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Performers to get together for Cirque fundraiser in March

March 22 will be a rare day on the Strip. There will only be one Cirque du Soleil show that day, not seven. But it should be a doozy.

As many as 180 performers from the Las Vegas Cirque titles will pool their resources on World Water Day to stage a special benefit for One Drop, the clean water advocacy foundation founded by Cirque’s head, Guy Laliberte.

“One Night for One Drop” in the Bellagio’s “O” theater will sell for at least $1,500 for a single ticket, with as many as 50 packages combining various perks and parties going for as much as $250,000.

Earlier this year, Laliberte promised “We reinvented circus, and in Vegas we would like to reinvent fundraising night.”

Now the plan has materialized as a one-of-a-kind show, the first to close down all the other Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil titles for the night, and the first to use the unique staging of “O” for a different purpose.

“One of the first challenges that popped into my head was, ‘How are we going to create a show about the water crisis, which is very urgent and real, in a pool with 1.5 million gallons of water?’ ” said Krista Monson, the director of “One Night for One Drop.”

“We’re talking about the scarcity of water, yet we’re performing on a huge massive pool in the middle of the desert.”

So, the challenge is, “What way can we use this to bring our message?”

However, “What we don’t want to do is have this show be a documentary about water,” Monson said.

“It’s still going to be highly entertaining and a transformative experience, with that resonating spirit of why people are there. But it won’t be a lecture.”

Monson promised the content will be all new, not a mix-and-match of acrobatics pulled from the other Cirque titles.

Not every performer will work for Cirque, but many of the company’s Las Vegas staff will have to cross-train, learning new skills such as sewing costumes.

“We’re kind of breaking down the boundaries of what a typical job description is,” Monson said. “We have to do it, if we actually want to do something new and exciting.”

Laliberte started One Drop in 2007, but the March event will be “inaugural in terms of the scope and the magnitude” of exposure for the foundation, Monson said.

On the last World Water Day in March, Laliberte earmarked about $1.3 million of local Cirque revenue for the foundation, and MGM Resorts International pledged an additional $1 million over the next five years.

Single tickets for the benefit are not yet on sale, but those who are interested in getting tickets can register online at cirquedusoleil.com/onenight4onedrop.

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at
mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

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