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Sunday, September 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Dream on in Las Vegas: Aerosmith and ‘Celestia’ are new, ‘Le Reve’ reimagined

UPDATED: Sun., Sept. 1, 2019, 9:28 a.m.

Have you been daydreaming about a quick trip to Las Vegas? Maybe for a nice meal or two. Possibly a little sightseeing or shopping. Definitely to catch a show.

That’s a dream you shouldn’t ignore. As soon as Labor Day passes, September and November are great months for a Las Vegas visit. The summer crowds thin out, the Mojave heat starts to break, and good deals can be found.

In a city where the house always wins, the surest bet is to catch a show. There’s a reason why this place is called the Entertainment Capital of the World. We’re not talking about lounge acts. Las Vegas is now all about huge productions based upon incredible talent.

Here are three Las Vegas shows good enough to come to you in your sleep:

DREAM ON

It used to be that a residency show at a casino was something like Elvis at the Hilton, Wayne Newton at the Stardust or even Celine Dion at Caesars Palace.

For many, those iconic Las Vegas shows seemed a little like a nightmare.

The residency performers now have less to do with the Rat Pack than they do Deadmaus. The hymns in the gambling dens now come from the biggest DJs whose music dominates the pop charts and some of the best rock bands from our childhood who you never once dreamed would play in Las Vegas.

Aerosmith’s new “Deuces Are Wild” residency show at the recently rebranded Park MGM – you might know it as the Monte Carlo resort – is the perfect example of why seeing your favorite band play in Las Vegas is nothing like a concert at your local arena. The residency theaters are much smaller than most arenas with acoustics that are unbeatable.

The Park Theater holds about 6,000 people and feels even smaller than that. There isn’t a bad seat in the house.

Because several custom elements and effects are built specifically for these longer-running shows that don’t need to be torn down each night and packed in semi-trucks for a trip to the next town, these residency shows are much more elaborate than what you’ll see when Aerosmith is on tour.

It’s total sensory overload from the first song to the last.

And with Aerosmith, that means hit after hit after hit loaded with visuals as catchy and memorable as songs about amorous encounters in a department store elevator. It’s like rock ’n’ roll, Hollywood, an amusement park and Cirque du Soleil all met in a bar and decided to start a band.

A HEAVENLY TRIP

Speaking of Cirque, it feels like everywhere you turn in Las Vegas, you run into a billboard for French-Canadian acrobats wearing too much makeup and not enough clothes. With so many shows on the Strip, how could there be a place, let alone a need, for a show that looks a little like the Pepsi of pageantry and pandemonium?

That’s where you’d be wrong about the new show “Celestia” at the Stratosphere. There’s more of the Original Formula in this show than there is in some of the actual Cirque shows in Las Vegas … right down to being in a tent – just like the first Las Vegas Soleil show way back in 1993.

And all at a fraction of the cost of going to one of the Strip’s seemingly 183 other Cirque shows.

“Celestia” is filled with heart, humor and heart-stopping moments. It’s also one of the best values in Las Vegas. Yes, you can see many of these same stunts at other casino shows, but certainly not for this price. More importantly, it never feels like a discount show. It’s well done in nearly every facet.

It was produced by some of the same people behind “America’s Got Talent” and, yes, there are acts in it who are directly from the NBC program. This is exactly the sort of show you dream about.

‘LE REVE (THE DREAM)’

On the other side of the pool is the recently revamped “Le Reve (The Dream)” at the Wynn. The in-the-round aquatic theater is a seemingly liquefied version of everything Las Vegas represents: a no-expense-spared extravaganza with action happening all around you all of the time. With lots of costume changes. And fire.

It’s also completely wonderful and easily one of the best shows on the Strip.

You aren’t going to find many tickets at less than $100, but you also aren’t ever going to wonder if it was worth it. This Dream is worth every penny.

“Le Reve’s” performers, from the incredible athletes in the pool to the talented band and singers, are all world class. The costumes are elaborate and beautiful. There is effect after effect that make you wonder how they did that, including how a million-gallon pool that’s nearly 30-feet deep ended up in a theater in the middle of a desert.

When “Le Reve” is all over and you’re seeing a room filled with gigantic flowers that seemingly came from nowhere, you can’t help but wonder if it was all just a dream.

Possibly. But one with two shows nightly.

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