Last week I saw several shows while I was in Las Vegas but the best, by a country mile, was Absinthe at Caesar’s Palace. Located in a Spiegeltent on the casino grounds, it’s a show unlike anything I’ve seen in Las Vegas.
The tent itself isn’t that big, so the venue is small and intimate. Most of the audience sits in normal card table chairs and even in the very back row, I don’t think you’re more than 40 feet from the performers. For those in the front rows, it would be very easy to reach out and touch the acts.
Absinthe has been billed as one of the most raunchy and shocking shows in Las Vegas. Sure, there is a bit of skin for some of the acts but the majority of the controversy comes from the hosts, the Gazillionaire and his assistant Penny Pibbets. The duo introduces each of the acrobatic performers. In between the acts, the Gazillionaire and Penny are not afraid to take their comedy into areas that some might find uncomfortable. They’ll make jokes or rib audience members based on their ethnicity, sexual orientation, appearance, and just about anything that might get them a laugh. In my particular show, the Gaz mercilessly taunted an Asian woman and her adult daughter about things I can’t really discuss on this blog, suffice to say it was of a sexual nature. The video above shows the Gaz and Penny at work. The audio from the video is definitely not for sensitive ears.
The acts themselves are as impressive as the Gaz and Penny are raunchy with their jokes. All of them feature feats of strength, agility, balance, and creativity. Someone said that it seemed like they took the best parts of all of the Cirque du Soleil shows and crammed it into Absinthe. Since the show allows photography and filming, you can probably see everything on YouTube but that would be doing yourself a disservice. It’s really something to be seen live and up close. Having said that, here’s an example of one of the great acts in the show.
Absinthe is easily one of the best ways to spend 90 minutes of your time in Las Vegas.