The minute visitors enter the Las Vegas city limits one thing becomes obvious, Cirque du Soleil has taken over.
With shows ranging from family fun to very adult at nearly every hotel on the strip, there is something available for everyone.
This checklist will help narrow down the choices for your next visit.
"Michael Jackson ONE" is loosely based on the recent "Immortal" world tour. However, producers say the show will be much more theatrical and less of a concert. Previews begin May 23, with regular performances beginning June 29. Who should see it?: Fans of Jackson. Family acceptable: Show hasn't opened yet, but a likely yes. Price: Previews are $62.10-$162, regular shows are $69-$189.
"CRISS ANGEL Believe" uses the illusions of Angel and Cirque imagination to create a mysterious show of magic and acrobatics. Who should see it?: Fans of extremely theatrical magic and performance art. Family acceptable: Probably not, as illusions and content might be too much for children. Price: $59-$160.
New York New York:
"Zumanity" is the most adult Cirque show on the strip. It is also the most intimate, as it is performed in a small cabaret theater. It is a very sexual show with lots of innuendo and not for the easily uncomfortable. Who should see it?: Only those comfortable with adult shows with a very sensual component. (Side note: DO NOT GO WITH PARENTS! I learned this the hard way.) Family acceptable: Absolutely not! Price: $69-$125
"KA" is perhaps Cirque's most athletic show with performers telling the story of separated twins trying to find their way back to each other. The journey features aerialists, acrobats, martial artists and a mid-air centerpiece called "The Wheel of Death." Who should see it?: Fans of high risk, high octane performances. Family acceptable: Yes, children will probably enjoy the acrobatics. Price: Adults are $69-$180, children are $34.50-$75.
"Zarkana" is another acrobatic, aerial based show, only this has a slightly softer touch with gymnastics and ballet thrown in. having just opened in late 2012, it's the company's newest show on the strip. Who should see it?: Fans of acrobatics and dance. Family acceptable: Yes, the aerials will excite them. Price: $69-$180.
"O" is one of Cirque's most creative shows, as it is performed in a water theater featuring divers, synchronized swimmers and aerialists. It is also the most expensive Cirque show, since all that water can't be cheap. Who should see it?: Fans of diving, swimming and trapeze acts. Family acceptable: Maybe, since ticket prices make this an expensive outing. Price: $109-$180.
"The Beatles LOVE" is one of the company's most popular shows, as it features a soundtrack of the legendary band specially put together by their producer Sir George Martin and his son. Trampoline artists, rollerbladers and dancers perform to Beatles classics using the sets and the audience as props. Who should see it?: Beatles fans and classic music lovers. (Side note: The LOVE store is a highly addictive shop for Beatles fans, so bring a credit card.) Family acceptable: Yes, children will love the music and colorful set design. Price: $98.50-$180.
"Mystere" is the longest running Cirque Vegas show, having recently celebrated its 18th anniversary. As the first show on the strip, it is also the closest the company gets to performing traditional circus acts. Who should see it?: Classic circus fans, Cirque du Soleil traditionalists. Family acceptable: Yes, it's the only show with no age restrictions. Price: Adults are $69-$119, children are $34.50-$59.50.
A few tips:
- Weekday shows are always easier to get tickets to than weekend shows.
- Buying tickets the day of the show can sometimes lead to discounts and upgrades.
- Half price ticket kiosks located in Fashion Show Mall and other locations around town are a great place for discounts to all shows, and sometimes dinner can be included for a small added fee.
- Always check age restrictions before purchase.
For more information go to www.cirquedusoleil.com.