Wynn Las Vegas’s stage spectacular is going dark.
“Awakening” is halting production for an indefinite period starting after its April 15 performances. Ticketmaster lists the next performance 7 p.m. June 6, though show reps have not specified that as the official return date.
The fantasy production has proven impressive for its talent, production expertise and technical merit, but hamstrung by substandard audience counts. Critics have complained of a disconnection between the dazzling technical wizardry and the show’s layered storyline. The show is narrated by legendary actor Anthony Hopkins.
Ticketmaster seat maps for “Awakening” frequently show sales at half full, or even less. During the show’s opening month, a top executive from a competing production company estimated a crowd of 300 in the theater.
The company announced in a statement Wednesday night the show would return to rehearsals, an indication there is an extensive overhaul planned. The company’s statement, which uses April 17 as the beginning of the dark period:
“Wynn Las Vegas will temporarily pause performances of Awakening to allow for an extended rehearsal period. Consistent with the resort’s commitment to excellence and quality, Wynn Las Vegas is committed to bringing a superior vision of ‘Awakening’ to audiences. The show will resume performances at the conclusion of the extended rehearsal period.”
The Vital Vegas blog was first to post Wynn’s statement.
The future of the $120 million production is uncertain, given its inability to fill the room and taking its second dark period this year. Segments of “Awakening” were retooled over two weeks beginning Jan. 31 (though producers said one dark week had already been planned), fewer than three months after its Nov. 7 premiere. The show returned with some new music and a revamped Water Realm scene, but its template was largely unaltered.
“Awakening” debuted in November after an arduous, three-month rehearsal process, so what’s left to rehearse beginning in a week and a half is unknown. But there are signs of optimism, with Wynn Las Vegas onboard as a committed co-producer, along with the expertise and experience of Baz Halpin (Katy Perry’s “Play,” also on the Strip), puppet visionary Michael Curry (“The Lion King,”) and longtime Siegfried & Roy manager Bernie Yuman.
The show this month announced the show’s soundtrack, from renowned composer Brian Tyler, has been released. It’s a sign of confidence in the future. But first, “Awakening” is going back to the workshop so it can reopen, and stay open.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.
This content was originally published here.