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Jennifer Wesnousky
Performance Reviews
Wynn Las Vegas
United States
Las Vegas, NV

Le Réve

by Jennifer Wesnousky
February 12, 2007
Wynn Las Vegas
3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 770-7000
A Small Collection of Imperfect Dreams
In its opening sequence, Las Vegas' Wynn Hotel and Casino's spellbinding production, Le Réve, transported its audience into the dream world of its protagonist as her bed was submerged underwater within the show's elaborate, theater-in-the-round set. While this was the first time that the audience would question the well-being of an immersed cast member on a stage that frequently became inundated, it would not be the last. Shapely legs in scarlet pumps would soon emerge from the tank, performing a crisp, creatively choreographed, several-minute dance that left the bedazzled audience to question how the multitude of inverted bodies beneath the surface were able to hold their breath. The next ninety minutes would feature this pool of water, on and above which a fantasy journey of sheer, ethereal beauty unfolded within a spectacle of dance, gymnastics and circus arts.

Although the first few rows of the fourteen-row theater were a bit less pricey due to the probability of getting wet when performer after performer took the plunge from high up above the high-ceilinged venue down into the pool below, all of the seats offered an equally accessible view of the action, which interspersed comedy with death-defying feats. Presided over by a kind of devilish ringmaster, the show entailed no speaking, preferring to employ fantastical, live instrumental music and visual imagery instead. Above the pool, able-bodied men performed gravity-defying gymnastic planks and press handstands requiring unthinkable strength and flexibility, holding them effortlessly for several minute bouts before diving and spiraling down into the water with full or double twists.

As dazzling as the water-bound antics were the stunts performed high above the pool by performers who descended down on cables to execute stunning midair dances and acrobatics, twirling, posing and flipping in excellently staged and constantly changing formations. Later, such circus contraptions as silver, spherical cages swept through the air, enclosing female threesomes who worked symbiotically to create beautiful contortions, shapes and lines.

While Le Réve's winsome male performers may have shaved their heads for aesthetic purposes, the show utilized baldness as a recurring comedic theme. Prior to the performance, a trio of talented comedians traversed the audience in search of bald-headed patrons to tease good-naturedly, crowning them with comical caps as the production's crew shone spotlights upon them. As the performance's clown characters, this threesome in dapper white displayed not only excellent comic charisma but also, in diving and flipping into the pool along with the rest of the cast, their own acrobatic ability.

The show truly had no star, but rather a barrage of equally talented and hard-working team members; each utilized strategically and equally as important components of a picture created with special effects, costumes and airborne staging. And, while the role of the production staff which manned the cables and harnesses to which the cast was frequently attached most certainly played an incomparably important role, they were destined to remain nameless and faceless. But then, so were all of Le Réve's eighty-five member cast. While each and every member displayed incredible agility, artistry and talent, extensive internet searches revealed no information about the individuals. As is the case with many Las Vegas spectaculars, the show seemed to have a "dime a dozen" mentality about an abundant cast of characters with endless dance, gymnastics and circus arts training, each of whom displayed star quality without detracting from the production itself.

The one person whose name did appear frequently in conjunction with Le Réve was its creator, Franco Dragone, whose incredibly aesthetic eye was also responsible for such productions as Cirque du Soleil's "O" and Mystére. Dragone's dream in this case (as Le Réve is French for "The Dream") was the creation of a dazzling, surreal fantasy world filled with a mixture of angelic and demonic characters, colors, energy and music, including such special effects as fire and water which poured from the venue's ceiling like a storm. Costumes in reds and whites seemed to support this good vs. evil struggle in the protagonist's mind's eye. And, as she and the audience experienced her dream, the egoless cast performed their parts like individual brushstrokes upon a vibrant, mythical canvas.

Creator/Director: Franco Dragone
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