Photo: Zumanity by Cirque du Soleil

The Best Shows in Las Vegas in 2017-2018

Las Vegas Music + Nightlife Insider Guides
by Nicole Rupersburg Nov 24, 2017

There are a lot — a lot — of shows to choose from in Las Vegas, from the splashiest (sometimes literally) and most expensive ones on the Strip to their off-Broadway equivalents (i.e. magicians performing in 50-seat backrooms in properties people forgot about). When you visit Las Vegas and want to see a show, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to even start. Well, start here! These are the best shows on the Strip for your money, with a little something for all tastes and ages.

1. Absinthe

Absinthe is, hands-down, the best show on the Strip (sorry, Cirque), Absinthe is a modern-day vaudeville/variety show that is as thrilling as it is raunchy. And it is RAUNCHY. It takes place in a big top but it is definitely not for kids!

2. Ka

The only Cirque show to actually have a (loose) narrative, Ka is a story about a pair of twins finding their destiny through fierce martial arts and outstanding pyrotechnics. As a bonus, they also offer free behind-the-scenes tours of the $165-million production Tuesdays (11 AM and 11:30 AM) and Saturdays (12 and 12:30 PM).

3. Penn & Teller

This comedy/magic duo have been headliners in Vegas forever and with good reason: equal parts awe-inspiring illusions and sharp-witted humor continue to impress audience members even after multiple viewings. If you see one magic show in Vegas, make it Penn & Teller.

4. Piff the Magic Dragon

Piff the Magic Dragon is another magic/comedy act in the vein of Penn & Teller, only instead of a small silent magic-performing human sidekick, Piff has a small silent magic-performing Chihuahua called Mr. Piffles. This show will have you laughing out loud, and for some extra one-on-one attention with Piff & Co. splurge on Piff’s Private Party VIP meet-and-greet before the show.

5. The Beatles LOVE

The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil is the Fab Four as only Cirque could do, with “interpretive” choreography and super-psychedelic visuals.

6. Jabbawockeez

The only hip-hop dance crew to have a residency in Vegas, Jabbawockeez bring mind-melding breakdancing to a show that also celebrates diversity and inclusivity that’s appropriate for all ages.

7. Zumanity

The sexiest show Cirque has ever produced, Zumanity is an erotic version of all the things Cirque does best, highlighting the beautiful bodies of the performers as they dance, contort, flip, and fly around each other in what is absolutely the sexiest striptease in Vegas.

8. Blue Man Group

The Blue Man Group has been around forever, yet it still reels people in night after night. For the uninitiated, grown men paint themselves blue and bang on things while also blending different elements of music and art with current social/cultural references to stay relevant. They’re now owned by Cirque, so you can expect the shows will only get bigger from here.

9. Le Rêve

Le Rêve is Cirque in water, basically. The rounded theatre allows all audience members excellent views of the 1.1-million gallon tank where performers do water dancing and water gymnastics and other water-related things.

10. Vegas! The Show!

There are no more showgirls in Vegas, but there are showgirls in this meta “Vegas show about Vegas shows” Vegas show. Got all that?

11. Purple Reign

Best Las Vegas shows Purple Reign

Photo: Purple Reign

We can no longer experience His Purpleness in person, but we can experience the next best thing: Purple Reign, a fantastic tribute show that has been running for years and just moved from the Westgate to the Tropicana. Rest in Purple, Prince.

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