LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – Las Vegas shows have slowly begun welcoming audiences back for the first time in eight months. On Wednesday, Spiegelworld’s Absinthe opened the big top at Caesars Palace to a limited number of showgoers.
“We’ve been planning for six months to get the show open,” said Ross Mollison, a producer for Spiegelworld. “There’s certain acts we can’t do, certain acts we can do. We’ve modified them. We’ve worked within the guidelines of the governor to make sure we’re providing a safe environment for the patrons but also for the artists.”
Mollison said Spiegelworld submitted a 49-page plan to the state for approval. Gov. Steve Sisolak paved the way for the return of live entertainment when he increased capacity limits to 250 people.
But 250 people cannot simply enter a venue. Parties have to be 6 feet apart and at least 25 feet from the stage.
Absinthe typically seats 660 people each night, but current restrictions mean only 150 will enter the tent each night.
“These smaller venues, not just our shows but in town … It’s tough,” said Matt Stabile, a producer of Caesar’s topless revue shows X Country, X Burlesque and comedy-meets-magic show Piff the Magic Dragon. “[Small venues are] unable to open. Definitely needs to be changed.”
Stabile produces the shows with his wife, Angela Stabile. They gave FOX5 a behind the scenes look of X Country, which reopened at Harrah’s Resort and Casino.
“It’s still fun and exciting and even though the girls don’t come off stage or audience members are not allowed to go on stage either,” Angela said. “With the current guidelines the girls do have to wear masks [but] only when two or more are on stage and they’re closer than 12 feet apart. They don’t have to wear a mask when they’re doing solos. And each girl does have a solo.”
The X Country showroom can typically seat 350 people but under the current guidelines will only seat 80.
The producers of X Country and Absinthe said cast and crew would be undergoing regular testing COVID-19.
“Everybody gets tested every week,” said Mollison. “Everybody is wearing masks backstage, coming out onto stage and on stage as well.”
Also betting on the return of live entertainment is MGM. David Copperfield, Carrot Top, Jabbawockeez and Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club are among several of its shows returning Nov. 6.
Still in the air is Cirque du Soleil. A spokesperson told FOX5 that it would not be setting an official return date until performances are financially viable.
Live entertainment could be the boost strip casinos are looking for.
“To see live entertainment. It’s really exciting and something that has been missed terribly from the Las Vegas strip,” said Stabile.
“You know we need not just Absinthe back, we need all the shows back,” said Mollison. “We won’t let you down.”
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