by Brandon Metcalfe on March 12, 2024

in Extras,Theater-Las Vegas

Ever heard the phrase “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”? While many use it as an excuse to get away with drunken nights, daring escapades, and wagering it all on the best Vegas slot games for fun, the essence of it goes further than just indulgence. For many, Las Vegas can almost be likened to an alternative universe where kitsch is embraced, extravagance is seemingly commonplace, and show business is just a way of life.

With shows running decades or longer, we’ve got sheer proof of Vegas’ legacy as the entertainment capital of the world. From magic acts to circus troupes and grand medieval shows to musical groups, the diversity of entertainment is just as diverse as Vegas visitors themselves. If you happen to be in Vegas, why not check out one of these longest-running shows (if they still exist!) for bragging rights and an unforgettable experience?

Legends in Concert

Legends in Concert was for all those who had always wanted to see music legends like Elvis, Bruce Springsteen, and Aretha Franklin, as well as people who yearned to attend an Adele concert or couldn’t afford the sky-high prices for a Taylor Swift ticket. It was the ultimate live tribute show – and was officially the longest-running show in Vegas history until 2022.

Although they also hosted productions in other notable places like Myrtle Beach, Niagara Falls, and Waikiki, Hawaii, there was nothing like seeing one of these incredible shows in Las Vegas. Legends in Concert started as a mere 6-week event over 40 years ago but ended up entertaining guests in over 22,000 performances.

Cirque du Soleil (O & Mystère)

For anyone who wants to get a taste of world-class acrobatics, there’s nothing more fitting than a Cirque du Soleil performance. Both Mystère and O productions are inspiring and dramatic theatrical performances that have captivated viewers from around the world, becoming mainstays in the city.

Mystère first took to the stage at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in 1993 and is still held there today. The performance centers around the ungraspable forces about our universe that influence our lives, narrated by thunderous taiko drums and artistic, acrobatic performances. It aims to convey the message that even though we strive to understand our humanity through science and technology, the beauty of life often lies in what we can’t comprehend or control.

If you head over to the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, you’ll find the other resident Cirque du Soleil show, O. Since its premiere in 1998, this timeless production has been all about the grace of water, featuring acrobats above, in, and on water, synchronized swimmers, and dazzling divers. The story of O honors the charm and creativity of theater and all its forms – the romantic operas, heartfelt tragedies, and simple fringe plays.

Tournament of Kings

Staying true to the theme of the opulent Excalibur Hotel and Casino, the medieval-themed dinner show Tournament of Kings is sure to transport you back to a time when knighthood, chivalry, and jousting matches were king. Take your seat in the 900-seat theater, and you’ll be immersed in an epic live-action performance inspired by the tale of King Arthur. While you marvel at the pyrotechnics, knights jousting on their mighty steeds, and the attire of the era, you’ll feast on a three-course dinner starring a cornish game hen.

The overall authentic affair of the Tournament of Kings is enough to make it a one-of-a-kind experience, but with the show’s emphasis on interactivity and audience participation, it’s clear why it’s drawn in audiences for over 33 years. So eat, drink, and be merry as you participate in the thrilling spectacle.


In the spirit of Vegas, you can’t leave without seeing the quintessential showgirls with their giant headdresses and spectacular rhinestone costumes. Jubilee! was one of those iconic staples of the Strip where you could do just that. Campy, elegant, and reminiscent of the ‘30s, the show oozed glamor, brilliant choreography, and spectacular costumes. In fact, hundreds of thousands of expensive Swarovski crystals adorned the costumes.

Unfortunately, after 34 years at Bally’s (now rebranded to the Horseshoe Las Vegas), the shrinking crowds were a sign that it was time to call it quits in 2015. Nowadays, you can scour the Strip or take a peek at the Las Vegas Showgirl Museum to catch a glimpse of what appears to be a bygone concept.

Les Folies Bergère

Of course, Jubilee! wasn’t the sole showcase of Las Vegas showgirls, nor was it the longest-running showgirl performance either. Les Folies Bergere existed for just under half a century until its final show (out of 29,000!) in 2009. It was so successful and undeniably appealing that it even attracted A-List celebrities such as Frank Sinatra. With its elaborate sets and high-energy performances, ‘Folies’ left a lasting mark on the city and even shaped how people viewed it as an entertainment destination.

Penn and Teller

Comedy and magic are just as important to the entertainment scene in Vegas as showgirls, acrobatics, and themed spectacles. After all, the history of stand-up comedy is rich, thanks to famed comedians like Jerry Seinfeld and George Carlin making themselves known at venues like the Comedy Cellar at the Rio and the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. And magic? Let’s not forget about David Copperfield and Criss Angel, who have consistently pushed the boundaries of what’s possible.

Penn and Teller expertly combine these two lucrative worlds into an entertaining show complete with both light-hearted tricks and nail-biting performances. For 23 years and counting, the ‘Bad Boys of Magic’ have conquered the Rio with famous adaptations of classic tricks, one-of-a-kind routines, and larger-than-life performances – you won’t want to miss it!

Cover photo by Heather Gill on Unsplash

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