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I may be a '90s kid through and through, but I feel like I grew up with the ultimate 1960s rock band: The Beatles.
Throughout my childhood, my dad — a devoted fan of the Fab four — would croon songs such as "Hey Jude" while cooking in the kitchen; "I Want to Hold Your Hand" to my mom while my siblings and I groaned in mock disgust; and "Twist and Shout" while we all boogied together in the living room. Today, I'm transported back to those fond memories as soon as I hear the first note of a chorus performed by Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr.
So, I hate to admit it: Las Vegas' renowned homage to The Beatles — The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage — has been around since 2006, but I somehow had yet to find myself in its audience. However, on my most recent trip to Sin City in January, I was finally able to cross off this bucket-list item.
And it was absolutely worth the wait — especially since my partner and I were able to experience the show's recently introduced Toast to Love VIP program.
The brand-new offering presents aficionados with exclusive behind-the-scenes access to Love, including a backstage tour that begins about an hour before the night's act. Our guide pointed out and explained a selection of the show's props (there are more than 600 altogether), such as the "Smoking Car," a Gold Filigree Volkswagen Beetle that's powered by a hydraulic pump and motor. We learned that 68 artists take the stage during each performance, which, in turn, results in 5,800 costume pieces used per two nightly shows and 23 loads of laundry done daily by a 33-person wardrobe staff. It's true what they say: It really takes a village.
Photo opportunities also abound: I posed with one of the smoking umbrellas (said to have the smallest fog machines in the world) that were to be wielded by the Nowhere Men during Love. Additionally, before the tour ended, Ben and I shook hands with one of the talented cast members — Uys, originally from South Africa, who plays one of the four Nowhere Men — and we took a photograph together to commemorate all the excitement. (These photos are included in the price of Toast to Love and can be obtained after the show.)
Toast to Love also includes a choice of one Beatles-themed specialty cocktail in a large souvenir cup (and the ability to skip the long concession lines), as well as VIP seating with a fantastic vantage point inside the theater.
As for the show? It was extraordinary. Thousands of lights, dozens of smoke machines, 52 digital projectors, 6,400 speakers and more, all paired with an incredibly gifted Cirque du Soleil cast, made for a breathtaking show. Next time, I plan to bring my dad as a guest and win daughter of the year.
The Toast to Love package starts at $254 and is available for the 7 p.m. performance on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, visit the Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas website.