The 3,800-square foot tent recently erected at the SE corner of the Excalibur Hotel seems to be a natural fit for the medieval-themed property on the Las Vegas Strip. The tent is not for jousting or a circus: rather it’s home to a theatrical spectacle that has critics raving and audiences wanting more. Fuerza Bruta (Sp. brute force) engages a stand-up-only audience with elements and imagery that capture energy, art and ambition with a wide-open window for analogy.
Following a pulsating, mesmerizing multi-level drum intro, a handsome, stylish and tethered man opens the show on a catwalk. His slow stroll turns into a bruising run against gale force winds and blinding confetti. As his pace increases, he must break through huge blocks that impede his progress. One could imagine the tether represents his connection to life and the elements he encounters are obstacles he must overcome. And that’s only the beginning of this captivating and kinetic creation from Diqui James.
Slippery When Wet
Fuerza Bruta is a 360-degree experience: performers gallop across the walls and others cavort on the bottom of a Lucite wading pool suspended in the air. Ushers move the audience in mass to accommodate various segments of the show, including the lowering of the 30-foot-by-50-foot pool and its energetic occupants to a mere few feet above the heads of the audience. The (surprisingly for Las Vegas) semi-modestly clothed performers slip, slide and slam their way through several inches of water in an exuberant display of, well, brute force.
The ushers keep the standing only crowd well contained. But for those who don’t like tight places or who tend to be on the claustrophobic side, be prepared. I’ve never been in a mosh pit; this experience is the closest I’ve ever come or care to. I must say not one of my toes was stepped on and those around me were as courteous as could be.
A Theme For One and All
I had one—okay, two—minor moments of mild concern: when the obviously heavy pool was lowered directly overhead to within a foot of my face, and when in the finale a massive billowing Mylar curtain was pulled from end to end atop the heads of the audience. The curtain is lifted to create a circus tent top with various cutouts for the cast to perform more acrobatics. The tethered man appears and again he fights gale force winds and debris as he repeatedly tries to descend in a long tube from the big top to the adoring crowd below.
Diqui James’ similarly fashioned and ambitious De La Guarda ran at the Rio, Las Vegas, in the fall of 2000 for nearly a year. The Rio show led to the creation of Fuerza Bruta in Buenos Aires in 2003. The show has traveled the world, with the cast performing for more than six million spectators in more than 34 countries and 58 cities. The state-of-the-art tent at the Excalibur houses 550 lighting features, 50 speakers and the suspended wading pool.
Fuerza Bruta is a uniquely immersive show with an ubiquitous theme that lends itself well to personal interpretation. A must see to believe: and to enjoy. – Christine McKellar
Show Dates and Times:
March – September 2019
Wednesday – Sunday: 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Ages 5 or above. Guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Tickets: purchase HERE or at 702-597-7600.