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Steve Wynn bets ‘ShowStoppers’ show will wow Strip

November 5, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Steve Wynn has had his fill of Cirque du Soleil and thinks Las Vegas visitors have, too. He says his new show, “ShowStoppers,” will be different.

The casino-hotel developer and billionaire, who invited Siegfried & Roy on a Las Vegas stage and introduced the Strip to Cirque’s acrobatics, is set on presenting the one thing he says the entertainment capital has lacked: Broadway, in a way that can’t be seen anywhere else.

His “ShowStoppers” will present 20 of Broadway’s most memorable songs.

During a recent interview with The Associated Press, Wynn stressed the simplicity of a single, powerful voice_no gimmicks, no technological support — when he talked about the allure of the show he has personally produced and helped write.

Tickets will cost $90 each and go on sale Thursday. Shows in the 1,480-seat Encore theater begin Dec. 16.

Wynn says the show — its 34 dancers and singers and 30-piece orchestra, plus costumes and sets — will cost him $10 million, a bargain compared to the $100 million to $200 million it can cost to retrofit a theater for an elaborate Cirque du Soleil production, he said.

The 72-year-old casino-hotel developer said it’s not a show for the 20-year-olds but rather a 40-plus crowd.

His love of Broadway runs deep. He attended the University of Pennsylvania from 1959 to 1963, a couple hours commute to New York’s theater district, “right smack in the middle of the golden age of Broadway,” he said.

Wynn has tried to bring Broadway to the Strip before. He lured “Avenue Q” to the Wynn resort after its Tony Award-winning run, keeping the production from touring the country, and later staged “Monty Python’s Spamalot.” Neither were money-makers.

He even enlisted Broadway composer and lyricist Jerry Herman to write an original Broadway-style production called “Miss Spectacular” that was shelved when Wynn’s company was bought out in 2000.

What makes him think it’ll work this time?

“It’s just too good,” Wynn said. “Look I’ve been doing this for 40-odd years, I’ve got an instinct about things like this.”

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