Wed, Oct 14, 2009 (3:21 p.m.)
Photo: Tomasz Rossa
Few shows in Vegas have improved as much as Le Rêve. When it opened, it was not simply bad, it was notorious. No one there for those early performances will forget the pregnant women dropped from the top of the theater into the tank below. Or the huge net of skulls and bones hauled out from the water. In short, what many expected to be O in the round was instead a very dark and unpleasant experience.
- Le Rêve
- Thursday-Monday, 7 & 9:30 p.m., $99-$179
- Wynn's Le Rêve Theater
But Le Rêve had certain advantages lost in the terrible reviews. The theater was among the most impressive in Vegas, its seats circling its massive tank, with elaborate decorations everywhere. Cirque du Soleil veteran Franco Dragone had brought on a cast of incredible talents numbering close to 100. And the costumes and mechanical inventions were incredible. The only problem, and it was a big one, was that the show stunk—Believe minus Criss Angel. Of course, while Wynn could close shows like Spamalot and Avenue Q, the expense of the Le Rêve Theater meant this show needed another chance. Which has turned out to be a good thing.
All of the darkness of the original has been removed, replaced with a more upbeat show. The symbolic and abstract Cirque momentum is also gone, in its place a more traditional Wizard of Oz plot driving the show along. Now, it opens with a woman going to bed after a night on the town with her love. In her dream, she travels to a magic land, from which she returns refreshed, to her real life and real man. It’s not Shakespeare, but it is enough to keep Le Rêve from, in fact, feeling like O in the round. Now, Le Rêve, against the odds, is a show with a distinctive quality—more than Cirque minus the corporate brand. Beautiful to look at and fun to watch, Le Rêve has much in common with Cirque still, but this offspring now has its own merits.