Create an athletic, acrobatic, fast-moving take on a traditional circus-style production, spike it with talented performers and original music and drop the whole thing inside a 30,000-square-foot tent on the Las Vegas Strip at a casino resort with free parking. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect easy-access, all-ages show for the summer? As long as the AC is keeping that tent cool, it could be a winner.
“Celestia” opened for previews at the STRAT on May 11 and hosted its grand opening last week. Originally announced in November for a January opening, the show was restructured with a different creative team and the results are impressively cohesive. It plays like a greatest-hits collection of familiar circus acts—hand-balancing, contortion, aerialists and even the Wheel of Death—with no breaks in the action and a decidedly family-friendly tone. And with tickets starting at $29, “Celestia” provides an affordable alternative to most of the Strip’s major production shows.
Executive producer Brian Burke is also a creative producer for “America’s Got Talent” and two standout “Celestia” acts have appeared on the popular TV competition, father-daughter balancing duo Sergey and Sasha and the Sandou Trio Russian Bar. The title character, “a girl made of stars,” and two playful clowns serve as guides through an enchanting and occasionally romantic world full of colorful characters who fly through the air, flip across the stage and sometimes work their way into the audience. Proximity is an advantage for this show, especially when the crew rolls out its house-made Wheel of Death and its two fearless inhabitants hover above you. Other high points include a ballet-trapeze hybrid and an aerial straps performer who duels with an army of agile acrobats. Overall, it’s a brisk and cinematic new contribution to the Vegas showscape, packing a lot of fun into 70 minutes. And the tent was properly cool.
“Celestia” is performed at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and at 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday at the STRAT (2000 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-380-7777). Find more information at stratospherehotel.com.