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Theater Review (Las Vegas): Le Rêve by Franco Dragone at the Wynn Las Vegas

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Le Rêve is a cirque-like show that is currently playing at the Wynn Las Vegas for an indefinite run. It is an acrobatic, aquatic show featuring sculptured bodies, thrills, a beautiful theater, and dazzling effects. It is one of my favorite shows in Las Vegas.

I first saw Le Rêve (The Dream) when it opened, and was very impressed at that time, but since then the show and the theater where it is presented have been transformed into something extraordinary and special.

What used to be a gorgeous theater has been redesigned into an intimate showplace. The 2087 seats have been reduced to only 1606, with no seat more than twelve rows from the stage. The theater itself has been repainted in warmer tones and given new, roomier seats (thank you) and more plush surroundings. On top of all this they have created what they call a Champagne Circle where 100 lucky guests sit in custom chairs sipping Perrier Jouet and eating chocolate-covered strawberries. This V.I.P. treatment is worth the additional bucks. Video screens are provided so you can see preparations for the show, and live underwater cams catch what goes on in the water.

When Le Rêve first opened it was criticized (unjustly) for being too like two other Cirque Du Soleil shows, O and Ka, both of which used so-called aqua theaters. While I liked those two shows very much, I think I sat too far away to get the full impact. But I found Le Rêve different. O has an almost feminine feel to it, while Ka features the choreography of Jacque Heim of the Diavolo Dance Theater, and actually tells an epic story about two twins.

Le Rêve, as its name suggests, has a dreamlike quality. It also has a distinctly masculine feel to it. It takes us into the dreams of a young girl, where she meets sea monsters, angels, and past and present lovers. The water pool becomes her subconscious, whence all the apparitions appear or into which they disappear. Some appear from above and dive from enormous, breath-holding heights. The gymnastics are outstanding and thrilling, often provoking a sense of beauty or danger, or both.

Le Rêve was originally put together by the remarkable Franco Dragone. He did this project outside the auspices of Cirque Du Soleil and apparently they weren’t very happy with that. But when all is said and done he has created a masterpiece. And producer Steve Wynn, not one to rest on his laurels or accept critics’ scorn lightly, keeps tweaking the show, bringing in new dance numbers (a terrific tango) and a Tony Award-winning lighting designer. My theater companion was so knocked over by the show he was speechless for minutes afterwards and could only mutter “wow.” Wow indeed. This is a must-see in Las Vegas.

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