If you're a regular VEGAS 411 reader, you know that this season has offered an avalanche of holiday shows. While it isn't possible to see them all, each one this writer attended has been delightful and worthy of your time. Last evening I was fortunate enough to catch DINGLE BELLS, an all-ages circus in Downtown Las Vegas. It, too, was a wonderful surprise.
Performed under an old-time big top next to Container Park, DINGLE BELLS is a throwback to the traveling circuses of yesterday. Vaudeville acts, slapstick, gorgeous gals, and muscular hunks fill the space with acrobatics, skits, and holiday cheer. Priced at a bargain $40 for adults and $25 for the kids, it's a budget-friendly romp that will put a smile on your face without obliterating your holiday budget.
The premise of DINGLE BELLS (yes, the name is awful) is a familiar formula used in everything from The Wizard of Oz to LE REVE. The protagonist falls asleep, enters a world of fantastical characters, then wakes up to ponder if it was real or a dream. In this case, a young girl is inspecting the presents under her tree and has an unfortunate mishap. Saddened, she curls up in a chair...and the living room around her comes alive. It's The Nutcracker as seen through modern eyes.
The ensuing ninety minutes are wordlessly filled with aerial acts, hair-raising stunts, and ballerinas. After a brief intermission to redress the stage, Santa and a toy soldier open act two with an amusing sequence featuring Celestia/Blanc de Blanc/Atomic Saloon Show performer Roman Mokrenko. Another highlight is a high-speed rollerskating act featuring Cirque du Soleil's Yunier Padron and Yaisel Marino.
Yunier Padron and Yaisel Marino
Much of the comedy is provided by the team of Matt and Heidi Brucker Morgan. While painfully awful in the pre-revamp version of iLuminate (see our review here), Morgan's brand of silliness is well-suited for the DINGLE BELLS tent. Think of them as the fart jokes in an animated kids' movie. Their lion-tamer act was particularly enjoyed by the children in the audience.
The true standout of DINGLE BELLS is its central figure, the young lady whose dream we experience. After watching mostly from the sidelines, this little star comes alive for a rapturous finale of dancing, juggling, and contortion that is downright stunning. The dreamer is portrayed by Valeria Miagkostoupov, whose father Vladik Miagkostoupov was in Zombie Burlesque and a featured performer in APERO earlier this year.
The Morgans have no mercy on a stagehand.
DINGLE BELLS Las Vegas Cast Bows
While there's nothing new or particularly innovative about DINGLE BELLS, you owe it to yourself to seek it out. Bring the family, grab some cotton candy and popcorn, then settle in for a great time.
DINGLE BELLS performs through December 24th at various times. Tickets are $40 for adults and $25 for children ten and under. Discounts are available for senior citizens and the military. Click here for more information and to reserve seats.