It’s no wonder that Cirque du Soleil’s “Mystere” has been running since 1993 to packed houses in the Treasure Island Hotel in Las Vegas. It’s unquestionably the fastest ninety minutes this reviewer has ever spent in a theater, with not a single wasted moment to slow the incredibly rapidly paced flow from one breath-defying act to another. One loses count of all the acrobatic feats of fancy, with not so much as a glance at one’s watch, as the inadequate adjectives strive to tumble out almost as non-stop as these awe-inspiring athletes. It’s hard to imagine that any other show, even one of the two dozen Cirque du Soleil productions playing all over the world, could possibly match these displays of strength, coordination and grace.
There are a seemingly endless procession of versatile aerial cubists, an amazing woman (Ginger Ana Griep-Ruiz) suspended in mid-air supported by only cloth, gravity-denying pole climbers, hand-to hand balancers, fearless human bungees on trampolines and courageous men and women on flying trapezes. There’s humor, too, none of it forced or farcical, especially from comic Brian le Petit, with some elements incorporating good natured cooperation from willing audience members, all of it harmless good fun. There are cast members playing a precocious baby, birds, black widows, lizards, “spermatos” and “spermatites”, a trouble-making clown, and a ventriloquist narrator. In short, it’s “Cirque du Soleil” as one has come to expect, but at a level that would be hard to beat.
Cirque du Soleil Founder Guy Laliberte has aptly described it as the “flower in the desert”, the creation of an ingenious group headed by Director Franco Dragone, who has helmed no fewer than ten Cirque du Soleil shows over the past twenty-five years or so. Gilles Ste.-Croix is credited as Director of Creation, and each of the creative team stands out with her or his contributions, including choreography (Debra Brown), sets (Michel Crete), costumes (Dominique Lemieux), music (Benoit Jutras and Rene Dupere), lighting (Luc Lafortune) and sound (Jonathan Deans). There’s not a single element that mars the nearly flawless whole.
It’s no mystery why “Mistere” has established itself as a virtually permanent resident of the Las Vegas scene. The sole mystery, if you’ve been to Las Vegas and haven’t seen it yet, is why not. It’s what Las Vegas and entertainment in general are all about. “Mystere” will overcome any hesitation you might have about this kind of theatrical wonder. It’s energy will wipe out such reservations. What happens in Vegas, slays in Vegas.