Cirque’s Las Vegas show ‘One Night’ proves great fit for CBS

Updated March 11, 2019 - 6:52 pm

At about the moment the fire extinguisher-brandishing Blue Man Group doused a fire in the shape of a peace sign on standing water at O Theater, you thought, “This would be great TV.”

It was — and will be. The “One Night For One Drop: Imagined By Cirque du Soleil,” which was performed for a packed house Friday night at the Bellagio, airs at 8 p.m. Saturday on CBS. The one-hour version of the performance is the first network broadcast of a Cirque production. Colgate, a first-time “One Night” sponsor, is underwriting the network time slot.

A CBS camera crew captured the full show, along with footage culled behind the scenes and on the blue carpet beforehand. The special will be co-hosted by Kevin Frazier of “Entertainment Tonight” and Olympic gold-medal figure skater and TV personality Tara Lipinski.

Lipinski, especially, was an interested observer. The very definition of a world-class athlete was blown away in her comprehensive visit to the annual Cirque water-conservation charity production.

“I am completely in awe,” Lipinski, who had seen Thursday’s final run-through, said during her carpet walk. “I have loved Cirque for the past 20 years and been to every show I can possibly find. I’m watching athletes and artist put together such a special show that is so magical, with a magical message.”

Lipinski captured the gold medal in ladies figure skating at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. She was 14 at the time and remains the youngest athlete to ever win a world figure skating title. I suggested her training would qualify her to perform with Cirque, if the company ever adopted an ice show on the Las Vegas Strip.

“Oh, no,” Lipinski said, laughing. “I can’t imagine doing the things they do. I’m gasping at every moment.”

A three-song performance by iconic composer Hans Zimmer, who won an Oscar for Best Original Score for “The Lion King,” was among the show’s many highlights. An LED-trimmed Jet-Ski performance was a personal favorite (that routine should be added to “O,” in my humble view).

The performance was expertly co-written and directed by André Kasten and Leah Moyer, performed by volunteer Cirque du Soleil artists along with such performers as Keone and Mari from “World of Dance.” Alexander Ekman and Andrew Winghart designed the great choreography throughout, and once more the show matched the artistry and scale of any resident Cirque show on the Strip.

Cirque du Soleil President Jerry Nadal set the mood early, introducing a pre-show film clip of One Drop’s worldwide water-purification campaign and leading the live auction. A mock security guard then pushed a fully suited Nadal into the famed water stage.

A soaked Nadal crawled to the surface, a signal to start the show. That was first for “One Night,” and for any Cirque show. We need more of that. Submerged executives are comedy gold.

More aquatic party action

The post-party rolled well past midnight. Big props to Sally Dewhurst of the famed Dewhurst entertainment family for organizing another boffo celebration …

A rock band led by indefatigable Vegas performer Anne Martinez, Stephan Jenkans of Third Eye Blind, Mirage resident headliners Boyz II Men and party purveyor Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray (in that order) all performed. McGrath shouted, convincingly, “I miss the ’90s!” Bally’s headliners Miss Behave and her sidekick, Tiffany, hosted …

British pop star and Vegas devotee Robbie Williams, in his first set of shows at Encore Theater, caused a stir by dropping in on Thursday’s dress rehearsal at O Theater …

Former Gov. Brian Sandoval attended the performance and worked the post-party with his wife, Lauralyn McCarthy. I asked Sandoval if he’d ever seen “One Night,” and he said he had not, adding, “I’ve never seen a Cirque show before tonight.” Wow. Too busy being governor, I guess. I told him the next stop should be “Mystere” and build from there …

I said to Marie Osmond on the blue carpet, “Hey, I talked to your brother this week.” Her answer, “I’m sorry!” Funny. Her “Flower Song” operatic segment has been added to the Donny & Marie show at the Flamingo, with a formal announcement about the duo’s future on the Strip coming within two weeks. I’m hoping Marie, at least, can stick around for her own residency …

“Fantasy” producer Anita Mann was so shaken by the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland” that she didn’t sleep for two days. Mann worked with Michael Jackson and the Jackson brothers on their network TV show in the 1970s …

The “Opium” cast paraded across the carpet, a reminder that the Spiegelworld production celebrates its one-year anniversary at Cosmopolitan on Tuesday night …

Great moment from Carrot Top, who hit the carpet with the scooter he’s used since breaking his left leg snowboarding. He rolled out, fell over, giving it a real Jerry Lewis treatment.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at him at Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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