The uproarious Absinthe became the first major production show to return to live performances in front of a Las Vegas Strip audience late last month, and it did so while maintaining its unique identity. A recap of reopening night oversimplified the feat as “the same dirty fun in a very clean tent,” but what producers Spiegelworld and the talented cast and crew actually accomplished was nothing less than undeniable proof that live entertainment can still flourish through the mandated restrictions and limited capacities that have been placed on the Strip’s theaters and showrooms during the pandemic.

Before we return you to your regularly scheduled Absinthe programming, let’s examine what will be different at the big white spiegeltent in front of Caesars Palace. The one-of-a-kind venue traditionally holds 660 guests but its revamped floor plan, built around cabaret-style tables positioned no fewer than 6 feet apart, currently caps out at 153 people. The crowd may be smaller, but the energy onstage remains fabulously magnetic.

When you arrive, you’ll check in at the outdoor courtyard at Caesars’ Strip-side Roman Plaza and join a fast-moving, socially distanced line. You’ll answer a few quick questions as part of a health screening and receive a no-touch temperature check. You’ll be assigned to a color-coded group for entry and exit into the tent. Grab a drink and enjoy the weather; there aren’t many Vegas showrooms with an outdoor lobby. You can also order drinks at your table by scanning a QR code sticker and choosing your beverage on your phone. Once you’re seated, you’ll be reminded to keep your mask on unless you’re drinking and to wait to be dismissed by group when the show is over. The Spiegeltent is completely sanitized before and after each performance.

Now that the official business is taken care of, on with the show! And if you think you’re tired of the coronavirus, wait until you see how sick of it the Gazillionaire is and how, well, pent-up Penny Pibbets has become. The irreverence spilleth over, to put it mildly. Expect some heckling even if you are 25 feet away from the main stage, but most importantly, be ready to enjoy yourself.

The alluring Green Fairy sets a great example, singing and dancing and dangling from above while wearing a mask, which quickly becomes one of the only things she’s wearing. Gaz and Penny wear giant helmets like vintage astronauts, another sign of the creativity of Absinthe and how it embraces our collective circumstances and makes the most possible fun out of them. Lucia, the intoxicating “girl in a bubble,” remains a standout act, as well as charismatic juggler Asher, hoop artist Ailona and pole acrobat Hamish. The thrills and laughs rotate in a viciously entertaining cycle and just like that, it’s all over, leaving you wanting more. That’s what the late show is for.

Spiegelworld and Caesars Entertainment are clearly going above and beyond to keep guests safe and make everyone feel comfortable. You won’t notice the tent’s new air purification system or the antimicrobial coating on the floor. You will notice how much fun you’re having and how the incredible cast of this beloved show can create connections despite their increased distance and concealed faces.

Caesars Palace,

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