You might remember R.U.N, the ill-fated $60 million Cirque du Soleil production which opened then quickly closed at Luxor in 2020. Bombarded by horrible reviews from the very start (including mine), R.U.N made two fatal mistakes of misleading the masses and not marketing to its intended audience. Those expecting the usual playful music and family-friendly visuals were shocked by extreme acts of body horror and sideshow mayhem. Cover those eyes, kiddos!
Now a unique creative team from Australia is letting its "freak flag" fly by proudly unleashing a new era of sideshow entertainment. They're calling it "The World's Greatest Freakshow", and it opens next month at Downtown's NOTORIETY Live. If the new production lives up to advanced hype, this one will be one eye-opening, jaw-dropping, bone-bending experience.
Darren Sutton discusses the difficulties of mounting a Vegas production.
The driving force behind The World's Greatest Freakshow is muscleman (and former accountant!) Darren Sutton. An accomplished athlete and dancer from Melbourne, Victoria, Sutton brought his mates to Las Vegas in 2015 for Aussie Heat (formerly "Aussie Hunks"), a sizzling male revue. Caught off guard by the expense and intricacies of marketing to Sin City audiences, Sutton and the show made a few course corrections before landing a lengthy run at Planet Hollywood's V Theater. The show currently performs at Mosaic Theater on the Strip.
Now an ambitious entrepreneur, Sutton is the founder and owner of several adult-skewing venues like PlayZone and The Party House back in Melbourne. He is co-founder, co-owner, and serves as Assistant Producer for The World's Greatest Freakshow. Darren is excited to bring Australia's most outlandish creation to the City of Entertainment."What we are is a mix between 'The Greatest Showman', Cirque du Soleil, and the greatest freaks the world has ever seen. The world is ours...we can't wait."
Lenard Trae at Lucie May's WILD NIGHT Vegas
Darren's Vegas-based partner is dancer/emcee Lenard Trae, known to Sin City audiences for his work in Aussie Heat, Rock Candy, and Lucie May's WILD NIGHT Rock 'N' Roll Revue. Trae, who entertains at various functions and events along with his residency show, is co-producer and co-owner of The World's Greatest Freakshow. This makes him perhaps one of the busiest men in Las Vegas.
Another co-founder on the project is Sydney's Sam Righi. A former drummer in the Australian music world, Righi is the founder and CEO of Big Deal Tours, the nation's premier tour promoter and artist management agency. The company has worked with top-tier artists like Jon Bon Jovi, Andrea Bocelli, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, and Kylie Minogue.
While the talent behind the scenes is notably impressive, The World's Greatest Freakshow is all about the cast. Inspired by the collection of curiosities made famous by legendary P.T. Barnum (The Greatest Showman), Sutton and Trae have gathered human oddities from the corners of the Earth to stun and impress. They promise that their performers will shock ticket-buyers with raw talent and rarely-seen abilities.
Worlds Greatest Freak Show Las Vegas - Coming soon
The line-up includes Anna, an extreme contortionist who "takes the body to the limit of what's possible...and far beyond", tribal voodoo witch doctor Johnny Percussion, and David, the Iron Jaw who can reportedly chew through a phone book. The host is Cirque du Soleil's Brandon Pereyda, known across the globe for his aerial skills in ZUMANITY. Pereyda will also be bringing his "Chains of Death" act back to Las Vegas for The World's Greatest Freakshow.
Check out the clip below:
Braondon Pereyda Chains Performance
The World's Greatest Freakshow is scheduled to perform at NOTORIETY Live every Thursday through Sunday at 7 pm. The theater is located at 300 Fremont Street on the third level of NEONOPOLIS. Tickets start at $39.00 (plus taxes/fees) and can be ordered here. The show opens on June 3rd. Stay up to date by visiting the official Facebook page and Instagram account.
Photos courtesy of The World's Greatest Freakshow
If you're unfamiliar with freakshows and sideshow entertainment (or you simply can't wait for The World's Greatest Freakshow to debut) consider visiting Late Night Magic at Alexis Park Resort. Resident freak John Shaw of Zac Bagan's Haunted Museum will horrify you by placing a power drill into his nose and hanging a filled paint can from his eye sockets. Late Night Magic performs on weekends at 11 pm. Tickets are available here.
John Shaw of LATE NIGHT MAGIC