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Travel + Leisure

Vegas might be known for its four-mile strip of land packed to the gills with Cirque du Soleil shows (all are spectacular), but there’s a lot of other entertainment here, too. Pretty good odds for the entertainment industry, even as glutted as it is with shows. And the Smith Center for the Performing Arts always has worthwhile performances, though many are limited engagements. Here are some of the residencies and long-term shows most worth their ticket prices.

Cirque du Soleil “O”

One of Cirque’s classic Vegas shows, O takes guests on an undeniably heart-stopping and magical journey. One of its biggest delights is the massive pool/tank from which acrobats emerge and into which they dramatically sink. Bellagio added seven exclusive box seats that give you a bird’s-eye view of the water. The private suites include a bottle of Champagne or wine, chocolate truffles and a private cocktail server who will bring you popcorn, cocktails and chocolate-covered strawberries. It’s one of the most decadent ways to see Cirque.
 

Absinthe

Produced by Spiegelworld and BASE Entertainment, the raunchy cabaret-meets-acrobatics-meets-burlesque variety show at Caesars is hosted by the foul-mouthed Gazillionaire and assistant Wanda Widdles. It’s held inside a circus tent of sorts, where attendees are hilariously—and sometimes uncomfortably—transported into the middle of the action. But the show isn’t just naughty humor: you’ll also see some of the craziest aerial acts and physics-defying stunts on the Strip. 

Le Reve—The Dream

Le Reve, at the Wynn, will hit its decade anniversary in 2015, and to celebrate, it has just added ambitious hydro- and pyrotechnics, to the tune of $3 million, which took nearly 60 designers, technicians, engineers and choreographers more than 18 months to complete. It will be the only show in which performers actually dance through fire. Steve Wynn was the one who originally commissioned the Bellagio fountains, after all; look for 172 high-powered fountains and shooters and 16 fire-shooting devices. 

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