The Fountains of Bellagio have played host to a handful of innovative performances in recent years, from Panic! At the Disco kicking off the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals with a floating mini-concert to this past spring’s Game of Thrones-themed visual spectacular.
Later this month, Bellagio will celebrate its other iconic staple, Cirque du Soleil’s O, with the first-ever acrobatic performances on the surface of the Strip-side lake. Cast members from the 21-year-old masterpiece will perform variations of two of O’s most beloved acts in special afternoon fountain takeovers on September 28 and 29 and again on October 12 and 13.
If that sounds like serious double-duty for Cirque’s incredible performers, it’s only a tease of what’s to come. Beginning in January 2020, O will shift to a seven-night schedule in its 1,800-seat theater at Bellagio, a first for Cirque in Las Vegas. The show is currently dark Mondays and Tuesdays, playing twice a night the rest of the week, a standard schedule for a production of this scale.
In a time when the Montreal-based live entertainment giant is preparing to open its first new show on the Strip in six years (R.U.N at Luxor on October 24), this expansion of its signature show could be considered a bold move. But O is also Cirque’s most successful Vegas production by most standards and measures.
“We are grateful the demand for O has never been stronger and to be in the position where we can offer guests more opportunities to see the show,” says Matt Nickel, general manager of Cirque’s resident shows division. “This production has been an essential part of the Las Vegas experience from the day it opened.”
That day was October 17, 1998, the third day of business at Bellagio. Steve Wynn’s third Strip megaresort, after the Mirage and Treasure Island, is still best known for bringing a new level of extravagance and sophistication to every dimension of the Vegas casino experience, certainly including entertainment. Written and directed by Franco Dragone and instantly identified by its 1.5 million-gallon pool “stage,” O has consistently been hailed as one of the most dynamic productions in Las Vegas or anywhere else, and has been seen by more than 17 million guests at Bellagio.
On September 1, O quietly celebrated its 10,000th show, a landmark occasion relative to the ever-changing Strip entertainment landscape. The special fountain performances are the closest thing to a Cirque celebration the public will see as the company’s shows keep chugging along. It’s always about what comes next, and the focus now is on R.U.N and the new O schedule. Cirque has been hiring and training more than 40 additional artists to make those extra shows a reality.
“It’s another huge move for us, but the demand is there,” says Lou D’Angeli, vice president of marketing and public relations for Cirque’s resident shows division. “There’s a lot that went into that from an operations standpoint. To have our best show and our most successful show and our trademark show performing every night is going to be unbelievable.”
O Wednesday-Sunday, 7 & 9:30 p.m., $108-$251. Bellagio, 888-488-7111.