Las Vegas Feature

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Save or Splurge

Whether you're rollin' high or down on your luck, Vegas has a show for you. Check out the following steals and splurges:

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Mac King. The comedy magic of Mac King is worth every penny of the full $33 ticket price, and full-price tickets send you to the front of the line. But if you look for coupon-dispensing showgirls within the casino or check a promotions booth at the Carnaval Court lounge, you can often get in for the price of a $9.95 drink; especially when schools are in session.

Fremont Street Experience. Thought the Downtown Fremont Street Experience was limited to video shows on the overhead canopy covering Glitter Gulch? Not so. The street itself has become a midway, from sidewalk artists to the overhead zip line. Every weekend live performers—heavy on costumed tribute bands with names such as Fan Halen or Led Zepagain—play free gigs on two stages; select weekends even bring in acts with name recognition (breakout country stars Lady Antebellum and Eric Church have played the weekend of the Academy of Country Music Awards). Stages are on 1st and 3rd streets. 702/678–5777.

Defending the Caveman. Sunday and Monday matinees of this worthwhile one-man comedy are at least $5 cheaper than evening performances, and that's if you pay full price. The show's usually discounted in visitor publications as well. If all else fails, try the half-price ticket outlets.

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Le Rêve. Wynn Las Vegas experimented with an "upsell" ticket for its water show in-the-round, adding a first-class section of seating that's been so successful, the producers say they wish there was room for more. The top $214 ticket includes champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and video monitors offering backstage and underwater views of the action.

LOVE. A Beatles fan—and there are said to be a few still out there—will be in orbit over the sound track alone, reengineered to pump from 6,500 speakers. If that's not worth $165, the visuals carry some punch of their own.

O. Cirque's big water show has been around since 1998, but you won't ever see it go on tour. Pony up the $165 and save on your water bill when you get home.

Garth Brooks. The fan-friendly superstar didn't want this to be a "splurge," and argued with Steve Wynn over ticket prices. Wynn won. But fans can justify the $253 because it's the only guaranteed place to see the country icon for a few years (until his daughters are all in college, he says). And the solo-acoustic showcase is such a personal, direct communication, it won't be duplicated even when he starts barnstorming arenas with his band again.

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