Cirque’s ‘One Night’ is a late night on the Strip

About the moment Piff the Magic Dragon descended to the stage while hooked to an aerial harness, we knew this was a show uncommon even by Cirque standards.

“I’m Piff the Magic Dragon,” said the performer whose legal name is Jon van der Put. “You might have heard of my brother … Steve.”

The line always kills, especially during a sold-out charity show.

The dragon-costumed Piff and his sidekick, the performing (well, kind of) chihuahua Mr. Piffles were among the featured artists who performed Friday in “One Night For One Drop” at Michael Jackson One Theater at Mandalay Bay. Inspired by and starring folk star, author and impassioned philanthropist Jewel, the one-off production raised money and awareness for Cirque’s One Drop worldwide clean-water campaign.

The founder of the artistic company, Guy Laliberte, launched One Drop in 2007. Saturday was its sixth performance, dedicated to Jewel’s life, music and message of giving. She performed throughout, beautifully costumed while singing “Foolish Games,” “Hands,” “Standing Still,” “Save Your Soul,” “Intuition” and “Mercy” amid vaulting Cirque acrobats.

Jewel, who has a home in Lake Las Vegas, plays Encore Theater on March 30-31.

More drops from the “One Night” scene:

A lift of spirits

Mandalay Bay President and Chief Operating Officer Chuck Bowling was in the mix throughout the evening. I caught up with him at the pre-party at roof-level Skyfall Lounge, where he spoke to the timing of the event.

“One Night” shows rotate among MGM Resorts properties, and the first production after the Oct. 1 shootings was coincidentally set for Mandalay Bay.

“It’s fate,” Bowling said, as the hotel’s theater was selected soon after the 2017 “One Night” show at Zumanity Theater at New York-New York. “We needed a boost, and Cirque has given us one.”

Nothing but net

Cirque artists performed a dazzling trampoline act, dunking after launching from trampolines on either side of the stage. It was familiar fare for those who remember the Bud Light Daredevils, who performed at halftime of NBA games in the 1980s and ’90s. Cirque President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Lamarre said at the lavish post-show party that “One Night” is a great testing ground for acts that might be inserted into permanent shows.

“We could use that act in one of our shows, from what I saw tonight,” he said. “It was inspiring.”

Already, we see cross-promotion possibilities. By happy coincidence, Las Vegas’s new WNBA team begins play in May at — yep — Mandalay Bay Events Center.

The Jewel crew

As anticipated Jewel’s family joined her onstage — including her father, Atz Kilcher; and 6-year-old son, Kase, who made his first stage appearance, costumed as a critter from Homer, Alaska and crawling at his mother’s feet as she sang “Mercy.”

About that music

Post-show, I asked Cirque artist Jean-Francois Blais, this year’s “One Night” music director and composer, for his takeaway from the show.

“Working with Jewel, getting to know her,” he said. “She’s not just an amazing artist, but a very humble and gracious person. She’s just very normal, but a brilliant person. I wasn’t sure, at first, how this would go when they told me she would be so involved in the production, but it was great.”

Dewhurst action

The husband-wife tandem of Nicky and Laetitia Dewhurst again directed a performance that was at least strong enough to perform in residency on the Strip. They also found a spot for the esteemed Brian Dewhurst, Nicky’s 86-year-old father who portrays “Mystere’s” clown character, Brian Le Petit. The elder Dewhurst has been a featured performer in past “One Night” shows, including last year’s, but there were no plans for him to participate this year.

But as Nicky said, “I could tell he wanted to be in it, I asked him about it and he was like, ‘Nah, not really.’ But I could feel he was eager to do something.” So on Wednesday, the Dewhursts conjured a cameo for the elder clown, purchasing a pair of long johns online with Nicky asking, “Dad, do you have any cowboy boots?” Brian wound up in a cowboy costume (in long johns) dancing a jig during the show’s scene set in Thirsty Moose tavern.

“I found my way in!” he said afterward. “Was there ever a doubt?”

Penn’s performance

Not everyone realized, at first, Penn Jillette was among the performers in the tavern scene. He juggled with the Cirque artists and even did a bit of dancing (best described as “freestyle choreography”). Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, hanging at the bar, was also an unbilled performer in the scene.

Penn and Piff are planning to tour their “Piff & Pops” routine — they have developed more than an hour of material — later this year.

Oh, that party

Cee Lo Green performed a medley of “Crazy” and “Forget You” for a characteristically crazy Cirque after-party, set up in a reinforced tent behind Mandalay Place. The show sold out the 1,800-seat MJ One Theater; the turnout at the tent seemed to surpass even that number. The event was co-hosted by Edie of “Zumanity” (who just celebrated her 10th year in the show and is approaching 5,000 performances) and Jai Rodriquez, late of “Sex Tips” at Paris Las Vegas. Cast members of “Magic Mike Live” at Hard Rock Hotel also showed up, at around 1 a.m., to swing to Ginuine’s “Pony.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

NFR 2018 Highlights
NFR 2018 highlights from every round of this years rodeo.
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR- Joe Frost
NFR Bull Rider Joe Frost talks about the difference in bulls and his family legacy with Cassie Soto before the last round of the National Finals Rodeo.
Herm Edwards on LV Bowl loss
Arizona State coach Herm Edwards talks about the loss in the Las Vegas Bowl. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fresno State linebacker George Helmuth after LV Bowl
Linebacker George Helmuth talks about Fresno State's turnaround. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Youth cancer survivor receives gift bat at Winter Meetings
Cancer survivor Steven Mondragon, baseball player at Los Altos High in Hacienda Heights, California, received a complimentary bamboo bat during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 12, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NFR Day 9 Highlights
Highlights from round 9 of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR 2018- Will Lummus Leads in Steer Wrestling
As NFR 2018 enters day nine, steer wrestler Will Lummus continues to see his name at the top of the standings. Las Vegas Review Journal host Cassie Soto speaks with the Mississippi native about his excitement to be participating in his first ever NFR.
John Saccenti on the Las Vegas Bowl's future
Las Vegas Bowl executive director John Saccenti talks about the game's future. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
UNLV's Mbacke Diong on his offensive improvement
UNLV forward Mbacke Diong talks about his offensive improvement. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
NFR dirt is the most important part of the rodeo
NFR has bull riding, saddle bronc, barrel racing, tie down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, and bareback riding but one of the most important part of the rodeo according to construction maintenance manager Allen Rheinheimer is the dirt that they all take place in. Review-Journal sports writer Ed Graney chats with Rheinheimer and ground man John Jamison to get an inside look at the dirt in Thomas & Mack at the National Finals Rodeo.
North Las Vegas Pedestrian-cyclist Survey
North Las Vegas officials are seeking comments from residents in hopes of bettering their experience in the city. An online survey has been set up for citizens to share their opinions and give their suggestions.
NFR Day 8 Highlights
Highlights from round 8 of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR - Wyatt Denny Talks About Representing Nevada
NFR Bareback Rider Wyatt Denny talks to host Cassie Soto about being the only Nevada representative in the NFR this year and his skiing talent.
Junior NFR Offers Breakaway Roping for Girls
Unlike the NFR at the Thomas and Mack Center, the Junior NFR at the Las Vegas Convention Center offers breakaway roping for girls 19-and under. This event allows the young women of rodeo one more event to participate in, aside from barrel racing.
North Las Vegas Pedestrian-Cyclist Survey
North Las Vegas officials are seeking comments from residents in hopes of bettering their experience in the city. An online survey has been set up for citizens to share their opinions and give their suggestions.
NFR Day 7 Highlights
Highlights from the 7th go-round of the 2018 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR- Jessica Routier
NFR Barrel Racer Jessica Routier talks about being at her first NFR, her horses, and her family with Cassie Soto in front of Thomas & Mack before round 7 of the National Finals Rodeo.
The Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum of Las Vegas, located at the Springs Preserve, covers all eras of the state, from prehistoric to today.
NFR Day 6 Highlights
Highlights from the 6th go-round of the 2018 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
Las Vegas Bowl Teams Talk Shop at Maverick Helicopters
Arizona State, Fresno State talk to the media at Maverick Helicopters.
NFR- Will Lowe
NFR Bareback Rider Will Lowe talks with Aaron Drawhorn about his 15 years at the NFR, starting to ride at age 7, and renewing his wedding vowels this year in Las Vegas before night 6 of the National Finals Rodeo.
Veterans Village
Veterans Village and Veterans Village II were created to assist homeless veterans get back on their feet. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday party cocktails
Veterans Village II Unveils Model Container Home
Veteran's Village II unveiled a model container home. The organization will be building 10 of these container homes to house veterans of the village. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
NFR Day 5 Highlights
NFR Day 5 Highlights
NFR- Kory Koontz
NFR Team Roper Kory Koontz talks about his years at the event since 1992, his dynamic with a 23 year old partner Dustin Egusquiza, and how he contines to perform with diabetes with Aaron Drawhorn outside of Thomas & Mack before round 5 of the National Rodeo Finals.
Meet the woman behind the Las Vegas Bowl
Melissa Meacham-Grossman is the associate executive director for the Las Vegas Bowl. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NFR Highlights Day 4
NFR highlights day 4
NFR Introduces Golden Circle Of Champions
For the first time, the National Finals Rodeo has partnered with the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo to offer the Golden Circle of Champions. The event brings in 20 children and their families from around the country that have previously or are currently fighting life-threatening cancer.
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Spring Preserve kicks off its Holiday Express
Springs Preserve hosts its Holiday Express, which includes a train ride, visits with Santa, SNOW, and a village winter wonderland.
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas art exhibit
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas gallery exhibit
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with blooming jasmine tea
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with jasmine tea
Benny the Ice Skating Dog
Benny is a Las Vegas Labrador who was rescued by former pro skater Cheryl Del Sanyo, and trained to ice skate. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum of Las Vegas, located at the Springs Preserve, covers all eras of the state, from prehistoric to today.
Throw a better dinner party
Cash appears at Baseball Winter Meetings
Lights FC mascot Cash plays the electronic drums at the EZ Inflatables’ booth on Tuesday at the Baseball Winter Meetings trade show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
5 albums to soundtrack your holiday gatherings in style
1. Various Artists, “Holidays Rule," with Rufus Wainwright, The Shins, Calexico and more. 2. Various Artists, “We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year," with Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper, Chuck Billy and others. 3. Various Artists, “Christmas on Death Row," featuring Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg to name but a few. 4. Bright Eyes, “A Christmas Album.” 5. Various Artists, "The Motown Christmas Album." (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
WinterFest in Henderson.
Miss Rodeo America Fashion Show
The 28 women contestants of Miss Rodeo America compete in a fashion show at the Tropicana on Dec. 7, 2018.
Tournament Of Kings Holiday Show
Wizards and warriors are ready for the holidays at Excalibur's Tournament of Kings Holiday Dinner Show.
Take a dive with the Silverton mermaids
A visit to the Silverton Casino Hotel is not complete without taking in the popular, and very unique, mermaid show.
Cowboys and western aficionados can buy virtually anything at Cowboy Christmas
Vegas Golden Knights Christmas Display
In the Las Vegas Valley, the chances of getting a white Christmas are slim. But this year, you can have a “Knight” Christmas. A Henderson resident has a Christmas lights display that is synchronized to the entrance music for the Golden Knights. GG Misa’s Knights light show is played every 30 minutes from 5 to 10 nightly. His light show consists of two songs: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and the entrance music, “Le Castle Vania,” from the movie “John Wick.” The display is located at 730 Bollons Island St. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Reivew-Journal)
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez is Just in Time For Repeal Day And Christmas
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez Is Just In Time For Repeal Day And Christmas. Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TV's LGBT superheroes
Green Valley Ranch's Winter's Village
The Mob Museum
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Quick Chat With Criss Angel
James D. Gish and Susan Anton rehearse
Susan Anton will be special guest at James D. Gish’s holiday concerts Dec. 7 at Summerlin Library and Dec. 9 at Clark County Library. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Winter Wonderland
"Majestic Holiday Magic" at the Bellagio Conservatory.
Underwater Santa At The Silverton
Santa takes a dive Sunday, December 2, at the Silverton Casino Hotel. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Cowabunga Bay Christmas Town
Las Vegas Natural History Museum
Las Vegas Natural History Museum, which opened in 1991, has exhibits of mechanical dinosaurs and taxidermied animals, along with live snakes, fish and sharks. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Magical Forest Lights
Cirque Du Soleil Performers Team Up For New Show "Kinekt"
Through dance, acrobatics and aerial arts, “Kinekt” tells a story all too familiar to modern families: how to maintain a human connection in the digital age. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden
The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas
The Pinball Hall of Fame was created by Tim Arnold and opened in 2006. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like