Las Vegas Attraction Review: LE RÊVE (Wynn Theater)

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by Tony Frankel on November 10, 2010

in Theater-Las Vegas


How does one review a dream, which is a succession of images, thoughts and emotions – something of unreal beauty, charm, or excellence?

How does one describe a dream – that amazing, nearly inexplicable labyrinth of sensations that can transport us on a magical journey unlike anything experienced while awake? It is our imagination unleashed. Le Rêve, the ambrosial aqua array now playing in-the-round at the Wynn Las Vegas, is an intensely beautiful dream. It is a wholly sensory experience that defies explanation.

What is this dream about? Let’s leave that to the dream analysts, for there really is no story. A gorgeous woman is in bed with a gorgeous guy, who may or may not be asking her to marry him (giving a woman flowers can mean anything); either way, he wants to be committed to something. Instead of accepting his proposal, she falls asleep and meets a guy with horns, a guy with a cane, four guys in matching suits, and some of the most beautiful, near-naked guys in the universe. (Hey, it IS a dream.) After dancing with some more guys, she bids her dream friends adieu, wakes up and returns to the original guy, who, surprisingly enough, hasn’t ended up with yet another guy.

Oh, sure, some may walk away thinking that they saw a story in all of that hallucinogenic phantasmagoria, but that may just be the intention of the creators – Le Rêve may have been designed so that individual audience members each take away a different interpretation: “It’s about the fear of commitment.” “No, it’s about the alluring attraction of evil.” “Are you kidding? Those two hot guys struggling to keep each other aloft? It’s about gay marriage!”

So tell me, what is Alice in Wonderland about? Argue all you want, it turns out that Lewis Carroll was simply taking us through his druggy adventure. Don’t be surprised if you feel like you popped a tablet yourself watching this dream. Instead of a looking glass or a rabbit hole, our Le Rêve “Alice” (we don’t really know who anyone is as there is no program or cast list) dives into a pool. A pool with 1.1 million gallons of water, 3 miles of control tubing for bubble effects, 2,040,000 watts of lighting power, sets that weigh 4,700 pounds, and 92 brilliantly costumed artists who seamlessly move through smoke and fire, some falling from 80 feet over your head.

Le Rêve at Wynn Las Vegas photo by Tomasz RossaYes, occasionally all of the frantic goings on can be mind-numbing, and you’re not sure where to focus your eyes, but, unlike the newer Cirque shows that go way overboard with murky concepts, Le Rêve is easier to relate to. Even on a grand scale, it feels accessible, intimate, and never tries to be more than what it is. Ballroom dancing (choreography by Giuliano Peparini) shares center stage with acrobatics, while Busby Berkeley’s spirit surrounds the synchronized swimming segments – it is a spectacle that Esther Williams would dive for. Benoit Jutras’ fantastical music (ranging from Gregorian to jazzy to tribal to a big-budget action film) thrusts your senses into a realm of nirvana. Not only will the first few rows be sprinkled (maybe doused) with water, but the entire theatre is splashed with eroticism, love, and yearning; you will leave the theatre in a state of sweet, ethereal bliss.

Here is what Le Rêve is ultimately all about: vivid colors, astounding stagecraft, Olympian athletes, and an assortment of thrilling man maneuvers that simply celebrate imagination; it infiltrates all of your senses with an impressionistic view of the world. (See? I’m trying to describe a dream again, which can’t be done! You have to experience this dream for yourself. Besides, I’ll get a headache trying to come up with something more profound than that.)

Le Rêve at Wynn Las Vegas photo by Tomasz RossaLe Rêve is not a Cirque Du Soleil production – this is Steve Wynn’s baby – but it begs comparison to master originator Franco Dragone’s other entertainments, which also have a non-narrative structure; he is the creator of many Cirque shows, including Mystère (1993, still running in Vegas), and La Nouba (1999, still running in Orlando). Dragone reinvented the traditional circus genre, using expressive clowns and the body language of world-class athletes to convey ideas such as lost innocence. Even though many audience members find Cirque’s story lines opaque at best, most leave the theatre inspired and invigorated.

Unfortunately, shows such as these have flooded the market (including the immensely popular O, which also floods the stage). Let the bloggers fight it out as to which show is best; comparisons are redundant and ridiculous. People will always have their favorite Hepburn/Tracy movie or their favorite flavor of ice cream. Isn’t it enough to say, “Boy, I had a GREAT dream last night!”?

Your dream begins by walking into the theatre; designed by Claude Santerre, it is a jaw-dropping masterpiece of lavish magnificence, clearly built with us, the ticket-paying audience, in mind. The view from every plush seat is ideal. How ideal, you may ask? The VIP seats, which include personalized service of Perrier Jouet and luscious chocolates, are in the last row of the house.

Champagne and chocolates, indeed. As if the show wasn’t dreamy enough already.

Le Rêve at Wynn Las Vegas photo by Tomasz Rossa

photos by Tomasz Rossa

Le Rêve
Wynn Theater
Wynn Hotel, 3131 S. Las Vegas Blvd
Fri-Tues at 7 & 9:30 (dark Wed and Thurs)
running indefinitely
for tickets, call 702.770-9966 or visit Wynn

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brooke April 21, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Great review about the show. I watched both shows and found Le Reve to be more sensual, with a darker mood compared to the Cirque show, O. Le Reve is also a much smaller and more intimate production, while O is massive in scope. You have to sit several rows back just to take it all in with O. Also it’s a good idea to get there 20 minutes before the show starts because both productions offer a little pre-show entertainment.


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