Let’s cut to the chase; there are very few shows in Macau. Unlike Las Vegas where shows and buffets are part of the attraction, Macau is all about the gambling, and punters are usually here from China for an intense 48 hour stint of gambling. It’s not that casinos haven’t tried to diversify. The flagship Venetian Macau had Cirque du Soleil on stage every night for two years but they just couldn’t pull in the crowds. The show had to fold.
Macau does attract many one off concerts, sports tournaments and other single date events it just doesn’t have very many house shows. Things are improving – very slowly – and you will find a couple of house shows in Macau casinos. There’s even some good ones. Below is our pick of the best Macau house shows and when we say best what we mean are the only shows in Macau.
With the decline of Cirque du Soleil the mantel of the city’s flagship show has been taken over by the House of Dancing Water. Blockbuster special effects and an epic cast make this the only Macau show that wouldn’t be out of place in Vegas. As we detail it in our full review of the House of Dancing Water, the show is part Singing in the Rain musical and part Chinese folk tale told Evil Knievel style and all set on water. Completely unique and completely brilliant. Tickets are not cheap and you’d be well advised to book tickets well in advance.
Next up on stage is the Crazy Paris show at the Grand Lisboa. One for the adults, the Crazy Paris show has been on stage of the last 28 years and features a range of B-rate singers and dancers throwing themselves into cabaret classics such as the can can or pole dancing. It’s not innovative but it is a classic casino show.
Seemingly unable to make up its mind the Sands Macau hosts a rotating number of shows in their Xanadu Lounge. Highlights include the Belles of Broadway, an all singing all dancing routine of Broadway hits, and HRC, an X-Factor style boyband/girlband from Taiwan powering out canto-pop and hip hop.
The Venetian may have lost its Cirque du Soleil show but it is still host to the biggest names in town. While it has no fixed blockbuster house show it does have continual residencies from pop stars, sporting events and other red letter calendar events. These include Phantom of the Opera straight from London and ATP tennis tour matches. Events often attract the great and the good from Hong Kong and tickets are rarely cheap.
Like the Sands Macau, the Galaxy Casino has a rotating line up of B-rated shows inside its Pearl Lounge. The highlight here is Viva La View, a Brazilian Samba dancing troupe who perform a variety of colourful carnival inspired numbers. There is also a selection of other more mundane dance troupes as well as live cover bands.
That’s it, just about. Not a show but well worth a look is the signature performance at the Wynn Macau. Inspired by Las Vegas their huge Pleasure Lake features more than 200 fountains erupting in union accompanied by jets of fire and flashing lights. The string of fountains spurting in the air is a classic movie moment and while Macau might not be Las Vegas it’s impressive nonetheless.
If you’re looking for a diversion from the gambling tables and the shows above are not enough, think about seeing some of Macau’s excellent Portuguese heritage in our one day tour of Portuguese Macau.