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24 of the best shows in Las Vegas!

Prepare yourself! Las Vegas is a crazy, bustling city popping with too much energy in the middle of the desert.

Even as you fly in, the scene is set for what you’re about to experience when miles of sand suddenly turns into skyscrapers, pyramids, plops of green golf courses, impossibly blue swimming pools and a spiderweb of roads.

A visit to Las Vegas is all about fun, adventure, creating memories to last a lifetime – and it’s not all about casinos any more. In fact there is so much to do in Las Vegas you could be here a month and still not do it all.

And that’s before you even get to the incredible shopping in Las Vegas from malls to outlets to Italian cities in the middle of epic-sized hotels!

View over Bellagio fountains to Paris Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip
View over Bellagio fountains to Paris Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip

But this post is about the best shows in Vegas, to help you whittle down the list.

With a population of over 600,000 people, Las Vegas is the 26th most populous city in the US. Many have flocked to here not only for its abundance of affordable housing, but also for the access to some of the most engaging shows that can be found in the US. Period!

If you’ve never been to Las Vegas or you tend to only hit the tables when you do, and you want to find out what else this amazing city has to offer, you’ve come to the right spot.

Through first-hand experience and a bit of research, we’ve come up with this list of the best Las Vegas shows in the entertainment capital of the world!

Flips and tricks at Mad Apple by Cirque Du Soleil
Flips and tricks at Mad Apple by Cirque Du Soleil. Pic supplied by Cirque Du Soleil

You’ve got to see a Cirque Du Soleil show!

For a mind-blowing demonstration of human acrobatic skill and incredible costumes and stage design, look no further than Cirque Du Soleil. These hugely popular shows are known worldwide for their eccentric routines.

They use everything from special effects with lights, music, and visual stimulus, plus the breathtaking stunts of the performers (some are ex-Olympic gymnasts) to pull your attention any which way they want to.

There are six resident Cirque Du Soleil shows in Las Vegas and I have been to five of them. (Clearly I need to get back there asap!)

Mystère

Where: Treasure Island 

They say the first Cirque show you see is the one you’ll love the most. I think this is true for me. Mystére was my first ever attendance and this spectacular show had me in the first minute.

Mystere at Treasure Island. Pic supplied by Cirque Du Soleil

It is also the first-ever Cirque Du Soleil show to score a residence in Las Vegas, and you can expect a fantastic live show full of vibrant costumes and vivid set designs showcasing talented Cirque performers taking you inside the imagination where the world is a jaunty, music-filled adventure bright with color and athleticism.

The Beatles LOVE

Where: The Mirage  

This show combines the beauty of Cirque with music from the iconic band, The Beatles.

If you thought their Sgt. Pepper era was trippy, wait until you see Cirque Du Soleil’s interpretation!

Some of my personal favorite numbers from LOVE include Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and Yellow Submarine. Although, I am sure you will not be able to keep your eyes off the stage throughout the entirety of the show. 

Here comes the Sun by Cirque Du Soleil
Here comes the Sun. Pic supplied by Cirque Du Soleil

Make sure you don’t need to slip out to the bathroom mid-performance, like I did though. When I came back in the entire audience was under a sheet! (I’ll leave you to experience what that was about for yourself).

Where: MGM Grand Hotel & Casino 

KÀ takes the audience through a series of battles that keep you on your toes the whole time. It’s dark and fast and loud, and the stage moves and turns and tips while the performers manage to somehow defy gravity and not fall off!

KA acrobats on moving stage
KA acrobats on moving stage. Pic Eric Jamison, supplied by Cirque Du Soleil

The makeup and costumes truly bring the entire show together. But it’s the acrobatic stunts you’ll be talking about long after you leave. 

Michael Jackson ONE

Where: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino 

Fans of Michael Jackson will adore this tribute show in honor of the King of Pop.

Talented Cirque Du Soleil performers bring MJ’s music to life, complete with beautiful costumes, intricate set designs, and next-level acrobatic stunts that sees them bend and move in ways you didn’t know the human body could.

Cirque du Soleil Beat it!
Beat it! Pic supplied by Cirque Du Soleil

Michael Jackson himself even makes a brief appearance on stage in the form of an exceptionally clever hologram. ONE is undoubtedly an exciting and memorable show that you will not want to miss during your next trip to Las Vegas. 

Bad. Pic supplied by Cirque Du Soleil

“O”

Where: Bellagio Hotel & Casino  

This Aquatic-inspired Cirque show is packed with jaw-dropping moments. It is another high-energy show from the Cirque athletes and has one of the most fascinating sets in which the stage submerges underwater.

Performers utilize water in nearly every element of the show. If you want to take the evening one step further with the best seat in the house, splurge on tickets in the Golden Circle.

Acrobats on stage and in water at "O" Cirque du Soleil
Acrobats on stage and in water at “O”. Pic supplied by Cirque Du Soleil

I was lucky enough to have a behind-the-scenes tour here when I was visiting with some media. It was fascinating to learn that divers holding breathing apparatus are positioned under water for the performers to breathe on while they wait for their next stunt.

Mad Apple

Where: New York – New York Hotel & Casino 

Mad Apple is the newest Las Vegas Cirque Du Soleil show, and it does not disappoint. You will enjoy watching death-defying acrobatic stunts, music, dance and even comedy as well as an incredible cover of Jay-Z’s and Alicia Key’s iconic hit Empire State Of Mind. 

Of course, this Big Apple-inspired show is set at the fabulous New York-New York Hotel & Casino. On most evenings, the hotel also offers live music on the Brooklyn Bridge (the Las Vegas version of the bridge, that is).

Gravity defying basketball shot! Pic supplied by Cirque Du Soleil

An Evening With Silk Sonic

Where: Dolby Live at Park MGM Las Vegas 

An Evening With Silk Sonic featuring Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak is a must-see. The pair sings classic R&B, soul, and pop tracks. However, we cannot dismiss the nostalgic costumes and set design involved that make the live show unforgettable.

They debuted their Las Vegas residency in February 2022 and have more performances scheduled through to August. 

Silk Sonic
Silk Sonic. Pic supplied

WOW

Where: Rio Hotel

Las Vegas is well known for shows that will leave you on the edge of your seat and WOW is one of those shows that accomplishes just that.

WOW has racked up an impressive string of awards as it’s been voted as the best family friendly show, best value show, best production show, and best new show in Las Vegas several times over. In fact, it won out on the competition for Best in Las Vegas from all of the shows offered!

WOW incorporates so many different elements into the show that makes is a spectacularly wild ride from start to finish. From acrobatics to plate spinning, roller skating to full blown musical dance routines, your attention will be glued to the stage throughout the entire show. 

Atomic Saloon Show

Where: The Venetian 

This raunchy and wildly entertaining show by Spiegelworld should be on your Las Vegas trip itinerary. The Atomic Saloon Show boasts talented gymnasts, dancers, and even an adorable dog. Plus, they offer terrific cocktails at the saloon that you can sip on before the show starts!

Fast, funny and sexy, Atomic Saloon Show is for audiences age 18 and above.

All Shook Up: Tribute To The King

Where: Alexis Park Resort 

This stellar live show is the only all-Elvis Presley tribute show in Las Vegas. Fans are in for a treat to hear some of Presley’s top hits like Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock. 

Although, you may run into other Elvis impersonators around Sin City, including at the Graceland Wedding Chapel, where the King of Rock and Roll officiates your ceremony. In fact, I gate-crashed an Elvis wedding and it was such fun!

Elvis impersonator at All Shook Up
Elvis – All Shook Up! Pic used with permission

Blue Man Group

Where: Luxor Hotel & Casino 

Another widely recognized group around the world is the Blue Man Group. Known for their signature blue body paint and the absence of ears, the Blue Man Group combines lights, music, paint, and special visual effects to capture your attention for the entire show.

Percussion and comedy at Blue Man Group
Percussion and comedy at Blue Man Group. Pic supplied.

They combine music with comedy to make you laugh and then switch the mood in the blink of an eye to elevate your spirit, pumping you full of energy.

The Blue Man Group is a family friendly show that everyone in your group will enjoy. Not only do they perform in a way that people of all ages will enjoy the show, they also are very progressive by offering sensory-friendly performances so that those who are affected by autism are also able to enjoy the wonder of a Blue Man Group performance.

Tip: sit in front of you want to be part of the action!

Getting papered at Blue Man Group!
Getting papered at Blue Man Group!

Celine Dion

Where: Resorts World Las Vegas 

Celine Dion is on hiatus at the moment, but she has been a Las Vegas headliner for over sixteen years. I saw her with my brother a few years ago and the set designers from Cirque du Soleil have designed her set.

The Grammy award-winning My Heart Will Go On singer is known belts out her bangers and if you’re a Celine fan, this will be a highlight of your Vegas vacay.

Unfortunately, Celine Dion has delayed her residency due to health issues. Keep checking the Resorts World event page for updates regarding when live shows will resume. 

Criss Angel MINDFREAK

Where: Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino  

Criss Angel has been performing mind-bending illusions on the Las Vegas Strip for over a decade. From his eclectic, slightly “evil” personality to carefully thought-out magic tricks, the audience will be entertained from start to finish. 

He has a way of drawing your attention into the bizarre and his mastery of magic is enthralling. He filmed for his A&E TV special with the same title performing mind bending illusions that make you question what you know about reality!

To add on to his accolades, Criss Angel’s Mindfreak was awarded the Greatest of All Time award by Vanish Magazine. If the world’s largest magic magazine things that Criss Angel is the G.O.A.T. when it comes to levitation and illusion, you absolutely have to see if for yourself.

View from Las Vegas airpot to Luxor Hotel
View from Las Vegas airpot to Luxor Hotel. Crazy!

David Copperfield

Where: MGM Grand Hotel & Casino 

Copperfield is synonymous with magic. He’s been performing for over 40 years now, which tells you that he’s mastered the art of drawing the audience’s attention in.

Through a combination of illusion and storytelling, you’ll be whisked away on an hour and a half journey by Copperfield. You’ll leave knowing that you’ve seen one of the best in the world.

David Copperfield gives one of the best live magic shows in the world. This master illusionist has spent over fifty years perfecting his craft and was immensely popular in the 1980s, particularly for making the Statue of Liberty disappear.

Today, he continues to wow his audience at his Las Vegas residency at MGM Grand.  

David Copperfield
The legend David Copperfield. Pic supplied

Katy Perry: Play

Where: Resorts World Las Vegas 

I dressed up as Katy Perry for a ‘K’ party recently, and while I confess I looked more like I’d eaten KP, I would love to see her show for real. She is a talented artist that embodies all things fun and camp.

Her new show, Play, showcases her musical career banging out 19 hits over two hours and too many costume changes to count with stage props of oversized toys and enormous household objects.

You’ll leave the show with Firework stuck like an ear worm in your brain, but it’ll be worth it

Play runs until August 2022.

Katy Perry in Las Vegas
Katy Perry in Las Vegas. Pic Getty Images John Shearer

Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano 

Where: Dolby Live at Park MGM Las Vegas 

I am excited to see that Lady Gaga has returned to her Las Vegas residency this year and this is another show in my Bucket List.

Gaga performs some of her greatest hits like Born This Way and classic jazz numbers while dressed to the nines in the extravagant outfits we’ve come to know and love about her.

Lady Gaga at HAUS OF GAGA
Lady Gaga attends the grand opening of HAUS OF GAGA at Park MGM. Pic Denise Truscello

Penn & Teller

Where: Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Las Vegas 

Another show in Vegas that has stood the test of time is Penn & Teller. This magical duo has been performing their routine in Las Vegas since 2001 and have performed together for the past 44 years!

These guys are the real deal when it comes to magical performances and partnerships. 

One of the things that makes their shows so engaging is that they vary the scale of the illusions. From close up sleight of hand tricks to illusions that take up the entire stage, Penn and Teller will have you on the edge of your seat asking, “how did they do that?!”

But don’t worry, the best part is that they walk you through how their tricks are done. Even so, you’ll still leave scratching your head and mesmerized.

Penn & Teller Las Vegas show
Penn & Teller. Pic supplied.

Manilow Las Vegas

Where: Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino  

If you grew up in the 70s there’s no judgement here if you had a crush on Barry Manilow! After fifty years of singing pop hits like Copacabana and Mandy, Barry Manilow still got it. 

This is a must-see for longtime fans who will adore his live ninety-minute show at The Westgate’s International Theater. 

Donny Osmond

Where: Harrah’s Las Vegas

Another one for the teens of the 70s and fans of the Donny and Marie TV show! Donny and Marie Osmond were in residence in Las Vegas for 11 years when they ended their season together in 2019. But never fear: Donny is back as a solo performer!

If you still know the words to Puppy Love, then you need to get Donny Osmond tickets stat! And if you’re swooning already, then upgrade to a VIP ticket and meet him before the show where he does a private Q&A for fans.

Donny Osmond is back
Donny Osmond is back! Pic supplied by Caesars

Magic Mike Live

Where: Sahara Las Vegas Hotel & Casino 

Whether you are celebrating your bachelorette or on a trip with your gal pals, you do not want to miss Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike Live.

Since the film of the same name was released in 2012, viewers anticipated a live show to come. It finally debuted in Sin City and continues to be one of the most fun performances on the Las Vegas Strip.

Please note that this show is for adults only. Thus, you must be at least eighteen years old to purchase tickets.

Terry Fator: Who’s The Dummy Now?

Where: New York – New York Hotel & Casino 

One of the most unique comedy and musical shows in Las Vegas is Terry Fator’s.

Terry is one of the most talented ventriloquists in the world and he’s been using his puppets to enthral audiences in laughter for years. In fact, he holds the record for being the longest headlining performance at the Mirage Hotel for over 10 years!

He uses a variety of puppets to sing and impersonate over 200 celebrity voices. From Justin Timberlake to Willy Nelson, you’ll be rolling with how much you’re laughing throughout the course of Terry Fator’s unique brand of comedy.

His show is perfect for all ages, making it an excellent activity when traveling with children. 

Terry Fator and his ventriloquist dummy
Terry Fator and his ventriloquist dummy. Pic supplied

Tournament of Kings

Where: Excalibur Hotel & Casino

Take a trip back in time by checking out the Tournament of Kings – with dinner!

Tournament of the Kings is back from July 2022. It’s great for a couple of big reasons: Number 1 is that you get to watch some pretty amazing hand to hand combat up close and personal. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan or you love medieval history, the regalia that every one of the performers wears will make you feel like you’ve transported back in time to an actual medieval tournament. 

Number 2 is that the Tournament of Kings not only is a show that you get to watch, but it’s also a show that you get to taste!

Each ticket includes an incredibly tasty dinner which affords each viewer the opportunity to use the same utensils that those during medieval times used: your hands!

Tournament of the Kings Las Vegas
Tournament of the Kings Photo by Erik Kabik

Piff the Magic Dragon Show

Where: Flamingo Hotel & Casino

If you’re looking for a show that will leave you laughing and grasping at reality, make sure to go see Piff the Magic Dragon.

Piff the Magic Dragon in Vegas
Piff the Magic Dragon in Vegas

Piff captured the world’s attention on his first appearance on America’s Got Talent back in 2015. Each time that he went out on stage, he brought a new hilarious and bizarre routine that left audiences craving more.

One of the best parts about Piff’s show is that he has incorporated the world’s first magic Chihuahua in the show. Mr. Piffles is one of the cutest little dogs you’ll see in Vegas and his presence in the show makes seeing Piff the Magic Dragon all the better!

Jabbawockeez

Where: MGM Grand

One of the most internationally recognized groups that performs in Las Vegas is the Jabbawockeez. They gained their popularity almost immediately during their 2006 America’s Got Talent performance.

Their dance moves are absolutely spectacular. With almost robotic precision, they synchronize to unique mixes of music which energizes their performance as they match the energy of each song through their routine. 

People from all over the world have tried to emulate their mesmerizing style. They capture your attention and tell you a story without saying a word!

And to add to the intrigue, no one knows what any of the dancers look like because they all wear masks to take your attention away from individual dancers and place it squarely on the movement of the group as a whole. 

Jabbawockeez on stage
Jabbawockeez on stage. Pic supplied

World-class musicians coming to Caesars Palace

And if you needed another good reason to make Las Vegas your next vacation spot for all the fun and entertainment on offer, over the next few months Sting, Morrissey, Rod Stewart, Van Morrison and Adele will all be in residence for at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace.

Click here for dates and tickets to see some of the greatest music stars in the world!

Free Las Vegas shows

Freemont Street Experience – Nightly Live Music

Where: Freemont Street 

Downtown Las Vegas is severely underrated. There is plenty to keep you entertained, from The Mob Museum to a slot machine zip line to nightly live music at one of Freemont Street’s three outdoor stages.

Unlike some of the others on this list, admission is entirely free. However, it would help if you arrived early to ensure you find a good spot to watch the show. 

Fremont Street Las Vegas
Check out the ceiling light show for free on Fremont Street

Bellagio Fountains!

You can’t visit Las Vegas and not make a point of standing in front of the Bellagio Hotel to watch the mesmerizing water and light show every day from 3pm until midnight.

Click here to see latest timings, but if the weather is good you can expect them to start – accompanied by big music – at 3pm and run every 30 minutes until 8pm, then every 15 minutes until midnight.

Pro tip: the best hotel to stay to see the Bellagio fountains is of course the Bellagio Hotel (make sure you get a Strip view room with full or partial views of the fountains), OR for half the price of Bellagio’s fountain view rooms, stay across the road at Paris Las Vegas and make sure you choose ‘Eiffel View’ to be able to see the fountains.

The famous Bellagio fountains!
The famous Bellagio fountains!

Final tip

Finding a premium show in Las Vegas is not hard to do. The toughest thing is getting your tickets! Be sure to plan ahead and purchase your tickets well in advance of when you plan on visiting. 

Read more…

For more fun things to do in Vegas check out my next post with 22 cool and unusual things in Las Vegas you might like.

And if you’re a shopaholic (aren’t we all?) this post covers where to go shopping in Las Vegas including outlets malls.

I also once gate crashed an Elvis wedding, so if you’re up for either crashing a wedding, having your own wedding or a wedding vow renewal, you need to read my post to find out where to find the best Elvis is!

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!