Friday Five: Non-Cirque Vegas Shows


One of my favorite things to do on a Vegas vacation is catch a few shows — the array of over-the-top, gaudy, shiny, in-your-face entertainment is terrific, and it’s a fun way to kick off a long night of hitting the town. However, in recent years, much of the Strip has been overrun with extremely pricey Cirque du Soleil shows. While Cirque offers a definite feast for the eyes, I sometimes prefer shows without such highbrow aspirations. It’s so fun to watch a classic, cheesy, titillating Vegas spectacle, and it’s also a lot cheaper! Next time you’re in Vegas, give one of these shows a shot:

Jubilee!: For me, this signature Bally’s show is the granddaddy of Vegas spectaculars — tons of showgirls in amazing rhinestone and feather costumes, big set pieces, and plenty of variety acts throughout the show. Jubilee! is pretty much the last of its kind on the Strip, so don’t miss it!

Thunder From Down Under: You gotta love this show for the name alone, and the bachelorette party filled audience lends it a high-energy vibe that I get a kick out of. Where else but Vegas can you watch a “male revue” featuring a bunch of Australian hunks and not feel the least bit ashamed?

Purple Reign: The “ultimate Prince Tribute Show,” taking place nightly at the Hooters Casino Hotel. It doesn’t get much more Vegas than this, and who doesn’t love Prince?

Tiesto in Concert: Sometimes you just wanna hit a disco dance party and groove to electronic music like it’s 1994. This ongoing concert at the Hard Rock Hotel, with its crazy sound system, video displays and laser light show will take you straight back to the ravin’ heyday of the mid 90s.

Penn & Teller: Iconic magicians Penn & Teller break all the rules of standard magic shows in their show at the Rio. It’s one of the most consistently well-reviewed acts in Vegas, and although retail ticket prices are high, you can score seats for up to 50% off with a little bargain hunting.

Keep in mind: For shows with assigned seats, sometimes the best view isn’t necessarily the front row (especially for Jubilee!). Try for a nice middle section seat — these have the added benefit of allowing you to escape the audience participation/ridicule routines that Vegas shows sometimes engage in.

Bonus tip(s): If you’re looking for more ways to save some dough on your Vegas trip, check out Eavan’s recent post on this very subject.

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