Stage Review

Cirque du Soleil: Mystere, O (2014)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Director: Franco Dragone

That Ocean's Eleven remake that replaced the Rat Pack with Clooney and Co.? Maybe it should have starred a bunch of French Canadians dressed like Peter Max fever dreams and capable of contortions that can give chiropractors the vapors. That's how completely Cirque du Soleil has redefined the ''Las Vegas show'' since Mystere opened a decade ago and made desert getaways suddenly about grabbing a piece of...class. Its even splashier sister show, O, has become the hotter ticket since its premiere in '98. But Mystere still deserves the slight nod, if only for its focus on one or two of its phenomenal gymnasts and acrobats at a time. The costumes, sets, and conceptualizing are gravy; we'd even enjoy Mystere if it were done in leotards down at Circus Circus. Over at O -- set in a 1.5-million-gallon water park of a theater, where Dali does laps with Busby and Esther -- it's more about team sports and giving synchronized swimming a good name. Expect to exit these shows with two thoughts: (a) Human beings, capable of greater feats of raw physicality and abstract beauty than most of us can imagine, are a wondrous, underrated species, and (b) however much time you've been spending at the gym, it's not enough. Mystere: A (Treasure Island, 800-392-1999) O: A- (Bellagio, 888-488-7111) -- CW

Originally posted Apr 04, 2003 Published in issue #703 Apr 04, 2003 Order article reprints