amazing. There were a lot of moments we were in awe of the creativity on how they showed characters or how they transformed the stage. The overall story was a bit lacking though and we felt like it dragged on too long in certain portions. If they work on the story a bit, this show is sure to be a hit.

Wynn Awakening Best Shows in Las VegasPin

8. Iluminate

The STRAT | 2000 Las Vegas Blvd S, 89104, map

Synopsis: From the moment the lights fade to darkness, you’re transported into another world…another dimension, where the music moves you and the visuals are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Welcome to the world of iLuminate. Named “Best New Act in America” by America’s Got Talent, the brilliant cast of the country’s top dancers and choreographers, along with energetic music, creates a mind-blowing, multi-sensory live show experience. As the show progresses, each scene creates a new “room” inside “Club iLuminate” where an exhilarating blend of music, dance, illusion, technology and comedy comes to life for an experience that’s sure to be the most fun you’ll ever have in the dark.

Our Thoughts: The show was fun! There is an over-arching story that is a bit lacking, but they cover a wide range of music from present-day hits to some of our faves from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. It was really cool to see how they used the technology too.

9. Chippendales

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

Synopsis: 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. 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.

Local 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 behind us in particular had an unbearably high pitched scream.

Chippendales Vegas + 9 Best Shows in VegasPin

10. Terry Fator

New York New York, 3790 S Las Vegas Blvd, 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. Since we saw him, his show has moved to New York New York but I’m sure it’s just as good.

Terry Fator Las Vegas + 9 Best Shows in Las Vegas + Complete List of ShowsPin

11. Comedy Cellar

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 their current schedule and line up.

Comedy Cellar Las VegasPin
photo: Edison Graff

BONUS: Gospel Brunch at House of BLues

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 of getting everyone involved during the show and keeping it lively.

Pro Tip: House of Blues also has a full-on concert venue at the same location. We went to see Hanson perform and got seats on the second balcony.

Las Vegas Residency Artists

Vegas attracts a lot of talent, and many artists come in for a residency, whether it’s a week-long or an entire year. We’ve seen Mariah Carey perform, Britney Spears (the most disappointing show I’ve seen), and recently Lady Gaga! Out of all the current shows, we highly recommend Lady Gaga’s Enigma show. The Enigma storyline threw me off, but ultimately she’s such a talented performer, singer, and songwriter.

Current Artists

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 were gone so fast!

See More: The Truth Behind the Mariah Carey Las Vegas Show

Las Vegas Residency Artists + 9 Best Shows in Las VegasPin

Complete List of Musicals and Broadway Shows in Las Vegas

Get tickets to the Smith Center shows here.

  • Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (January 2023)
  • Moulin Rouge! The Musical (January to February 2023)
  • Disney’s Frozen (March 2023)
  • Mean Girls (March 2023)
  • Tina! The Tina Turner Musical (June 2023)

See More: Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Broadway Musicals and Shows

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.

Best Places to Stay in 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 extra money, but at least you won’t feel as bummed about it after.

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Esther and JacobPin

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found 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.

Follow along on Instagram (E + J), YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.

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