Vegas Shows: Worth the Cost?

Night view from Stratosphere
Night view from Stratosphere

So, you're planning a trip to Las Vegas huh?

There are so many attractions to visit and great free activities, but what about all the spectacular live-action shows?

Checking the prices for the shows gives you a great shock. Over $100 for one ticket! Yikes!

Could the show really be worth the cost?

MGM billboard
MGM billboard

First, let's look at some specifics. Here are the price ranges (single ticket) for some selected Vegas live-theater events:

  • Blue Man Group: $102 to $203
  • Carrot Top: $60 to $71
  • Ka (Cirque du Soleil): $69 to $150
  • Love (Cirque du Soleil): $94 to $151
  • Price is Right: $55
  • O (Cirque du Soleil): $94 to $151
  • Tony and Tina's Wedding: $90 to $140

Keep in mind that the lowest price tickets may have limited availability.

Many Las Vegas shows are grand events. They will often feature singing, dancing, elaborate costumes, pyrotechnics, mechanical marvels, and top quality acting. They are a feast for the eyes and the ears.

Surely then, they could be considered at least in the same class (and maybe a step above) as any Broadway show. So what are the prices for tickets on Broadway?

Random Broadway show ticket ranges:

  • Chicago: $69 to $132
  • Rain (Beatles tribute): $59 to $129
  • Spiderman(music by Bono and the Edge): $68 to $140
  • Wicked: $65 to $120

So, the tickets for theater shows on Broadway have similar price ranges for similar or perhaps less spectacle.

But maybe you're thinking that comparing Las Vegas to Broadway is an, to use an old expression, apples to oranges comparison? After all, Broadway is world renown for theater. It is number one, top of the line entertainment. Does Vegas really match up?

While a Musical on Broadway such as Cats, and something like Cirque du Soleil's O are different in many ways; the real value is in the entertainment. This is where they are alike. Both are large budget affairs with rich and well-crafted costumes, brilliant light displays, beautiful singing, and uniquely choreographed numbers. Both are energetic and exciting, and both are a thrill when done well.

KA

It is true that Las Vegas shows may not be for everyone (just as not everyone likes musical theater or art museums), but most will find them thrilling and fascinating. In a town where $100 can be quickly lost at the roulette wheel, the price of a ticket to a good show will give you two hours of entertainment and memories that will last long after your trip is over.

Is a Vegas show worth the cost? I say absolutely.

Shows I highly recommend

Cirque du Soleil's Ka -- A cirque show is a modern circus. There are no animals, but there are high-wire, trapeze, and acrobatic performances. A cirque show comes at you from everywhere. In Ka, there are performers near the ceiling, in front of you, behind you, and beside you. Then there's the music perfectly in sync to the action and a stage that moves more than 90 degrees. Also, lots of fire.

Cirque du Soleil's O -- an aquatic-spectacular. A cirque show with a huge pool as the main part of its stage. The acrobats do their stunts into the pool and everyone seems to be able to breathe under water.

Jubilee! -- if you are looking for a traditional Vegas-style show, you won't go wrong with Jubilee! Think of people dressed in skimpy glittering costumes with headpieces that defy gravity. Think of lots of dancing and singing and tasteful topless-ness (there is also a non-topless show). Think of spectacular pyrotechnics and a realistic-looking sinking of the Titanic.

Find More Good Shows

There are many places you can go to read reviews of shows.

Some I would recommend:

Shows I would skip

Penn & Teller

I hate to say it, because I am a fan of their TV show and their magic. Unfortunately, the Vegas show just doesn't compete with the glitter and glamour of other Vegas shows. I would suggest watching one of their DVDs instead.

Ways to save money on tickets

Look for package deals with your hotel. They will often have deals for room and 2 tickets for shows that are in their hotel.

Be flexible on the date. Certain dates may fill up quickly and the lower cost tickets are limited so may be the first to sell out.

Try travel sites such as AAA travel for discounts.


Written by: Jeanette Cline

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