19 Vegas Shows You Need to See Before They’re Gone Forever

From Katy Perry’s Playland to Silk Sonic, Lady Gaga, art exhibits, and more, you don’t want to miss these shows.

Katy Perry PLAY
John Shearer/Getty Images

Nothing lasts forever, especially in Las Vegas. For every decade-long headliner run, there are dozens of other shows that have pulled a vanishing act. And the Las Vegas residency, now a prestige play for pop stars at the top of their game, with custom productions in intimate venues that can’t be replicated on a world stadium tour, is designed to be ephemeral. The Entertainment Capital of the World is ever evolving, and all good things must come to an end. With that in mind, see these shows before they’re gone for good, or forever hold your FOMO. And if you’re looking for hacks on how to score cheap tickets to the best Vegas shows, we’ve got a guide for that, too.

Katy Perry Play
John Shearer/Getty Images

Resorts World Theatre
Katy Perry’s PLAY residency at Resorts World is, without a doubt, the best residency in Las Vegas right now. It’s fun and silly and whimsical and, well, playful from start to finish, full of joy and the kind of deranged adult glee that’s pretty on-brand with Perry herself. Thoroughly charming and entertaining, this show is SO good. It’s more fully realized theatrical production than concert, with costumes and set pieces so animated and elaborate they put many touring Broadway productions to shame. The show unfolds over five acts, following the adventures of a child’s “Katy Doll” that we first meet in an opening animated segment. The sets of each act are larger-than-life depictions of the places the doll—Perry—ends up, including a child’s bedroom, a bathroom, a backyard, and a trash can. There is a giant talking toilet. There is a giant talking facemask. There is a giant talking turd. And just wait until you see how “I Kissed a Girl” is staged!

There is no better theater in Vegas for this outsized production: Resort World is home to Las Vegas’s largest and tallest stage, with the farthest seat being only 150 feet away. The show has already been extended once with dates running through August. Go play in Perry Playland while you can! This is absolutely one not to miss.
Cost: Tickets start at $55.00.
How to book: Purchase tickets through AXS.

Dolby Live at Park MGM
Consummate showman Bruno Mars is pretty consistent about playing a smattering of dates here and there in Las Vegas every year at the Dolby Live theater (formerly the Park Theater), and it’s always a big deal and they always sell out. But! This is the first time he’s bringing his Silk Sonic collaborator Anderson.Paak along for the ride, and with a very limited number of dates through May for this GRAMMY-nominated duo’s show, this is one any Bruno/Paak/Silk Sonic fan will definitely want to see.
Cost: Tickets start at $165.00.
How to book: Purchase through Ticketmaster.

Lady Gaga Jazz and Piano
Park MGM

Dolby Live at Park MGM
After several celebrated performances with legendary jazz crooner Tony Bennett in Las Vegas, Lady Gaga debuted her Jazz & Piano residency at the same time as her totally gaga Enigma residency at Dolby Live in 2018. Enigma did not return after pandemic cancellations but Jazz & Piano did, and if you want to see Gaga really ham it up in an over-the-top, old-school Vegas glam production, this is the show to see. Featuring stripped-down versions of her hits and songs from the Great American Songbook, it’s one part Marilyn, two parts Rat Pack, and 100% Gaga. She’s embarking on her Chromatica Ball world tour this summer, but you won’t see anything like this production outside of Vegas. Dates through May 1.
Cost: Tickets start at $180.00.
How to book: Purchase through Ticketmaster.

Dolby Live at Park MGM
With absolutely no statistical data whatsoever to back up this statement, Usher’s residency at Caesars Palace was the biggest residency of 2021. Tickets were impossible to get, unless you wanted to pay $300+ for the tippy-top-most row in the back. And even then, tickets were tough to get. After a truly stupendous run at the Colosseum last year—his was the first new headliner residency announced after the pandemic shutdowns in 2020—Usher’s bringing a brand-new show to Dolby Live that promises to be bigger, flashier, and “YEAH!”-ier than ever! Dates through October.
Cost: Tickets start at $72.48.
How to book: Purchase through Ticketmaster.

Shania Twain “Let’s Go!” The Vegas Residency
Park MGM

Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood
Before there was Taylor Swift, there was country-pop crossover superstar Shania Twain. Even if you’re not a superfan, you’ll recognize many of her songs and appreciate the elaborate sparkly costumes, saucy choreography, and immersive digital set pieces. If you’re not in it for love, be in it for the absolute visual spectacle of some of her most iconic music video moments brought to life onstage—“Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” is worth the ticket price alone. Dates through September.
Cost: Tickets start at $69.00.
How to book: Purchase through Ticketmaster.

Lionel Richie: Back to Las Vegas
Wynn Las Vegas

Encore Theater at the Wynn
Before Adele sang “Hello from the other side,” Lionel Richie asked, “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” Depending on your age, you will know Richie best as (a) singer for The Commodores, (b) 1980s pop and R&B multi-platinum hit machine, (c) father of Nicole Richie, or (d) American Idol judge. The (a)s and (b)s will get the most out of this show, and as for the rest of you, put some respect on his name: as a singer, songwriter, and producer, Richie has been the driving force behind an absolute slew of hits, and with over 125 million albums sold worldwide through his various involvements, he’s one of the best-selling artists of all time. His limited engagement of just six shows runs March 30 to April 9.
Cost: Tickets start at $137.61.
How to book: Purchase through Ticketmaster.

Barry Manilow – The Hits Come Home!
Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino

Westgate International Theater at Westgate Resort & Casino
Hear us out: This guy is a LEGEND. Legendary Barry returns to Las Vegas playing all his hits—there are many!—at the Westgate. Will there be a lot of old people in the audience? Yes. But the guy is almost 80 and, you know, see the legends while you can. Also, he’s been playing Vegas for longer than the average Thrillist reader has been alive, and he knows how to work the crowd—there’s something to be said for seeing a nearly octogenarian hitmaker perform on his home turf. There’s also the added cheesy ironic enjoyment of doing such an extremely Vegas thing… sometimes you just have to lean in! Dates through June.
Cost: Tickets start at $54.99.
How to book: Purchase through Ticketmaster.

The Colosseum at Caesars Palace
See again: this guy is a legend and you have to see the legends while you can. The 17-time GRAMMY award-winning performer Sting, who has sold over 100 million records over the last five decades as a solo artist and with his band The Police, rips through his long list of hits in this showcase of the singer-songwriter’s illustrious career. Dates through June.
Cost: Tickets start at $59.00.
How to book: Purchase through Ticketmaster.

John Legend “Love in Las Vegas”

Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood
Speaking of legends, this guy’s actual name is Legend, and he is also a history-making EGOT—as in, a member of the extremely rare group of artists that have won an Emmy, GRAMMY, Oscar, and Tony award—as well as the first Black man to earn the prestigious honor. If that’s not reason enough alone to go see this show, then imagine the date night bonus points you’ll immediately earn with your significant other the moment he starts playing “All of Me.” The 12-time GRAMMY winner will bring his silky-smooth sounds to his “Love in Las Vegas” residency at Zappos Theater starting in April with dates running through October.
Cost: Tickets start at $79.00.
How to book: Purchase through Ticketmaster.

An Intimate Evening with Santana: Greatest Hits Live
House of Blues Las Vegas

House of Blue Las Vegas
Guitar legend (that word again!) Carlos Santana has been a resident Las Vegas performer (and resident of Las Vegas) for most of the last decade, so there’s no reason to think he’s going anywhere anytime soon, but he’s also 74 so AGAIN: see the legends while you can. The show may be named for the man, but it’s equally about the band, and every member of this incredibly talented ensemble has their moment to shine—including Santana’s wife, drummer Cindy Blackman. This show is about as intimate as you could possibly hope to get with such an icon. Dates in May.
Cost: Tickets start at $99.50.
How to book: Purchase tickets through the House of Blues website.

Resorts World Theatre
Three-time ACM Entertainer of the Year Carrie Underwood was the first resident performer to take a bow at the brand-new Resorts World Theatre, and the photos and videos from that first performance of her REFLECTION residency gave us our first look at the kind of top-notch, larger-than-life productions we can expect from this state-of-the-art theatre. For example: During “Before He Cheats,” they lower a Jeep onto the stage, dancers take baseball bats to it, and Underwood sets it on fire. She literally sets it on fire, y’all. There are aerialists and pyrotechnics and dazzling immersive digital displays, gorgeous costumes, and quite the grand water feature finale for “Something in the Water.” This residency currently runs through May.
Cost: Tickets start at $65.00.
How to book: Purchase tickets through AXS.

Las Vegas Philharmonic 2021-22 Orchestral Series
Las Vegas Philharmonic

The Smith Center
For its 2021-22 season, the Las Vegas Philharmonic is celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday by performing all nine of his symphonies, with each performance showcasing one or two alongside a selection of other works chosen by symphony conductor Donato Cabrera. The symphony as a cultural experience has a bad rap for being old and stuffy and hoity-toity, but anyone who feels that way needs to see the LV Philharmonic and watch Cabrera conduct. You will never see another conductor who brings so much joy to his work onstage. No one has more fun than him, and his energy is infectious. The final symphony in this series is the 9th (the “Ode to Joy”), OBVIOUSLY, and without exaggeration, this is going to be one of the highlights of live performance in Las Vegas this spring. Catch the last three performances in the series on April 16 and May 7.
Cost: Tickets start at $29.00.
How to book: Purchase tickets through the Smith Center website.

The Beatles LOVE
The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil

The Mirage
The Mirage Theatre is a great place to catch a headlining comedy act—Amy Schumer, Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, and Wayne Brady all have shows coming up—but you might want to do so with a sense of urgency: it was announced at the end of last year that Hard Rock International has purchased this iconic Vegas property for over $1 billion and will transition it to the Hard Rock brand over the next three years, eventually building a guitar-shaped resort tower in front of the current property. RIP, Vegas volcano. While a timeline hasn’t been announced yet, assume this will be a multi-year transition with different sections of the resort closing for renovations at different times. What this means for the future of one of the most beloved shows in Las Vegas, The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil, is unknown at this time. Same goes for headlining illusionist Shin Lim and the Aces of Comedy series.
Cost: LOVE tickets start at $52.00; Shin Lim tickets start at $39.00; check other show listings for prices.
How to book: LOVE tickets can be booked through the Mirage website here; all events at the Mirage Theatre can be booked through Ticketmaster here.

The Shops at Crystals
Though the initial fervor, famously selling out major North American cities for months in advance, has died down, Immersive Van Gogh is still very much a worthwhile experience: the work of Italy's Massimiliano Siccardi, world-renowned master of digital art, is visually breathtaking, and the original music by Italian multimedia composer Luca Longobardi sets the mood, flowing from haunting to exuberant as the animations move through the room. With 500,000 cubic feet of projections, 60,600 frames of video, and 90,000,000 pixels, the works of Van Gogh come to life all around you, giving audiences a chance to interact with the master’s works in a way that complements our modern digital era of screen-based consumption. Tickets are only available through the end of May. Note: there is a second immersive Van Gogh experience at AREA 15, but it was created by a different production company and is NOT the same show as the global sensation seen by millions.
Cost: Tickets start at $59.99.
How to book: Purchase tickets through the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit Las Vegas website.

Fergusons Downtown
The Don’t Tell Comedy series hosts events in 35 cities and is known for their secrecy, often not even revealing the venue until hours before the show. In Vegas, you know the monthly show will be held at The Yard at Fergusons Downtown, but you still don’t know who you’ll be seeing. Just settle in for a night of surprise stand-up comedy as the previously occasional pop-up launches a long-term residency with dates through October.
Cost: Tickets are $25.
How to book: Purchase tickets through the Don’t Tell Comedy website.

Shows that aren’t flagships with dates booked far in advance are never guaranteed to stick around, and it seems that RATED RED at AREA 15 is something that’s only staged as schedules and space allows, often without a lot of advance notice. Which isn’t to say it’s going anywhere, just that you never know whether it’s coming or going. This high-energy sexy dance show takes the best of the Strip’s racier shows (think X Burlesque or Chippendales), classes them up, and makes them co-ed. Sexy people, sexy dancing, sexy costumes, VIP lounge seating for couples with bottle service available—this is the sexiest date night in Vegas, hands-down. Alas, performances are currently only listed through the end of April.
Cost: Tickets start at $30 for GA lounge seating.
How to book: Purchase tickets through the AREA 15 website.

The Colosseum at Caesars Palace
Mr. Nicole Kidman is known for his dynamic, high-energy live shows, and he absolutely shreds onstage (and off—he’s known to perform guitar solos from the crowd perched atop audience seating). Fans absolutely love seeing him live and swear he pours his heart and soul into every show. See it for yourself with dates through May, and he’s pretty much booked up touring through the end of the year so don’t expect any extensions to this residency any time soon.
Cost: Tickets start at $89.00.
How to book: Purchase through Ticketmaster.

The Shops at Crystals
It may sound like the kind of thing that would only appeal to little girls and hardcore Barbie collectors, but Barbie: A Cultural Icon is an examination of American pop culture and fashion trends over the last 60 years through the lens of the iconic pink Mattel box, with a multi-million-dollar collection of Barbie artifacts on display. This exhibition has been extended through April 15.
Cost: Tickets are $44.95 for adults and $29.95 for children 3-12.
How to book: Tickets can be purchased here.

Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden
Bellagio Las Vegas

The Strip
After announcing during peak pandemic times that the beloved Bellagio Conservatory would be scaling back its number of annual exhibits from five to four, it’s back up to five for 2022, and the last year and a half have seen some of the most extraordinary exhibits they’ve put out in years. As a free attraction and one that’s so iconic, the Bellagio Conservatory is something you should always make time for regardless, but the displays have just been so good lately, it’s really something not to miss. Check out their website for the current seasonal schedule and dark dates (the spring display runs March 12 through May 14).
Cost: Free!
How to book: The Bellagio Conservatory is entirely on a walk-in basis.

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Nicole Rupersberg is a woman who eats at a lot of restaurants in Las Vegas and occasionally writes about them. You can follow her on Instagram at @eatsdrinksandleaves for all kinds of food and booze and Vegas but not just Vegas and hiking and flowers and Halloween stuff.