Monday, March 24, 2014 | 2 a.m.
One Night for One Drop/Richard Corey
One Night for One Drop/Christopher Rauschnot
Moments after the extraordinary Cirque du Soleil fundraising performance and gala “One Night for One Drop” at Mandalay Bay on Friday night, founder Guy Laliberte promised that there would be a third extravaganza next year.
Before the event wound down early Saturday morning, Jerry Nadal, Cirque’s senior vice president of resident shows worldwide based here in Las Vegas, told me that it will take place in the theater of Cirque’s “The Beatles Love” at the Mirage next March 20.
“One Night for One Drop” was a glittering night with Mandalay Bay awash in blue and high-roller guests from as far away as Australia and China. Many Cirque executives and performers, Las Vegas VIPs and guests wore a dash of blue, if not outright blue from head to toe.
Our thanks to contributing photographers Tom Donoghue of Donoghue Photography, David Becker of WireImage and Bryan Steffy of WireImage and contributing videographers Richard Corey and Christopher Rauschnot @24kMedia on Twitter for their spectacular coverage of the rehearsals, the blue carpet arrival outside Aureole and the performance at Michael Jackson One Theater.
We’ll have the full wrap, behind-the-scenes exclusives and interviews later today.
All eight Cirque productions on the Strip became “One” for the second-annual production. Volunteers worked for free, on their own time and at their own expense for five months for the one-night-only philanthropic event to benefit the nonprofit One Drop organization established by Guy that raises awareness and funds for global water-related issues.
More than 100 Cirque du Soleil performers took the stage for the original production created and directed by Mukhtar O.S. Mukhtar alongside guests including The Tenors, violinist Lindsey Stirling, “America’s Best Dance Crew” Season 6 Champions IaMmE Crew and spoken-word artist In-Q.
In what was a breathtaking and artistic spectacular, they brought together the message of “One Thought, One World” as a metaphor of time and the dwindling water supplies that effect society — even here in Las Vegas and California.
Celebrities at the blue arrivals carpet, pre-party at Aureole and after-party at Moorea Beach Club included Guy; One Drop CEO Catherine Bachand; Kyle Richards, Mauricio Umansky and Camille Grammer of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”; Holly Madison; Blues Traveler; Mary Wilson of The Supremes; comedienne Heather McDonald; Brendan Fitzpatrick and Morgan Stewart of “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills”; Boyz II Men; Jabbawockeez; UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin; and “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 winner Roy “Big Country” Nelson.
Also: Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Oscar Goodman; illusionist Criss Angel; U.S. Olympic rowing gold medalists Esther Lofgren and Susan Francia; artist and painter Natalie Irish; Border Grill chef Susan Feniger; Thunder From Down Under; “Fantasy”; DJ 88; and dancers from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
I MC’d the first “One Drop” onstage auction after the performance. Criss Angel placed a winning bid of $80,000 for a week with 30 guests at Guy’s extraordinary Big Island Hawaii oceanfront estate; a high-tech racecar watch raised $150,000; and two lovely ladies battled to $100,000 for the Lady Kenilworth necklace and earrings before one graciously let the other win it.
The online and onstage auction brought in more than $500,000 for One Drop.
Everybody agreed that Mukhtar had conceptualized a masterpiece in telling the story of the “desertification” on earth. The audience gave the performers loud cheers and a long standing ovation in the finale with The Tenors and the cast singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
We’ll have a full report, behind-the-scenes exclusives and interviews later today, so be sure to check back.
Guy summed up for me: “This was a totally incredible night. I, like everybody else, saw the show for the first time tonight. That’s not easy for a creative person at the top, but I left it all in very capable hands. It turned out better than I ever expected.
“Tonight has made me the happiest man in the world, and we’ll do it all over again next year. I promise.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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