When I go to Vegas I am compelled to go to Cirque du Soleil shows. I’m sure every make up artist out there gets fixated on the spectacular visuals, the sheer majesty of the Cirque shows.

My favorite beyond favorite is Le Reve, which plays at the Wynn.

Now technically its not a Cirque production, and is not on the list of Cirque shows, but it was designed for Steve Wynn by Franco Dragone, the creative director of O, Mystere, La Nouba, Quidam and Alegria. Any Cirque fan watching Le Reve would be hard pressed to tell its not a Cirque du Soleil performance, if indeed there is a way to tell?

Like O, Reve happens in water. 1 million gallons of it, to be precise. The story line follows a series of dreams, with some of the most astounding acrobatics, dance and theatrics you’ll ever witness, and indeed feel a part of. The theatre is in the round, seats approximately 2000, with no one further than 40 feet away from the action.
Because it is in the round, there is no “backstage”. The sets, and for the most part the performers themselves, either appear from the depths of the water, or soar in from above.
The stages raise and descend seemingly in mere seconds. A performer will run clear across the surface of the pool, and a heartbeat later another will dive from 40 feet high straight into the water, leaving your heart somewhere near your throat.

It takes 175 technicians and crew to support the 68 performers.

The make up artist in me is in awe of the fabrics used in the costumes, especially the red dresses. The girls will perform water ballets, then climb out and dance on the edge of the pool, their skirts swinging with their moves as if dry. (It should be noted that they dance and swim in red heels!) All the costuming is spectacular.

No matter how many production stills and videos I watch, none really do justice to Le Reve. I’ve included a couple of you tube clips to give you some of the flavor of this genius show, but there is no comparison to actually being there and experiencing it live.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4f88xxDnro

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nbl-GJwfQGA

For some reason these aren’t linking, but you can always check them out at www.youtube.com

Have a beautiful weekend!

Oh I just adore Vegas!

I scarcely even bother gambling, to me its such a great place to go shop, window shop, eat, drink and be merry. I love going to shows and live concerts, so I frequently zip out there just for some Cirque action, or to take in a rock concert.

I just got back from a Vegas run, and what fabulicious fun it was!

With the exception of a fun little adventure in March staying at the Palms, I always stay at Mandalay Bay or Bellagio. I have loved them equally and loyally until now…
This trip I stayed at the Venetian for the first time, and am not planning on ever staying anywhere else!

The Venetian and the adjoining Palazzo are suite only hotels, and the suites are to die for! They’re no more expensive than the other hotels, which really surprised me. I was in a Bella Suite, which is 650 square feet of gorgeousness and opulence. The Bella’s are so well appointed, with extra storage space, so you really can keep it all behind closed doors.
The sunken living room has beautiful furnishings, dining table and chairs, desk with office equiptment such as photocopier and fax (I really loved that! but couldn’t think up anyone exciting to send a fax to…) All the small and incidental features were divine too, interesting lamps and light shades, remote control roman window dressings etc.

Bella’s come with two queen beds, ideal for travelling with friends, or if you don’t really like your husband that much. Other suites have just one king size bed if you still think he’s quite nice.

I could happily live in the bathroom! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

The dining at the Venetian properties was varied and really good. My favorites were the Canyon Ranch Spa grill for some super healthy organic fare (in Vegas?), and then the pan asian fine dining at Woo. The evening spent at Woo was spectacular on every level. The menu was just completely beyond fab, the wine list was lovely and our waiter Jeffrey was exactly what you want in a waiter. Friendly, helpful, knowledgable and witty, and there when you wanted or needed him.

The jewel in the crown for me was the shopping. Whether you want to just window shop, or if you’re there for the real thing, the Venetian shopping experience is in my mind unparalleled in Vegas. A steady stream of designer stores with the bonus of having both Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin stores under the same roof. I died!!!
And when I was done dying I accidentally got connected to the Jimmy Choo sale.

Even though I had the consolation prize of a beautiful new pair of Choos to take home with me, I was so sad to leave the Venetian. I cant wait to go back, but am taking solace in the new yellow slingbacks….

After I went to last year’s Prelude to the Dream, I really got into dirt track racing. Who saw that coming? – not me!!! I had never enjoyed dirty, dusty, loud racetracks before (well, truth be told, I’d never even considered going to one before…), but here was this fun new thing to go and do.

In Phoenix we had a fantastic dirt track called Manzanita Speedway. It had been around since the early 1900’s, and since the 1950’s had been used for dirt track car races.
It was one of those great old venues with big old wooden stands to sit in, all ambience and atmosphere and tradition. It was the perfect place to take my 8 year old every weekend. Inexpensive, loud, boy fun. It seemed that every weekend the same cast of characters would be there. We’d sit in approximately the same seats near turn four every time, and got to know all the other families, who would sit in their same seats too.

All the little boys would tear down and watch from the wall, hooting and hollering and waving their checkered flags at the cars. We had no clue who the drivers were, so would just randomly pick cars to cheer for while they were running hot laps. That in itself would be hysterically funny. Typically everyone is cheering on the hot favorite or the family member, but we always wound up with the cars that only had 3 other fans (or none at all), and we’d support them with all the crazy enthusiasm that everyone else used.
My car frequently got lapped by all the others, and would limp back to the pit wounded, but I would still be cheering him on valiantly!

a little fence jumping…

a Cruz pedregon t-shirt, a light saber, and the late mods – what else could a boy want?

Manzy was one of those places where you just throw on a baseball cap and your jeans – totally low key. The kids would have hotdogs and cokes, and to a foreigner (me!) it just seemed to be a really fantastic slice of americana, and absolutely the stuff that memories are made of.

And then, out of nowhere, they up and sold it. Just like that. We were devastated!
All the fun ended on Easter Sunday, with our two favorites, late models and sprint cars.

Every weekend we still miss Manzy. I haven’t found another cool place to watch the dirt cars run out here.

So if you ever get the opportunity to go to a dirt track, jump all over it. You’ll meet the nicest people, have no end of fun, and create some really great memories along the way 🙂