Photos: Grace VanderWaal, Redfoo, The Tenors, The Backstreet Boys highlight Cirque’s ‘One Night for One Drop’

Updated March 7, 2017 - 11:34 pm

It was a night of triumph, humor and good old-fashioned death-defying circus acts. Some of entertainment’s biggest names joined the action to support the fifth-annual “One Night for One Drop” imagined by Cirque du Soleil at “Zumanity” Theater at New York-New York. The gala raised funds and awareness to benefit critical water issues worldwide.

In keeping with the theme of water, a blue carpet was set up at New York-New York’s entrance for celebrities including “America’s Got Talent” winner Grace VanderWaal; rapper and party prince Redfoo; award-winning multiplatinum-selling vocalists The Tenors; and extraordinary tap-dancing, bolo-swinging gaucho group and “AGT” finalists Malevo.

Our thanks to contributing photographer Tom Donoghue for his blue carpet photos and to videographer Richard Corey, who captured my interviews with everybody from Flamingo headliner Marie Osmond to The Rio headliner magician Penn Jillette, actress Gina Gershon, Mayor Carolyn Goodman and husband and former Mayor Oscar Goodman, Luxor headliner comic Carrot Top, burlesque performers Melody Sweets, Claire Sinclair and Mosh and casts of Blue Man Group, Chippendales and “Fantasy.”

Check out the special messages from Marie and Penn about the importance of water as their remarks sum up the need to protect the world’s greatest resource.

The star-studded event at “Zumanity” Theater created and directed by husband-and-wife Cirque performers Nicky and Letitia Dewhurst, who are expecting, as we reported Monday, starred his father, Brian Dewhurst, who appears in Cirque’s “Mystere” at T.I. It featured performances by Grace, The Tenors, Redfoo, Malevo and Emmy Award-winning actor William Shatner, who led the finale song, “Screw It! We’re Moving to Mars.”

The electrifying, one-night-only performance captivated the sold-out audience with some of the world’s most-daring circus acts, including Duo Sky Angels, aerialists from Uzbekistan who had the audience white-knuckled on the edge of their seats. They hoisted each another in the air hanging by their mouths and without a safety wire.

Also on the blue carpet: billionaire Cirque founder Guy Laliberte and President Daniel Lamarre, who talked with me about a new entertainment project destined for Las Vegas and the problems of ticket scalping for sold-out Cirque shows, also as we reported Monday.

Well-heeled audience members bid furiously for five live auction items, which included a trip to billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island in the Caribbean and a race across Lake Como in Guy’s new, large race boat. He helped sell it twice to two bidders competing at $125,000, with Guy onstage also selling bids to people who didn’t want to make the trip to Italy!

Highlights from the show included The Tenors’ explosive renditions of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Who Wants to Live Forever?” by Queen; the extraordinary performance of “Light the Sky” by Grace; and the unforgettable appearance by William and Redfoo together in the finale. Malevo also brought the heat with their sizzling Malambo choreography. We posted a preview of “One Night for One Drop” on Friday afternoon.

Post-performance, guests were invited to “party rock” poolside at a circus-themed party that exploded with music, first from the Atlanta-based band Tree House with vocalist Lindita, then Redfoo’s drop-trou dance moves as blow-up giraffes were thrown into the crowd.

Then it was a surprise performance by new Axis at Planet Hollywood headliners The Backstreet Boys with their hits “Everybody,” “Larger Than Life” and “I Want It That Way.” EDM heavyweights Sultan + Shepard ended the glittering affair with an exhilarating two-hour set for partygoers.

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