Tips for seeing a show in Vegas


 By Caroline Fontein

There are plenty of shows to see in the Entertainment Capital of the World. However, sometimes figuring out things like where to park, how early to get there and what to wear can make your show going experience a little stressful. After seeing countless revues on the Las Vegas Strip, I’ve put together a list of tips to help others when it’s show time in Vegas.

Things to consider when booking your ticket:

General Admission
When you book your tickets make sure to check if you have assigned seating or if the tickets are for general admission. General admission tickets mean that seats are available on a first come, first serve basis. If this is the case, make sure you get to the show at least a good half hour before the show starts to give yourself more options when it comes to selecting a good seat.

Smoking Policy
Smoking is not allowed in any show room, except one. Blue-eyed crooner Matt Goss performs in Cleopatra’s Barge, a bar and lounge at Caesars Palace. Smoking is allowed in this venue and during the show.

Table vs. Booth
Classic Vegas show rooms like where Nathan Burton performs at in the Flamingo, Legends in Concert performs at in Harrah’s and Human Nature performs at in the Imperial Palace offer both table and booth seating. Booth seats are situated so that they face the stage. There’s usually four seats to a booth, so if there’s only two of you, be prepared for another couple to join you. Booth seats are usually referred to as VIP seating, as they cost more than table seats.

Table seats are situated so that the short end of the table faces the stage, and the people sitting at the table face each other. In order to see the stage, you have to turn your body and head in that direction. Depending upon your preferences, it might be worth it for you to pay the extra money for a booth seat so that you can be more comfortable and sit facing the stage without having to orient your body and head to the side.

Here’s Lookin’ at You Kid
Some people want to do more than watch a show. They want to be a part of it. In Vegas you can do just that as a guest at one of the various hypnosis shows on the Strip like Anthony Cools at Paris Las Vegas and Marc Savard at the V Theater located in the Miracle Mile Shops adjacent to Planet Hollywood. In these shows, the hypnotist asks volunteers from the audience to come on stage and get hypnotized. Afterwards, volunteers are coerced into thinking that they’re in a series of hilarious scenarios. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to be in the spotlight, don’t worry. No one is forced to go on stage.

Another place where guests can be a part of the show in a less involved way is by seeing Vinnie Favorito at the Flamingo. Favorito is a quick-witted comedian who uses his interaction with the crowd as material for his jokes. A lot of what he says is fueled by stereotyping people and picking on their visible flaws. It’s funny, but it’s also harsh. He picks on almost everyone in the audience even if you’re sitting in the back corner. If you like this sort of comedy, Favorito doesn’t disappoint. However, if you’re easily offended or embarrassed, then you might want to consider another show.

Entertainment and Eats
Back in the day, seeing an act in Vegas and having dinner as part of your show experience was common. Today most of the showrooms have done away with the dinner and show concept. However, there are two revues that continue to include food, Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding at the V Theater in the Miracle Mile Shops adjacent from Planet Hollywood and the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur. Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding is an interactive experience that makes the audience feel like their guests at the crazy wedding of an Italian couple. Tournament of Kings is also interactive in that audience members are asked to cheer for the knight representing the section they’re seated in. It’s a fun show of Medieval proportions.

It’s show time! Things to consider on the day of the show:

Leave Early
When going to see a show it’s always better to get there early. Allow yourself plenty of time for parking and walking thought the casino to the theater. If you’re walking to your destination, you’ll want to get an even earlier start. The casinos always seem closer than they really are. What you might think is only a 5 minute walk might end up taking you more like 20 or 30 minutes if you’re walking on the Las Vegas Strip when you factor in the crowds, waiting for pedestrian crossing lights and navigating through your final destination to find the showroom.

If you have general admission tickets, you’ll want to make sure that you get to the showroom early so that you have a good selection of seats. However, sitting in the front row for a show like “Absinthe” might not be preferred seating depending upon how you look at it.

“Absinthe” at Caesars Palace is an interactive show for guests sitting in the first few rows. This circus-style revue features burlesque numbers and world-class specialty acts. It’s led by a crazy character called The Gazillionaire. At the start of the show, he spends time joking with the audience, especially the people seated in the first few rows. The Gazillionaire jokingly refers to those rows as the “c**k seats” because guests seated there get the closest view of his thrusting pelvis and exaggerated manhood (there has to be some sort of stock-stuffing or cup scenario happening here). His crass humor knows no boundaries, and people in the audience love it. The theater has in-the-round seating with the first few rows only a few feet from the stage. For guests who don’t want to be spotlighted, it’s better to select seats further away from the main performance area.

Will Call
If you have tickets on hold, make sure to bring your I.D. Box office attendants use this to verify that the tickets are going to the right person. If you don’t have your I.D., they won’t release your tickets.

Stay cool (or hot)
If you’re someone who gets cold easily, bring a jacket. Some of the theaters can get a little chilly, even in the summer. Having a jacket to put on during the show will save you from shivering in your seat the whole time.

Dress Code
Speaking of things to wear, there isn’t a dress code at most of the major production shows in Vegas. As long as you’re wearing shoes and a shirt, you’re in. However, some of the shows that take place in lounges do ask that you dress for the occasion. Playboy Comedy Club at the Palms is one of these revues. Their dress code asks that people refrain from wearing tank tops, shorts, athletic wear, baseball hats, tennis shoes or flip-flops. The Palms is a pretty happening spot. So if you’re planning on partying after the show, you wouldn’t want to wear any of those things anyways.

Matt Goss who performs at Cleopatra’s Barge in Caesars Palace is another show where people need to dress to impress. The dress code asks that people wear nightclub attire meaning no T-shirts, tennis shoes, baseball caps and flip-flops for men and no tank tops and flip-flops for women. Performing in a dimly light lounge where smoking IS allowed, Goss’s show harks back to the days of the Rat Pack when men wore tuxedos or tailored suits and women wore gowns and furs to see a show. While you don’t have to go to that extent, seeing his show is an excuse to get dressed up for a night out on the town.

Every hotel has its own parking structure, but sometimes it can be beneficial to park across the street and walk to the hotel where your show is playing. This way you can avoid the crowds of people leaving the show and the parking garage at the same time. This is an especially good idea it you’re seeing a show at MGM Grand like David Copperfield or Cirque du Soleil’s KÀ. With its huge events center, you don’t want to get caught up in that traffic jam. Instead, you can park at the Tropicana or New York-New York and take the pedestrian crosswalk to access the MGM. Another option is to take the monorail from another casino to the MGM.

If you’re seeing a show at the Colossuem at Caesars Palace like Celine Dion or Elton John, and you don’t mind valeting, there’s a separate valet just for this venue. Dropping your car off here avoids having to walk through the casino to access the theater.