Entertainment awaits those who visit Las Vegas


One of the best things about Las Vegas is the variety of shows at the ready to entertain visitors — there is seemingly something for nearly everyone.

From big spectacles — Celine Dion, Bruno Mars and Cirque du Soleil — to smaller productions — The Cocktail Cabaret, Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream, Tenors of Rock and Matt Goss — Las Vegas is truly The Entertainment Capital of the World.

Here are 14 picks for must-see shows in Las Vegas — with one, sadly, ending its run July 28 and another in October:

Baz — A Musical Tour de Force at The Palazzo Las Vegas is a high-energy, Broadway-caliber mashup of director Baz Luhrmann’s star-crossed-lover interpretations of Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby. A powerhouse show in Las Vegas — the vocalists are incredible, Baz just celebrated its second anniversary … and ends its run July 28. So hurry to Vegas!

3325 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 866.641.7469,

Spiegelworld’s Absinthe at Caesars Palace and Opium at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas are two peas in a pod in that both are deliciously weird and feature riveting variety acts. Absinthe just celebrated its seventh anniversary, while Opium is new. Absinthe features a lot of adult humor. Opium, while not as racy, isn’t family-friendly, either. Expect a wild ride at both shows.

Absinthe, 3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 855.234.7469,

Opium, 3708 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 866.973.9611,

The Backstreet Boys’ successful residency Larger Than Life at Zappos Theater in Planet Hollywood ends April 27, so there’s still time to see Nick Carter, Brian Littrell, Kevin Richardson, A.J. McLean and Howie Dorough perform their infectious hit after hit after hit. Bonus: BSB hosts after-parties at nearby Chateau Nightclub at Paris Las Vegas. Check online for dates.

3667 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 855.234.7469,

Bruno Mars at Park Theater in Park MGM (formerly Monte Carlo) is one of the more expensive tickets in town, but that’s not surprising considering Mars is one the biggest music superstars in the world today. He also is one of the most award-winning and talented, too, and his performances with his The Hooligans are certain to please.

3770 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 702.730.7777,

Celine Dion at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace is possibly the perfect resident performer in Las Vegas. The veteran on this list alongside Cirque du Soleil, Dion is the epitome of elegance; she treats her fans like they are family; and then of course there is that voice, the one that perfectly sings My Heart Will Go On, All By Myself, Because You Love Me and many more.

3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 855.234.7469,

Cirque du Soleil boasts seven productions on the Las Vegas Strip, and the two standouts are Mystere at Treasure Island and Michael Jackson One at Mandalay Bay (although you can’t go wrong with any of the shows). Mystere is the longest-running Cirque spectacle in town, and it’s a family-friendly charmer, while One celebrates all that was great about the late pop icon.

Mystere, 3300 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 800.392.1999,

Michael Jackson One, 3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 877.632.7400,

Criss Angel’s Mindfreak at The Luxor and Mat Franco’s Magic Reinvented Nightly at The Linq Hotel are two magic shows that couldn’t be more different, but both bring some, well, magic. Mindfreak, a Cirque show, that ends its decade run in October, includes in-your-face rock-star illusions, while extremely likable America’s Got Talent champion Franco offers fun, family-friendly fare.

Criss Angel’s Mindfreak, 3900 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 866.353.5625,

Mat Franco’s Magic Reinvented Nightly, 3535 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 702.777.2782,

Finally, let’s shine the spotlight on deserving productions that are big on talent if not budgets. The Cocktail Cabaret at Cleopatra’s Barge in Caesars Palace features Las Vegas standouts Eric Jordan Young, Maren Wade, Niki Scalera and Daniel Emmet, who recently competed on America’s Got Talent; Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream at Sin City Theater in Planet Hollywood is the only former Cirque performer with a headliner show on the Strip, and his magic show just celebrated its second anniversary; Tenors of Rock at Harrah’s Showroom in Harrah’s Las Vegas features five talented and handsome blokes belting out classic and current rock hits; and Matt Goss at 1 OAK in The Mirage offers an Old Las Vegas and The Rat Pack vibe with the sexy ex-singer of ’90s band Bros and his talented musicians — all well-dressed, too.

The Cocktail Cabaret, 3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 702.777.2782,

Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream, 3667 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 702.777.6737,

Tenors of Rock, 3475 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 855.234.7469,

Matt Goss, 3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 702.792.7777,

Don Chareunsy is based in Las Vegas, where he has worked as an arts and entertainment editor and reporter since 2008. Before moving to The Entertainment Capital of the World a decade ago, he worked at The San Diego Union-Tribune from 2002-2007.