Stage set for unique ‘One Night’ Cirque du Soleil performance

In just a few days, all Cirque du Soleil shows on the Las Vegas Strip will go dark for the second annual One Night for One Drop, the circus and theatrical company’s annual philanthropy event benefiting water access programs.

Some 100 performers from each of Cirque’s eight residency shows on the Strip have been rehearsing on their own time for rehearsals and, ultimately, the one-night-only charity show that is performed March 21 at the Michael Jackson ONE Theater in Mandalay Bay.

One Night director Mukhtar Mukhtar said the 90-minute performance follows a character in a third world country who seeks a solution to the lack of accessible water.

Rehearsal for One Night for One Drop. Photo: Nicole Lucht /

Adding to the spectacle of acrobatics, clowns, flying, dancing and hand-balancing are about 20 outside performers who have donated their time and resources to One Night. Performers who have been announced include violinist Lindsey Stirling, who is expected to perform of her dubstep/electronic classical songs, and spoken word artist In-Q, who returns this year with a poem written specially for this year’s show and its vision. Canadian vocalists, The Tenors, are scheduled to perform a scene and in the finale, as are “America’s Best Dance Crew” season 6 winners IaMmE Crew.

The evening is chaired by actor Neil Patrick Harris.

Last year’s event raised $5.4 million, $1.6 million of which was donated by Cirque’s shows on the Strips from ticket sales the week leading up to the charity event, created by Cirque founder, Guy Laliberté, One Drop spokeswoman Pien Bowler said.

“(One Drop) started doing some benefit performances and at one point Guy thought, ‘If we want to do something a little bit different, which we are kind of known for, why don’t we do something very, very different when it comes to benefit performances.’”

“We have so much talent in this town. Obviously we’re very connected to Las Vegas, … a perfect town to raise some awareness when it comes to water issues. All that combined, we decided it was a great idea to do it here in Las Vegas and to do it a little bit different.”

One Drop World Water Week in Vegas:

  • Runaway with Cirque du Soleil — The 13th annual 5K run and 1-mile fun walk at Springs Preserve kicks off One Drop World Water Week. Run or walk alongside Cirque characters and clowns in costume. The event includes live music, photo opportunities with Cirque cast members and a circus play area for kids. Online registration is through March 13. On the day of the event, registration begins at 7 a.m. at the Springs Preserve. The run and walk starts at 8:30 a.m. Fees are $40 for the run and $30 for the walk.
  • One Night for One Drop — An original production centered around the theme, “One Thought, One World,” with Cirque artists and guest performers taking the stage. Sponsorship packages, VIP tickets and general admission available by visiting the Mandalay Bay box office or calling 702-778-3772.  Tickets start at $225.

In-Q’s spoken word for One Drop’s 2013 One Night event.