Friends With Benefits: Joe Porrello
“When I was young I remember coming here and seeing the show EFX in this theater, and that’s always been my dream, to work in entertainment in Vegas,” said Joe Porrello, theater supervisor for Cirque du Soleil’s KÀ at MGM Grand. “... Since then it’s all I ever wanted to do.”
Porrello has literally come full circle—now overseeing the very theater where he fell in love with entertainment when he was just a boy.
The Las Vegas native’s career includes a long stint with Blue Man Group when the show was at Monte Carlo (now at Luxor), where he worked the front of house as well as performed in the pre-show procession that parades through the casino each night. Porrello also spent time as the special events supervisor for Park Theater at Park MGM. Six months after helping launch the theater, he and his team received the chairman’s award for guest services. “That was a really big accomplishment for us,” he said. In 2017 he joined Cirque’s KÀ, where he oversees a team of nearly 30 “gatekeepers”—a team of individuals that play characters that interact with guests, giving them a unique experience when they come see the show.
His favorite part of being the theater supervisor? “Honestly, this probably sounds cliché, but it’s the guest interaction,” Porrello said. “We have guests coming from all over the world and it’s so cool getting to know their story. I love asking what brings them to the city. I come across guests that have been saving for years to bring their family here, and when they say they had to pick one thing for their family to do out here and they pick coming here—it’s just really special. That’s my favorite thing. To make a memorable entertainment experience for all our guests.”
KÀ Imperial Experience
This VIP experience comes with luxury box seats situated 30 feet above the audience and overlooks the entire theater. Along with the box seats, guests can kick back in the lounge space to enjoy a complimentary cocktail and popcorn (there’s a full menu of cocktails and small bites for an additional charge). There’s also a meet and greet and photo opportunity with some of the KÀ cast. Part of Porrello’s job is to greet the guests that book the Imperial Experience, and he personally escorts guests up to the private suite through a private entrance and checks in throughout the show to make sure the experience was a memorable one.