"O" is a real showstopper
Once you’ve awed and inspired your audience, where do you go from there? That challenge has long been part of the Cirque du Soleil mission in Las Vegas, especially now that some of its incredibly innovative productions, including “O” at Bellagio, have been installed on the Strip for decades.
“You’re in this special place, coming to see this special show, but how do you elevate the experience beyond the show?” says Tony Ricotta, senior company manager at “O” and one of the Cirque team members who helped open the show in 1998. “We’re always looking for ways to enrich the guest experience and being at Bellagio (from the start), it has been one of our singular challenges from the very beginning.”
The solution is La Grande Expérience, a VIP ticket to “O” that offers more than great seats and special perks. It’s a completely customizable behind-the-scenes adventure that provides a new way to watch a show that has become a one-of-a-kind Vegas icon.
Starting with the favorite part of the package, a preshow meet-and-greet with Cirque du Soleil performers in costume is sure to create some star-struck memories.
“The meet-and-greet with the artists and the personalized photograph you get is the thing that gets the most comments,” says Ricotta.
“You’d be surprised at all the people and celebrities you would think would get VIP treatment all around the world and they just lock up when these artists walk in. They are just as big a fan as you and me. We get these big names—and I won’t name them—and they come in and are happy and being treated well, but the artists walk in and they become as giddy as anybody else would be. That’s the fun part.”
The experience host or hostess really makes the difference, offering personalized service for each guest while guiding the experience and answering questions and sharing knowledge about “O”. If you’ve seen the show and wondered how its effects and dramatic moments are created, now you have the chance to get all the info you need.
La Grande Expérience provides preshow champagne, early access to the VIP area, more hors d’oeuvres and treats after the meet-and-greet and special gifts to take home. The VIP ticket plants you in a beautifully appointed private suite, some of which can be adjusted to accommodate larger groups, no more than 45 feet from where the director watches the show.
“A lot of people think being in the front row and getting splashed is the best seat in the house, but I think the best seat is the director’s and you’re right behind that location,” Ricotta says. “You get to soak in every moment of the show. And when you go into the theater and sit in those seats, there’s some notoriety. It’s not only the best place to see the show, it’s the best place to be seen at the show.”
As Ricotta notes, everyone who comes to Las Vegas owes it to themselves to visit “O”.
“This show is as spectacular as it was the day it opened. Its magic is really there. It’s a work of art you cannot escape and people keep coming back because it touches their heart and soul.”
Bellagio, 7 & 9:30 p.m. Wed.-Sun. (dark through March 12), $98.50-$155 plus tax and fee. 702.693.8866; book La Grande Expérience in addition to ticket