Most people love the blissfully semiconscious state between waking and sleeping and the absurd thoughts that accompany it—hence the appeal of the notoriously potent green liquor, thought to induce a similar haze. Add a dash of uninhibited libido to that dreamlike feeling and you get Absinthe. This 18-and-over show is set apart by the intimacy of its spiegeltent theater, its bawdy, in-your-face attitude and the gasp-worthy stunts that play out on a nine-foot-diameter round stage just a few feet from the audience. Hosted by emcee-provocateur the Gazillionaire—a greasy-haired, mustachioed carnival barker plucked straight out of the 1970s—and his assistant Joy Jenkins, he plies audiences with dirty jokes and double entendres between cabaret and circus-style acts like flipping strongmen, tap-dancing twins and scantily clad acrobats that are the stuff of very flexible fantasies. It’s like Cirque du Soleil’s naughty little sister and well worth your entertainment dollars.
It’s up there with trying your luck at the best Las Vegas casinos or ogling the over-the-top sights on the Las Vegas Strip. Seeing at least one spectacular production is among the best things to do in Las Vegas, but with more than 100 Sin City shows vying for your attention on any given day, which should you choose? We waded through the whole program, from comedy shows and magic to Broadway musicals and the entire Cirque canon, to select the best Las Vegas shows, ranked in order of necessity.