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Mystère nears its 28th anniversary in Las Vegas still spinning heads

The finale from Mystère.
Cirque du Soleil

The finale from Mystère.

It’s the original Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas spectacular: Mystère.

The show at its eponymous 1,600-seat theater at Treasure Island remains one of the top draws in Las Vegas, packing the house even after nearly 30 years. Its international cast of 65 onstage artists combines aerial acrobatics, music, dance, comedy, and drama.

Mystère, which opened on Christmas Day in 1993, is also a crown jewel of a global brand of entertainment that reshaped the Strip, where five Cirque du Soleil shows have returned from pandemic hiatus.

And while Mystère is nearing 30, a Cirque du Soleil executive said the show has endured because it stays fresh.

“We've done a really great job at making sure that it stays relevant. It stays shiny, it stays exciting over the years,” said Tim Smith, senior artistic director for Cirque. “I keep an eye on the show nightly for quality, but I also keep an eye on the show with my colleagues to see if it’s time to put in a new act? Is it time to put new music in?”

Cirque du Soleil has spent 2021 revving its shows, which on the Strip include O and the Beatles LOVE, after a pandemic-forced shutdown.

“I've been in live entertainment my whole life, and this pandemic that we've all experienced was like none other,” Smith said. “I've never seen our industry completely shut down.”

He said Cirque deserves credit for pioneering a return to entertainment before many other productions.

“We were the first live entertainment company to open its doors,” Smith said. “There was no Live Nation. There was no New York City Opera.”

Performers such as Magalie Drolet, who has been a Cirque acrobat for 28 years, had worked out at home to be ready to return to the stage.

She said it was important during the downtime to “keep in shape, keep moving, keep exercising … just taking care of myself and crossing my fingers that we were going to reopen.”

Drolet said that even as one of the more veteran performers she remains passionate about her work.

“When you love what you're doing, it's not difficult to just go out there and do it,” she said, adding that she credits her longevity also to taking better care of herself now than when she was younger.

“Now I focus more on me what I eat; work out every day; my sleep is important,” she said. “Age is just a number.”

Drolet came to Las Vegas from near Montreal, not far from where a group of street performers and founding executives Guy Laliberté, Gilles Ste-Croix, and Daniel Gauthier created Cirque du Soleil in the 1980s.

Magalie Drolet, acrobat, Cirque du Soleil; Tim Smith, senior artistic director, Cirque du Soleil

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