Awakening—a $120 million original musical that has been playing to half-filled houses at Wynn Las Vegas since its November debut—has been placed on an indefinite pause so that its producers can make improvements. The final performance of its initial run will take place on April 15.
Although there is no specified return date, Ticketmaster lists the next performance as June 6.
Awakening premiered at Wynn Las Vegas on November 7, 2022, replacing Le Rêve. (Image: Wynn Las Vegas)
This marks the second time the show has been changed since its debut on November 7. Just under three months later, the show went on an unexpected two-week hiatus.
“Beginning April 17, Wynn Las Vegas will temporarily suspend performances of Awakening in order to allow time for an extended period of rehearsals,” said a statement from Wynn Las Vegas, which co-produces the show and helped finance its $120 million production cost. “Consistent with the resort’s commitment to excellence and quality, Wynn Las Vegas is committed to providing audiences with a superior version of Awakening. The show will resume performances at the conclusion of the extended rehearsal period.”
Casino.org’s own Vital Vegas blogger, Scott Roeben, broke the news late Wednesday night and offered his top 10 suggestions for ways to enhance the show.
Is This the End of Las Vegas Strip Productions?
Entertainment spending on the Strip has returned to pre-pandemic levels, but this hasn’t done much to help Broadway-style productions and Cirque du Soleil shows—which defined Las Vegas entertainment in the mid-2000s—which seem to still be struggling due to competition from superstar residencies and changing tastes and purchasing habits.
Three Las Vegas Strip productions—Bat Out of Hell—The Musical at Paris Las Vegas, Criss Angel’s Amystika at Planet Hollywood, and Extravaganza at Horseshoe—all failed to make it into 2023. Even the musical genius of Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda couldn’t keep Freestyle Love Supreme at the Venetian open for longer than two months.
“It’s a matter of priorities and how much money people have left over to spend on these general-interest shows,” said former theater reporter and critic for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Mike Weatherford, in an interview with Casino.org last month. “If you’re coming here to watch basketball or NASCAR, you’ve already paid a premium for both your tickets and your room rate. If you have any money left over and you can find the tickets, then Usher, Keith Urban, Katy Perry, and Adele are all doing residencies, and you have two nights of Jimmy Buffett. Are you really going to see Awakening?”
A brand new Las Vegas Strip production show did premiere last month. The Tony Award-winning SIX the Musical debuted at the Venetian on March 21, however, it was announced last fall as a seven-week engagement. Whether or not it was done as a precaution, one cannot help but to wonder if the limited schedule was meant to avoid having to shut down another production show prematurely.
Furthermore, the decline of the discount ticket booths hasn’t done production shows any favors. In the mid-2000s there were more than a dozen spread along the Strip, selling thousands of half-price tickets for same-day shows, but now there are only four.
Tourists used to flock to Las Vegas every weekend, planning to use these booths to decide what shows to see at the last minute, but now most come having already purchased tickets online and knowing their agendas.