Behind the big top: Cirque Week in Vegas

LOVE Cirque du Soleil

LOVE Cirque du Soleil

Everyone who has seen a Cirque du Soleil show knows that they are spectacular productions filled with amazing costumes, sets and performers. If you’ve ever wondered just how these shows are created and staged every night, Cirque has decided to satisfy your curiosity by presenting “Cirque Week” Nov. 29 – Dec. 5, a unique opportunity for fans to learn how the shows work.

Dozens of Cirque fans have registered to take part in the week-long seminars and are getting an up-close and behind-the-scenes look at their favorite Vegas productions.

Monday’s presentation featured a custom theater demonstration and Q&A at the LOVE theater at the Mirage.

Here are just some of the fun and amazing facts we learned at the session:

  • LOVE is housed in the spot that used to be the Siegfried & Roy theater at the Mirage
  • LOVE is the only resident Cirque du Soleil show that is staged in the round
  • The stage is a technical marvel, complete with 17 moving pieces
  • Some props and performers enter the stage from the top of the theater, which is 52 feet above the stage
  • There are 200 moving light fixtures and 800 conventional fixtures in the show
  • The two large projection screens in the show measure 27 feet by 100 feet
  • All of the costumes are made in a special shop in Montreal where workers do things like dye and paint fabric and create lace
  • The costume department for LOVE has 32 staff members working from 8 a.m. to midnight making sure costumes are clean and in good repair
  • There are 358 individual costume designs in LOVE, which breaks down to 4,800 costume pieces, including 225 wigs
  • The Mr. Piggy costume in the show actually inflates to make the character look imposing
  • The Walrus character spends 45 minutes in makeup each night getting  an upper body tattoo applied
  • LOVE is the only Cirque show without live music – all of the music is Beatles recordings
  • There are more than 6,300 speakers in the LOVE theater including a speaker in each individual seat’s headrest and in the back of the seat in front of you
  • The show’s technical staff is made up of 127 people
  • The show has a performance medicine staff to attend to the artists including, yoga and Pilates instructors and massage therapists
  • Cirque constantly scouts the world for new performers at places like the Olympics and X Games
  • LOVE has a training facility for its artists that is open 1 p.m. – 1 a.m. and many of them train after their nightly shows

Here are some other highlights of “Cirque Week” that fans will be participating in:

Tuesday: Behind the Scenes with Zumanity, a Q& A with artists and crew

Wednesday: Viva ELVIS  unplugged, an acoustic musical performance by some of the cast and a Q&A with the show’s music supervisor

Thursday: A Theatre Pre-set and Technical Q&A

Friday: A Q&A with the coaches from “O” at the Bellagio who keep the show flowing smoothly each night

Saturday: A Cirque creative and technical panel answers questions

Sunday : A Mystère Taiko Drum demonstration and costume display


It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.