It's The Norm
December 6-12, 2001 ARCHIVES
"It's The Norm" - Recent Entertainment Events in Las Vegas

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"Cheval" A Must See Show!


by Norm Johnson
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One of the best surprises I've had thus far this year occurred the other evening in a huge tent constructed on the Bellagio Hotel property. We were part of a media night where Gilles Ste-Croix, after leaving Cirque du Soleil, showed off his latest creation, "Cheval." It's a show starring horses with humans as a prop. And let me not keep you in suspense: It's the hit of the year as far as this writer is concerned.

As you enter the first tent leading to the big tent you have a few minutes to walk around and take a glimpse at these beautiful and somewhat rare horses prior to entering the big tent. The show actually starts right away when a huge silver-haired horse, with a real long mane and hair over its face and almost dragging in the dirt is in the middle of the arena. You learn quite quickly that this is an amazing animal. He rolls in the dirt, stands up and looks over the audience, goes back to rolling around and just completely does whatever he wants. And he's out there all by himself. No handler.

If you have been around Las Vegas since the early 90's you may recall that Steve Wynn, then the owner of the Mirage, put up a tent in his back yard in 1992. He had seen a strange new entertainment spectacle during some of his travels and believed a Las Vegas audience would appreciate such a unique show. So, the man with a great vision for entertainment purchased the rights to the first Cirque show "Nouvelle Experience." He later built a theater for the next version of a Cirque show, "Mystere" which continues to this day at the Treasure Island. Wynn then built another special theatre for the next version "O" at his newest hotel (at the time) the Bellagio.

As I have been told there are some 30 horses involved in the show, with perhaps as many human handlers. "Cheval" is the French word for horse and certain parts of this show dates back to the mid 16th Century when military men would display their horsemanship. Like his other shows, Ste-Croix has a single thread running throughout the show and that is a comedian who supposedly is looking for a job. Christian Ferland plays the part very good and with quite a bit of physical exertion at times.

This is a show for all generations and is absolutely wonderful for children. There are big workhorses and then there are the very special horse stars including a very small and cute as a bug horse you can't help but adore. Believe me folks this is a must see show if there ever was one!

"Cheval" runs a little over 90 minutes, but these are fast moments. Seating is quite comfortable considering it's inside a well-heated tent. Showtimes are 7 pm., Wednesday through Saturdays plus a 9:30 pm. show on Saturday and a 3 pm. show Sunday. Tickets range from $30 to $56 with reservations suggested.

Another show opened the other day at the Venetian, "Bravo" starring Charo and the comedy team of Mario and Daniel. Produced by John Stuart of "Legends" fame, the new addition to the strip is a great diversion from the ordinary fare being offered. Charo is definitely an interesting act and believe me she can play the heck out of that guitar. She still looks great and you can't help but like her. The brothers are a great comedy team and they really get a chance to display all their humor during this outing. There is also a great display of Spanish dancing with special guests taking part in the ritual Flamenco dances. Showtimes are 9 pm. Mondays through Saturdays with an additional show at 7 pm. Wednesdays in the C2K showroom. Tickets range from $48 to $69.

There are now only 19 days left till Santa comes down the chimneys. I'm outa here!

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