Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017 | 2 a.m.
“Le Rêve” is celebrating 12 years this summer, right around 5,700 shows, and while the aquatic spectacle at Wynn Las Vegas has always been subject to small creative updates, its production team just put the finishing touches on a more comprehensive enhancement designed to further contemporize the choreography, music and visual effects over the last year. Costumes are all new. A million-dollar upgrade to the lighting equipment brings a new perspective. The music is all new, with 13 fresh songs, and a new scene called “Paso,” heavy on dance on synchronized swimming, has been added right after the exhilarating 80-foot dive drop.
What this all means is that now is a great time to see “Le Rêve,” whether you’ve seen it before or not. And if you do, I recommend considering the pricier but unique “Dream Seating” experience, the top ring of this dramatic, one-of-a-kind theater-in-the-round. Your seat there is equipped with a monitor that provides views from beneath the surface of the 1.1 million gallon, 26-foot-deep tank that serves as the stage, as well as behind-the-scenes glimpses of what’s happening high above the pool. Somehow the inner workings of this massive production — and sometimes, what might happen next — only increases the excitement.
There may have been a time when Vegas visitors mistook “Le Rêve” as a Cirque du Soleil show, comparing it to Bellagio’s “O” or another production because of visual similarities. But I’ve seen both productions now within a few weeks of each other, and other than the element of water and the fact they’re both created by Franco Dragone, I see no such similarities. “Le Rêve” has a very clear narrative driving the action as the heroine, “The Dreamer,” see-saws back and forth between her dueling desires for love and passion, mind or body. She explores both in a journey through a fantasy realm, backed by much more approachable music performed live with lyrics sung in English. Cirque shows revel in the surreal and move farther into that ocean as the productions go one; “Le Rêve” goes deeper only into its own story and the breath-taking world it creates.
The show’s muscular acrobatics are among the Strip’s most mind-blowing feats, and the constant rise and plunge of characters from the ceiling to the water below is rhythmically hypnotic and, at times, feels quite dangerous. This is not a subtle spectacle, and its powerful, sexy choreography — the stuff onstage as well as what’s happening in the air and the water — demands attention amid special effects and athletic accomplishments.
“Le Rêve” is performed Friday through Tuesday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at Wynn Theater. Find more information at wynnlasvegas.com.