“O” in Bellagio Fountains Canceled This Weekend

Cirque du Soleil‘s “O” and the Fountains of Bellagio opened 21 years ago in Las Vegas. Planned celebrations with shows featuring Cirque performers splashing around the famous fountains were canceled for this weekend. The cancellation was attributed to “unforeseen circumstances,” according to an email. No further reasons were given. The plan was to host a free “O” show this weekend and again Oct. 12 and 13. The email said the October shows are planned to go forward.

The shows were designed to be a spectacle that anyone on The Strip could watch for free.

“We will be coming out in a parade,” said Tony Ricotta, “O’s” senior company manager. “There’ll be performers on the street meeting the guests personally. The artists [in the fountains] will come in on many of our floating props. They will surround the stage to create a tableau.”

Saturday shows will feature an all-female cast performing a type of hand balancing known as banquine; Sunday shows will feature a group of contortionists. Ten-minute acts with “O” performers will take place in the fountains as well as on a purpose-built stage starting at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 12 and 13. (Plan to find a spot on the sidewalk along Las Vegas Boulevard well before show time).

How did the show-in-the-fountains idea come about?

“When Cirque du Soleil brought it forward to us, I was actually a little bit upset with myself that I hadn’t thought of this idea 15 years ago,” said Jenn Michaels, MGM Resort’s senior vice-president of public relations. “It was a very easy ‘yes.’”

MGM Resorts International rarely allows special events in the fountains.

Over the past two decades, Britney Spears, Cher and Panic at the Disco have performed in front of the more than 1,200 dancing fountains. Richard Branson was allowed to zip around the fountains’ “lake” on a personal watercraft in 2010, and the fountains turned pink for a Victoria’s Secret photo shoot in 2004. “It’s the only time that we’ve changed the color of the fountains,” Michaels said. “That one required divers putting pink gels over every individual light in the fountains. … It was very, very, very time-intensive.”

More fountains fodder: Bellagio’s water works formed the backdrop for the final scene of 2001’s “Oceans 11,” and were set ablaze as part of a flashy promotion for the final season of the “Game of Thrones” series. “I don’t know if any of us ever could have expected [the fountains] would be the worldwide phenomenon that it is,” Michaels said. “I really believe it’s the most recognizable icon that there is, for sure, of Las Vegas — and certainly one of the most photographed attractions around the world.”

During scheduled times, the fountains move to the music of more than 30 famous songs, including “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, “Luck Be a Lady” by Frank Sinatra, “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” by The Beatles, “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion and “Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis Presley. When “O” performers take over, they’ll use music from the show, but the fountains won’t be synced to the scores.

By the way, “O” is adding Monday and Tuesday performances starting Dec. 17 for the show that remains almost completely unchanged since it opened Oct. 15, 1998. About 95% of the seats continue to be sold on an average evening. “We must be touching a chord,” Ricotta said. “We’re still putting the resources behind the show to maintain its excellence.”

{ SOURCE: LA Times }