REVIEW — Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère (Las Vegas)
Cirque du Soleil’s circus-themed Mystère at Treasure Island will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2018, but the long-running show shows no sign of age — it’s a bright and lively production, perfect for the entire family.
Much like Cirque’s Beatles Love, Mystère is a technicolor explosion: a riot as colorful, trippy, and as irreverent as Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. Theatrical and showy, Mystère combines Cirque’s trademark athleticism and high production values with aerial performances, tissu (featuring an aerial performer on a vertical strip of silk that seemingly never ends), trampoline and teeterboard, bungee, Chinese poles, hand-to-hand, trapeze, and a powerful set piece featuring Japanese taiko drums — all accompanied by mischievous and playful clowns (the not-creepy kind).
One of the Les Bébés — a giant, rotund man-baby with an infectious laugh — draws big laughs in his quirky mishaps with “dada,” an unsuspecting guest plucked from the audience. Mystère blends fantastical fairy tale with screwball and character humor, with an impish cast of characters keeping the show — and the audience — on its toes.
A fast-paced trapeze act, complete with one-hand twirls, gives way to a performer scaling a wall like Spider-Man — only for a gravity-defying Chinese poles act to steal the show. It’s that kind of constant oneupmanship that lends to Mystère’s kinetic energy, one thrilling act pushing into the next. Most exciting was the bungee set piece, featuring a half-dozen performers, tethered only by elastic bands, flipping and dropping out of the sky in a continuous and uniform circle of motion.
Cirque’s many Las Vegas productions largely feature the same type of acts, with those acts interpreted in different ways; the bungee act, however, is entirely Mystère’s. It’s a jaw-dropping display of near-inhuman ability, and its only competition for biggest standout of the show is an act that involves ladders suspended midair.
Offbeat and delightfully weird — the confetti-laced finale even trots out a towering, inflatable snail — Mystère is a surreal fantasy and a lively festival of color and fun. Mystère has endured for two-and-a-half decades not out of any lack of creativity on Cirque’s end — the production has been able to maintain a presence in the ever-evolving Las Vegas because it’s a circus that robs the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus of its ability to call itself “the greatest show on Earth.”
Mystère runs Saturday — Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. & 9:30 p.m., exclusively at Treasure Island. For more show information and to purchase tickets, visit the Treasure Island website.