'Absinthe' is back, hopefully for good this time, outside Caesars Palace
Spiegelworld’s celebrated Las Vegas Strip production—a potent blend of circus-like performance art, aerial stunts and Pornhub-inspired audience banter—will reopen at its longtime Caesars Palace home on March 17 with performances scheduled at 7 and 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.
Upon its return, “Absinthe” will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity in accordance with state-mandated health and safety guidelines that take effect March 15. Audience members will be seated in parties of 2 to 6 at cabaret tables spaced 25 feet away from the center stage, and a limited number of VIP tables—the “Impresario’s Reserve” section—will be available at $1,000 per table.
The Way Back
Like the rest of Las Vegas, “Absinthe’s” return to pre-COVID-19 “normalcy” has been hampered by slow progress fighting the pandemic and complicated public gathering restrictions.
Spiegelworld attempted to bring the show back in late October but found it could not justify performing in front of an audience limited to 50 people. “Absinthe” went dark again in December as producers waited for Nevada’s COVID-19 numbers to improve and audience limits to be relaxed.
On Feb. 11, Gov. Steve Sisolak—citing statistics that showed continued declines in hospitalizations and positive COVID-19 tests—announced that businesses would be allowed to increase capacity to 35 percent, from 25 percent, on Feb. 15 and to 50 percent one month later.
If COVID-19 trends continue to decline, the state will allow local governments to make decisions on COVID-19 guidelines beginning May 1.
One Last Hurdle
Though lifting the audience restrictions is giving life to “Absinthe” and several longtime Las Vegas shows, Spiegelworld faces one last hurdle in bringing back its other Strip productions “Opium” at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and “Atomic Saloon” at The Grand Canal Shoppes.
That obstacle, according to producer Ross Mollison, is the 25-foot state-mandated barrier between the audience and the stage. As Spiegelworld productions are typically staged in smaller venues that allow for interaction between the hosts, performers and audience, the “live entertainment moat,” as Mollison calls it, “makes staging a show in an intimate venue nearly impossible.”
“We hope that by demonstrating the efficacy of science-backed health and safety practices, including masks worn by guests and staff at all times, we can be given the same consideration as restaurant or cocktail lounge venues, which don’t require such distance.”Ross Mollison, Producer
Spiegelworld’s safety protocols for “Absinthe” patrons include e-tickets, mask mandates, symptom screenings upon entry and QR codes to order drinks from your table. Additionally, the famed “Spiegeltent” that houses “Absinthe” has been upgraded with hospital-grade filtration and air purifiers, according to the company’s Health and Safety Handbook.