Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Vegas, Baby. Vegas.

For my birthday, Dan surprised me with a two day trip to the City of Sin. We don't drink, and we don't gamble... so the only sinful behavior we participated in was thinking bad thoughts about the hordes of people in the street trying to give us gross pictures of women with major self-esteem issues. We left our boy safely behind at Grandma's house where he participated in a little luxurious vacation of his own. (Thanks Mom!)

Our purpose in going to Vegas was to see three shows: The Blue Man Group, The Phantom of the Opera, and Cirque du Soleil's O. We stayed at the Venetian, which was home to the first two shows mentioned. (Side note, that place has really sweet suites!)

The Blue Man Group was our favorite of the three. I had seen the show before in New York and had really enjoyed it. There were a few differences, one being the size of the theater. In Vegas the theater is a lot bigger, and I think some of that personal connection is lost. Of course in New York I was seated in the Splash Zone, so maybe I'm just remembering things from that perspective.
Blue Man reminds me of a lot of different things in my life. My High School drumline days, my college movement/mime classes with James Donlon, my days as a High School drama teacher watching our awesome improv troupe perform in the little black box theater, recent days watching Ze Frank online with my husband on his laptop. The show seems fairly universal, but I'm not sure if everyone really gets it or if people just get a kick out of music and blue people.

Phantom is my favorite musical of all time, which is probably why I am so critical of it. This will need an entry all of its own. Let's just say I've seen Phantom in LA, London, New York and now in Vegas... it was the worst one. Even if I include the movie. Again, my rant on this needs a space of its own.

O was like an amazing, trippy, impossible dream. I was very inspired by most of it, although there is no plot, and practically no speaking. I loved the look of it. The colors in the costumes, the movement style of different characters, the music (especially the cello song), the inspired props, the lighting, the changing stage. This show has one of the best final bows of all time in my mind. O isn't really a circus show, it is a beautiful and elaborate dance with stunts and acrobatics tied in. And it isn't so much a story as it is a feeling. Strangely enough, when I hear certain songs I see this kind of stuff in my head and I think "Too bad that isn't possible." Now I know there are other crazy people out there that have visions like this (and talent that I don't have by the way) and it is possible! And people want to pay to see the creator's beautiful trippy weirdness. It gives me hope that I may not be all that insane after all.

To round out the travelogue, I will relate that before we saw Phantom and O we walked for a mile and a half from our hotel room to an impossible-to-find movie theater by the MGM Grand. We tried to see The Dark Night but we were too late so we saw Hancock. We were entertained. It wouldn't have mattered if we liked the movie, we needed to sit down and get out of the sun for two hours. Walking down the strip in the middle of the summer in the middle of the day almost killed us off. Oh, and I still have blisters.

Vegas is still Vegas. They have to entice you with every glittery and sexy thing to get you to come and stay in their bigger and better Arco-style hotels. The shows were good, and we had a fun little break from life, but life is so much better than what's offered in Vegas. When it was my turn to drive on the way home, I floored it to get away from the billboards and back to my Baby.

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