Krista Monson of ‘One Drop’: ‘The paint comes out now, and we make our masterpiece’

Nearly five years ago, Krista Monson created the first “One Night for One Drop” show for Guy Laliberte’s commitment to the One Drop water charity he founded. Now she’s returned as the overall director of creation for the next spectacular production March 3 at “Zumanity” Theater in New York-New York.

Tickets go on sale today as preparations begin for rehearsals now that auditions have been completed. The tax-deductible VIP tickets are $1,500 for the show and post-show extravaganza with performances, Cirque-themed festivities, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Show-only tickets start at $100. Details: and 1-844-33-WATER.

My interview with creators Nicky and Laetitia Dewhurst was posted Sunday and in Sunday Life of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Krista told me as auditions ended and the trio began the final cut to 60 performers:

“It is an awesome responsibility to be back and awesome in another way for me because, after the first year, I left Las Vegas for four years. I did a show in Italy. I’ve been doing other things with different producers.

“I always knew about the collective expertise of Cirque du Soleil, but coming back I realized just how unique, how extraordinary the people are, the individuals are, the international flavor, the sense of caring.

“I worked with the United Nations as the creative director of the first world humanitarian summit in Istanbul. I became really allied to that humanitarian spirit, and our ‘One Night for One Drop’ show is a fusion of that sublime. We have the humanitarian spirit with extraordinary circus acts and performances, so it’s a real privilege, and I’m very proud to work with everybody.”


Krista masterminds the entire, complicated logistics of the production, including maneuvering a cast that’s scattered around the world. She explained: “Basically, we had our cast assembled yesterday (Monday), so we now have a rehearsal schedule this month, December, January and all of February, just 16 weeks.

“We’re working with casts from seven shows, all of which have a two-week dark period during that time, so we have to respect people going home, then our guest artists, plus three major holidays. Some of them are coming in December, and they won’t come back for another seven weeks.

“We really have a logistical nightmare. This is not producing a show; it’s producing a jigsaw puzzle. I take away all the headaches of the creative directors and give them all the space they need to write the show and direct it. I give them the tools, the place and the artistic inspiration so that they have the freedom to create it.

“I make sure all the pieces fall into place perfectly. I didn’t just age the first year I did this; honestly, I had nothing left in me. But I watched the ‘One Drop’ shows that followed on video while I was away overseas. It broke my heart not be here for them. There’s nothing like seeing it first hand in the seat. It’s pain and punishment, but I had to return to do this one.

“It’s radically different, but there’s a momentum to it already. I think we’re ready, it’s delicate to say, we’re ready to laugh even though this is a very serious cause. It’s a delicate dance between moving people and entertaining people, and I think the concept that Nicky and Letitia have this year is going to move and entertain but in ways that are unique and extraordinary.

“So, in that way, they’re flying thousands of feet higher looking at the planet. Of course water is a huge part of that, but they’re really daring in terms of all that’s happening, and what is universal is the idea to try to right Earth’s wrongs.


“It’s a huge challenge. We’ve had the walk for water, we had the water in the show at ‘O,’ and we have to have a spectacle, not a brochure, to make the message resonate. It’s amazing when you think I’ll have 300-plus people all volunteering extraordinary amounts of time for a one-night production.

“The budget is minuscule; they don’t get paid, and they’ll never perform it more than the one occasion. It’s no cabaret, I assure you. It’s an extraordinary commitment, the very best. You will see that commitment this time. As Nicky said, ‘The blood, sweat and tears — no apologies.’

“In the old circuses, the elite performer helped put up the tent, and we’re going to see a part of that, that community of spirit of putting something together, a show within a show. It’s going to be really fun. We went around to all the Cirque shows in Las Vegas and presented it to all the artists, the entire staff, to see who wanted to be involved.

“From the makeup people, the wardrobe costumers to the performers, they all rushed to the stage. They now want to be involved with something they can celebrate. The cause itself is not something to celebrate because people are dying every 90 seconds due to lack of water or sanitation while we are in our plush seats.

“That is simply not acceptable. But we reconcile it with the show that makes people question the situation on the really important basis of how they can help solve it. The show fulfils the mission. Laetitia and Nicky had the vision to introduce classical ballet into their production, so we have incorporated some of the dancers with Nevada Ballet Theatre.

“Cirque has a great partnership with Nevada Ballet from nine years ago with ‘Choreographers Showcase,’ which this month is Nov. 13, 19 and 20 at ‘Mystere’ Theater. This is the first time we have the local community involved in our production: Nevada Ballet is part of our family.

“The first year when I did it, there were 230 people. That was crazy. We had trucks outside, we were using hallways, corridors and banquet rooms for makeup. This year we are at 60 onstage performers. I would say half are from active Cirque shows here, and the other half are guest artists, a mix of former Cirque stars, new Cirque stars and ballet dancers.

“Many of the guest artists were with Cirque previously or on tour elsewhere, but we know of them all. We’ll add A-list talent and singers as we get closer. There’s also a creative team of 30, all the designers, lighting designers, sound designer, assistants, and out of them 25 are currently working with Cirque du Soleil, so most of the creative team is from here, too.

“When we have a meeting, it fills our entire conference room. The communication is all about setting goals. We already have a beautiful storyboard and a mood board that takes us through, picture by picture, scene by scene, tableau by tableau. The rigging team knows what they have to do and how to set up.

“As tickets go on sale and rehearsals start, the paint comes out now, and we make our masterpiece.”

Celebrate Margarita Day With The Hot Damn Margarita
Celebrate Margarita Day With The Hot Damn Margarita (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Yard House margarita changes color in the glass
The cocktail, as made by lead bartender Taylor Cole at Town Square in Las Vegas, changes from deep blue to magenta because of a chemical reaction between its butterfly pea flowers and citrus agave. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Black History Month Festival
Las Vegas residents gathered on Saturday, February 16, 2019, at Springs Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd, to celebrate Black History Month. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
You Can Design With 3D Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum
You Can Design With 3d Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Champagne vending machine at Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas
One of only a few in the country, the Moët & Chandon machine at the Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas is stocked with Imperial Rose for Valentine’s Day. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Las Vegas Valentine’s Day desserts
Mio Ogasawara of Sweets Raku and Rebecca Bills of Gen3 Hospitality in Las Vegas create elaborate Valentine’s Day desserts. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal
One Night For One Drop
Cirque du Soleil cast and crew donate their time and talent to this year's "One Night For One Drop" performance at the "O" Theatre in the Bellagio. The event takes place March 8, 2019, and benefits the One Drop organization. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Chinese New Year Parade
Chinese New Year parade takes place on Fremont Street. (Bill Hughes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Manzo restaurant a key part of Eataly
Nicole Brisson, executive chef of Eataly, at Park MGM in Las Vegas, talks about new restaurant.
Designer Makes Festival-style Crowns
Designer at MAGIC trade show Makes Festival-style Crowns (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Excalibur Raises tent that will house "Fuerza Bruta" show
Workers at Excalibur raised a tent, which will be the home of "Fuerza Bruta," a temporary show that will run from March 7 to September 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Roc Boots Make For Glittery Festival Wear
With 3-inch-tall chunky heels, cleated platforms, and sparkly glitter, you’ll want to wear these to dance the night away. Sally Cull, product and development for Roc Boots Australia, assures you that you can. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get A Custom-painted Jacket At Las Vegas Fashion Event
On the first of the two-night Commotion event, clothing brands connected with consumers, offering shopping, giveaways and customization opportunities. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Venetian Celebrates The "Year Of The Pig"
The Venetian hosted dancers to celebrate the Chinese New Year and "Year of the Pig." The dancers performed a traditional eye-dotting ceremony and lion dance. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Pepe the truffle-hunting dog
Jose Andres knows that quality black truffles can also be found in his native Spain. He’ll be sharing some with the world for a week, starting Monday. From Feb. 11-17, his Cosmopolitan restaurant Jaleo will be showcasing four special dishes made with Spanish truffles discovered by the truffle-hunting dogs of his friend Nacho Ramírez Monfort. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tony Abou-Ganim mixes drink at Libertine Social
Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, helped change the cocktail culture in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Masaharu Morimoto talks ramen in Las Vegas
Masaharu Morimoto talks about bringing a ramen restaurant to Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morimoto considering full-time Las Vegas ramen spot
Morimoto talks about a full-time ramen spot in Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new home at Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign is working it's way to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has been moved to its permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new Las Vegas home
The famous and newly restored Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has moved to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas band Otherwise release song and video in tribute to slain cousin
Adrian and Ryan Patrick, brothers in the band Otherwise with drummer Brian Medeiros, talk about the release of a tribute song to their deceased cousin Ivan. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Las Vegas residency
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Vegas residency (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES final night showcases Drake at XS Nightclub
Drake performed for CES attendees and club-goers at XS Nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CES 2019 Has A Cordless Hair Dryer
CES Has A Cordless Hair Dryer (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Panel talks Impossible Burger 2.0
Panel talks Impossible Burger at CES during launch at Border Grill on Monday, Jan. 7. (Ben Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing