This is what it's like to dive during Le Reve - The Dream — Photo courtesy of Tomasz Rossa
It’s also the one making the biggest splash.
If you’re scuba-certified, you can actually join the cast in the pool to dive during a live performance of Le Rêve – The Dream, which has been voted "Best Production Show" in Las Vegas for an unprecedented eight consecutive years. It's filled with breathtaking acrobatics made even more impressive by the fact that they take place in, around and above the water.
My 28-year-old son, Alex, who has gone scuba diving in South Africa, Belize and between two continents in Iceland, recently got the opportunity to experience this one-of-a-kind Diver’s Dream and found it so enriching, he’s ready to join the crew.
"For a diver, this would be a dream job, no pun intended," he said. "Their role is so important, and when you see what goes into the making of the show – both before and during it – it gives you an even greater respect for the final product."
When you sign up for the Diver’s Dream package, you get a guided behind (and under)-the-scenes tour of the aqua theater. For the purposes of this story, I was allowed to accompany Alex, and we were awestruck by what we saw and learned.
The red shoes worn by the synchronized swimmers are painted with automotive paint! — Photo courtesy of Tomasz Rossa
For example, every day, 66 pairs of red shoes are repainted – with automotive paint! – and the soles re-glued. Certain pairs of shoes have to have dozens of holes drilled into them so the water will drain out.
We went up to see where the highest dives start – we’re talking an 80-foot drop into a 26-foot deep pool – and it was terrifying!
We got a close-up look at the tree, which plays a major role in the show, and which weighs 4,700 pounds dry and 1,700 pounds when underwater. (This made me consider getting scuba-certified so I could experience that dramatic change, as well. )
They gave Alex a wetsuit and scuba gear for his one-on-one training session with a member of the diving team, and he slipped into the pool – which is a comfortable 89 degrees. After an extensive orientation, during which he was shown all the places he’d be spending time during the show, he left feeling confident and ready.
Alex Mark gets trained for the Diver's Dream — Photo courtesy of Wynn Las Vegas
We went upstairs to our room to rest (a two-night stay at Wynn or Encore is included in the package), and when we came back in the evening, he headed backstage and I went to the Dream Seating section, where I settled into my plush, oversized seat. If you purchase the Diver’s Dream package, this is where you watch the show the night before your actual dive. That way, you have an idea of what’s going on above the water when you’re diving below.
Then it was showtime!
It was exciting to watch the synchronized swimmers wearing the red shoes I had held in my hands before the show, and I closed my eyes when the high diver took the plunge because I knew just how high that dive actually was.
The view from below during a performance of Le Reve - The Dream — Photo courtesy of Tomasz Rossa
Dream Seats come with private high-definition underwater and behind-the-scenes video monitors so, although I was riveted to the stage, I did manage to catch a glimpse of Alex, which was equally thrilling to me.
After the show, Alex came out feeling exhilarated. He had been underwater almost the entire show, and, while he shadowed a diver, he had someone shadowing him, making sure he didn’t get hurt.
"The biggest challenge was staying out of the way and following directions," he said. "There are so many moving pieces, and lots of equipment, and I was shocked at how different it looked from before the show. The pool felt much bigger because there were so many people down there."
Numbers-wise, there are a total of 93 performers, including the musicians. Sixteen technicians from the Aquatics Department are required to run each show.
A diver's dream — Photo courtesy of Wynn Las Vegas
Alex described his role "like following a stagehand. We weren’t in the show itself; he was helping the performers and making the show happen, and he was a lot of fun. I just watched and waved to the performers, who waved back and were all very welcoming."
According to Alex, the performers don’t carry their own oxygen tanks. When they dive into the water, the stagehand catches them and gives them a regulator so they can breathe and float back up.
He enjoyed diving through the underwater tunnels with the performers but his favorite part was being able to hear the stage directions and watch the divers land. "They would say 'so-and-so is coming in 3, 2, 1,' and then there’d be a splash and they’d be high-fiving the diver," he explained. "The most surprising thing, to me, was that I had absolutely no idea what was happening in the actual show. There’s a whole different show going on underneath the water, and I loved being part of it."
And that’s why this experience is so special.
Only Diver's Dream participants earn this highly-coveted card — Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark
"The reason that we created the Diver’s Dream package was due to questions from our guests – typically scuba divers – regarding the possibility of diving in the pool," said Rick Gray, General Manager of Entertainment Operations for Wynn Las Vegas. "We wanted to create something that was really unique. So, we planned an experience that was part training, part exploring and part 'underwater stagehand.'"
Although more than six million people have seen Le Rêve – The Dream, less than a hundred hold the coveted Diver’s Dream Experience card – and bragging rights.
For them, Le Rêve – The Dream has come true.
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