During this year's Back of House Tour, The Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority served up a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the amazing, water-themed show at Wynn Las Vegas, "Le Reve."
With two shows per night running Friday through Tuesday, the show has been up and running for eight years – recently having gone through some refinements.
Directed by Franco Dragone (one of the minds behind Cirque du Soleil's "O" and "Mystere," "Le Reve" is a multi-million dollar blend of swimming, diving, acrobatics, athletics and surreal artistry. Hours before the show opened that night, the show's Operations Technical Director Dale Hurt took journalists backstage for a look at the world the audience never sees.
As with so many big budget Las Vegas shows, safety is always the first concern during every performance. Since the artists spend so much of the show underwater, the massive pool incorporated into the stage contains underwater breathing tubes for artists to draw on using 70 oxygen tanks backstage.
There are 14 technicians and attendants in wet suits and SCUBA gear hidden below the surface away from the audience's eyes at all times. Those divers rehearse with the artists to make sure they are always where they need to be to aid the performers.
The theater is 180 ft. across, but no seat is more than 42 ft from the poo and stage. Some 750 horsepower of hydraulics move that stage in and around the pool during the performance.
While the reporters weren't allowed under water, they were able to explore the rest of the stage and the world overheard.
There's more than 80 feet from the pool to the hidden gantry overhead. From this height, artists can dive into the pool or descend via specially made riggings.
An elaborate mix of lighting, mists and underwater bubbles can transform the stage space while hiding performance elements underwater that might ruin the illusion.
The "Le Reve" cast can work out day and night backstage at the theater's complete gynasium and rehearsal space. Some of the show's most challenging numbers can also be rehearsed here.
Any backyard pool has a filter, and "Le Reve" has a massive version of that device. These are the massive tanks that keep the performance cool clean.
The support staff hiding beneath the pool surface use these portable oxygen tanks. Meanwhile, all of the wetsuits and riggings are tailored especially for specific technicians – just as the show costumes are precisely matched to the artists.