Las Vegas Sun

December 19, 2018

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Theater:

Cirque takes on cabaret-style show with ‘Baz’ at Light in Mandalay Bay

‘For the Record: Baz’

Abel Armas

Jason Paige and Jason Byous from “Moulin Rouge” in “For the Record: Baz.”

‘For the Record: Baz’

Jason Paige and Jason Byous from “Moulin Rouge” in “For the Record: Baz.” Launch slideshow »
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James Byous as Romeo from “Romeo & Juliet” in “For the Record: Baz.”

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Olivia Harris and Jason Byous from “Romeo & Juliet” in “For the Record: Baz.”

For the Record: Baz

For the Record: Baz

For the Record: Baz

Cirque du Soleil’s new theatrical division headed by Scott Zeiger is reinventing cabaret for a new generation with the launch of “For the Record: Baz” at Light in Mandalay Bay.

Make no mistake: This is no ordinary Cirque show. This will be as if Joel Grey (“Cabaret”) wandered into the hi-jinx of “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace minus the circus acrobatics.

“Baz,” described as intimate and gritty, will open steps away from Cirque’s “Michael Jackson One” starting with previews June 19 and a grand opening set for June 26.

A huge hit in L.A., this is a musical mashup of Australian director Baz Luhrmann’s films “Moulin Rouge,” “The Great Gatsby,” “Romeo & Juliet” and “Strictly Ballroom.”

With six band musicians belting out an epic soundtrack of “Lady Marmalade,” “Love Is in the Air,” “Kissing You,” “Crazy in Love” and more and the original Los Angeles cast of seven players, producers say it will be a live experience that redefines Las Vegas entertainment.

“It’s an underground, edgy spectacle that has completely changed the way audiences experience live entertainment,” said Shane Scheel, co-creator and executive producer.

Audiences enveloped by a new custom stage design are right in the middle of the action of this nightly celebration as the performers wander among them, stand on the piano where musical director and co-creator Christopher Lloyd Bratten plays and conducts, and they even dance on the bar where you can order a sin and tonic or a scotch and sofa while watching!

Sing along with songs you love as the characters recite your favorite lines. This is part rock, part musical theater, part cabaret nightclub all mashed together to go inside the musical mind of the genius filmmaker.

It’s not so much a plot- and dialogue-driven show but a re-creation of movie scenes that come to life to speak of love and nostalgia jumping among Paris in 1890, Long Island in the 1920s and Australia in the 1990s.

Scott, who before Cirque was a head honcho for Base Entertainment (“Jersey Boys,” “Peepshow”) in Las Vegas, added: “We instantly knew this vision of turning popular cinema into immersive entertainment would be a perfect match for Las Vegas. We are excited about this unique partnership and thrilled to bring Baz to Las Vegas in this uniquely staged residency.”

Leu Strope, Light’s managing director and executive producer of “Baz” here, continued: “When Light opened at Mandalay Bay, we committed to bring engaging entertainment into the nightlife world. ‘Baz’ is an extension of that at the highest level. The production is exhilarating and unlike anything the Strip has seen before. It fits perfectly into our mission to keep Light at the vanguard of Las Vegas nightlife.”

On Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, audiences will have the opportunity to stay on at the nightclub, which from the opening has featured Cirque performers hanging from ceilings with aerial acts and floating up and down walls.

“Baz” is a post-modern cabaret that took L.A. by storm, with critics raving about its incredible singing and dancing at DBA bar on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. L.A. Magazine headlined “Spectacular,” adding “well-acted, with some hysterically funny moments and tragic moments that are believable and moving. Costumes are gorgeous and singing is wonderful.”

Entertainment Weekly raved, “Cutting edge.” EdgeLosangeles.com oozed, “A mesmerizing experience. Staging, lighting and overall performances have been raised to a dazzling fever pitch. The hottest, most spectacular show in Los Angeles — they’ve truly topped themselves.”

Baz, who didn’t have anything to do with the production, was wowed: “Bravo, bravo, absolutely bravo. It was f*cking awesome.”

This reinvented cabaret for a new generation features a rotating cast, and new “Dancing With the Stars” winner actress Rumer Willis, Evan Rachel Wood, Janel Parrish, Lindsay Pearce and Barrett Foa have appeared with cast members Ginifer King, Constantine Rousouli, Ciaran McCarthy, Ruby Lewis, Olivia Harris, James Byous and Jason Paige.

Tickets will start at $55 and can be purchased at BazLasVegas.com. Follow the progress of the daring new show in the weeks leading up to mid-June right here at Vegas DeLuxe.

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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