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October 23, 2014

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Photos: Steve Wynn’s ‘Le Reve’ to celebrate 3,000th performance

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Wynn Las Vegas

Le Reve” at Wynn Las Vegas.

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'Le Reve' at Wynn Las Vegas

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Chuck Liddell at "Le Reve" at Wynn Las Vegas.

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"Le Reve" at Wynn Las Vegas.

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"Le Reve" at Wynn Las Vegas.

Just seven shows remain until the cast and crew of the Steve Wynn aquatic spectacular “Le Reve” hits the monumental 3,000th-show milestone. Tonight, I’ll watch show No. 2,993 for a behind-the-scenes tour and report on all the new changes in advance of Sunday’s celebration.

It was April 28, 2005, that “Le Reve: The Dream” opened the same night that Steve threw open the doors to his casino resort. More than 250 cast and crew work daily on the powerful performances and elaborate effects that have stunned 3,200 people each night at the two performances that critics have hailed as “jaw-dropping” and “one big beautiful dream come true.”

“Le Reve,” with more than 90 bald international athletes and entertainers from 17 countries, is filled with ambitious aerial acrobatics, captivating choreography -- some by “Dancing With the Stars” pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy -- and elaborate effects. It’s mesmerizing from start to finish, with the thrilling high dives and synchronized swimmers tapping out the tango upside down underwater in those now-trademark red high heels.

The breathtaking 75-minute show that defies reality redefined the traditional theatrical experience as an aqua spectacle in the round, yet still intimate where the closest seat to the stage is just 4 feet in the “Splash Zone” and the farthest only 42 feet away -- just 12 rows from the stage.

“Le Reve” is a favorite with celebrities and VIPs, with Joel Zimmerman (Deadmau5), Michelle Bachmann, Julianne Hough, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Warren Buffet, Hugh Jackman, David Hasselhoff, Leonardo DiCaprio and Blake Lively, Pitbull, Chuck Liddell, Joe Biden and Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner watching it this year.

Today, it’s all about fun facts and figures. On Friday, I’ll give you the backstage report and review all the new changes.

*The highest dive is a heart-stopping 80 feet into the 89-degree, 68-foot circular pool 26-feet-6-inches deep. It takes 12 hours to fill it and 8 hours to empty it, and it is filtered 4 times a day.

*There’s life underwater with 16 divers aiding performers and changing production elements. They use 14 air tanks per show with 70 regulators to help performers move under water. Twelve infrared cameras monitor divers and performers. They have 422 in-pool air outlets and 3 miles of tubing to create the bubbles. The three underwater lighting tunnels have 207 moving lights with 900 dimmers. There are 20 miles of underwater lighting cable with 9 electricians on duty at every show.

*The cast changes 40 times each show, which means almost 1,000 towels a day and 11 dressers to assist them with the 2,000 costume items, headpieces, shoes and masks -- all custom made for each performer. A wardrobe attendant will walk 12 miles on an average night performing cue track changes around the theater.

*With skirts and fabrics lasting only 8 to 10 weeks, there’s a full-time costume shop with 14 seamstresses for repairs. Every day, they repaint and re-glue the soles of the 66 pairs of red shoes, which have dozens of holes drilled in them to drain the water. It takes 105 laundry loads running 4 hours nightly to care for the wardrobe.

*In each show, 60 performing harnesses are used with 11 riggers running each show and 4 miles of wire rope used for equipment and flying effects. The theater is home to one of the most advanced automation systems that require 4 operators. One runs the effects that the audience sees; the other 3 load and unload aspects of the show as it progresses.

*There are 75 to 105 white homing pigeons in each show. There are some 320 birds in the cast rotation, with 30 pairs breeding to provide new recruits. The off-site pigeon facility is 4,800 square feet, and the birds walk themselves into the traveling cages to go back and forth to the theater. They live about 15 years, and 28 of them have never missed a show.

Rick Gray, Wynn’s GM of entertainment operations who is giving me the backstage tour tonight, told me that the show has constantly changed over its 6-year run with new numbers, routines and costumes. “It’s a different experience for the audience whenever they return because we are always making new dreams.”

To honor the 3,000th performance, there’s a monthlong locals promotion for “Le Reve”: Purchase one premium ticket and get a second ticket for $30 from Jan. 3.-31 by mentioning code “3,000.” Present a valid Nevada I.D. at the box office to receive the discount.

Congratulations to the incredible performers on the magical milestone. Over the course of every 300 shows, the performers use some 20,100 pounds of ice to cool down their worked-out bodies, with 12,000 ibuprofen pills to sooth swelling. Why are they bald? You probably thought I’d forgotten that explanation!

It’s simply so there are never any discussions about hairstyles.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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