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  • Best Overall Show: A perfect intersection of music and artistry can be found at Michael Jackson ONE, featuring the music and choreography of the King of Pop and the stunning visual theater of Cirque du Soleil.
  • Best Big Shows: The wow-factor winner is a toss-up between Cirque du Soleil’s and Mystère. The latter is more traditional—if you can call a human circus that mixes dazzling acrobatics with dramatic visuals “traditional”—in that it has only a loose semblance of narrative, whereas actually has a plot. Both are dazzling and, given the extremely high production values, seem worth the extremely high ticket prices.
  • Best Small Show: Only the space in which Absinthe  is performed can be called small; the over-the-top acrobatics, stunts, dance, comedy, and mind-blowing originality certainly can’t be.
  • Best Classic Shows: You know: big, huge stage sets, pointless production numbers, showgirls, nipples on parade, Bob Mackie headdresses. But if you want more than just a musty blast from the past, check out Vegas! The Show, which celebrates multiple eras of classic Sin City entertainment in one spectacular package.
  • Best Magic Shows: This town isn’t good enough for Penn & Teller and their master class in the art and artifice of illusion taught by guys who will both amuse and amaze. Meanwhile, mixing traditional illusions (big sets and big shocks) with a rock-[‘]n’-roll aesthetic, Criss Angel: Believe will make you rethink everything you thought about magic shows.
  • Best Music Show: Human Nature will shock you with how good four white Australian dudes can do classic Motown songs.
  • Best Daytime Shows: It’s almost as much of a comedy show as it is a magic show, but the set done by Mac King will leave you astounded with some great close-up tricks and laughing your head off at the same time. A similar mix of laughs and gasps can be found at the comedy juggling show done by Jeff Civillico.
  • Best Smart Show: This town isn't good enough for either Blue Man Group or Penn & Teller. The former is a wacky, yet surprisingly cerebral, performance art piece starring guys with their heads painted blue; the latter is a master class in the art and artifice of illusion taught by guys who will both amuse and amaze.
  • Best Headliners: Aren't you glad we have lived to see a time where we can truly appreciate the perfectly constructed pop songs of Barry Manilow without being embarrassed?
  • Best Worst Lounge Show: Some feel the show put on by Mr. Cook E. Jarr is the ultimate Vegas experience for its masterful blend of cheese, kitsch, and unbridled enthusiasm.
  • Best Local Hang: Hard-core types (including punks; off-duty strippers; off-duty waitstaff; and, on certain nights, Blue Man men, sans makeup, doing weird percussion things) gather way after hours at the Double Down Saloon.
  • Best Nightclub: If by "best" you mean "most popular," and by "most popular" you mean "people are willing to start standing in line hours before they open and pay $40 a pop, and that's before the alcohol, just to get a foot in the door," then Marquee, beats out the competition by a long shot. But if substance over style is more your bag, head toward XS where the lines are just as long and the covers are just as high, but the reward is a high-class indoor/outdoor club experience that truly lives up to its excessive moniker. 
  • Best Ultralounge: That's just Vegas-speak for "fancy-pants hotel bar," but most of them are pretty nice, if trying too hard to be all that. Still, we like the vibe at Surrender with its gorgeous indoor/outdoor atmosphere and sultry decor. If you prefer a room with a view, take the elevator up to ghostbar. Located high atop The Palms tower, it has a groovy ambience and some amazing scenery (both from surrounding landscape and the pretty people hanging out at the bar).
  • Best Hotel Bar: The almost scientific construction of the cocktails at Petrossian makes this a must-visit bar for fans of mixology. Or you could immerse yourself in a different kind of intoxicating ambience at one of the bars inside the massive three-story Chandelier at The Cosmopolitan.
  • Best Gay and Lesbian Bar: Part sexy ultra-lounge and part high-energy dance club, the facility at Piranha/8 ½ offers a little bit of the best of both worlds in one fun package. 
  • Best Party Places for 20-Somethings: The title for hottest nightclub can change quickly, but the see-and-be-seen set makes the most of the multilevel Marquee that offers four clubs in one.
  • Best Party Places For People Who Aren't 20-Something: So you want to go dancing, have a drink, and just enjoy yourself but you aren't 23, thin, and/or model-gorgeous anymore. Your best bet is to visit a one of the hotel lounges like Mizuya at Mandalay Bay where they have most of the fun without all the attitude.
  • Best Strip Club: You know you want to know. We give the honors to Treasures, because we think all strip joints should insist on production numbers with stage effects and look like old-fashioned English brothels.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.