‘WOW’ delivers dazzling delights
Ninety action-packed minutes in the Rio Showroom and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another world. That’s the goal of WOW, a spectacular stuffed with acrobatics, comedy, dancing and 3D-projection effects, all tied together with a little old Vegas charm.
“We try to give the audience a mixture of many different elements,” says creator and producer Hanoch Rosènn. “I like to see variety, different things that make me say, ‘Wow! How did they do that?’ It’s something very extravagant in terms of costumes, effects and music, 90 minutes of roller-coaster entertainment that’s good for the entire family.”
Rosènn anchored the original production of WOW in a major resort south of Israel for nearly 15 years and has toured the show throughout Europe and South America, but he made some important tweaks to get it ready for its Las Vegas debut in October. WOW takes advantage of the rounded structure of the Rio Showroom by extending the stage into the center of the room and bringing some of the awe-inspiring acts closer to the audience.
“We also used the round walls to create a sort of semi-panoramic effect with the video (projection) walls,” he says. “We’re not using it as a regular proscenium stage but trying to maximize the room itself, and what we’re really trying to do with the show is the character of each act. You should feel you are really close to the artist, and sometimes you’re actually just a few feet away. They are not untouchable. The show has to have that real connection between artist and audience; it’s the only way for us to win.”
One of the favorite acts in WOW is Silvia Silvia, a crossbow archer who’s no stranger to Las Vegas. She’s recognizable from a recent appearance on America’s Got Talent, but the third-generation performer (born in Colombia and raised in Spain) recalls previous onstage stints here in the early ’80s.
“It’s another Vegas now,” she says. “It’s beautiful, too, but the Las Vegas I remember was completely different. One thing that hasn’t changed is all the big, beautiful shows.”
Silvia, whose husband of 46 years, Victor Ponce, is the juggler who stars in WOW, offers the dramatic finale to the show by shooting an apple resting on her own head with the use of eight crossbows. After she did the trick on AGT, the offers started pouring in, but Silvia has had to turn down most of them in order to perform in WOW.
“I’ve been this for more than 30 years and when I do the apple, it happens so fast. People only see the few minutes onstage but we are preparing for three hours every night behind the scenes,” she says. “I love it. And here, in America and in Las Vegas, the audience really does give everything to you. We love the audience here and they love the show.”
The connection is real, and that’s just one of more than a dozen acts that make WOW a memorable, immersive experience.
Rio, 7 p.m. Tues.-Thurs., 7 & 9 p.m. Fri.-Sun., starting at $49 plus tax and fee. 702.777.2782