Show Bargains Lurk Among the Brits and the Cirques

Mac King’s show is one of the best deals around.

Every year in the April issue of the Las Vegas Advisor, we calculate the current average cost of a ticket for a Las Vegas production show. No one else in Vegas, or anywhere else on the planet, for that matter, does this tabulation, because it’s one big pain in the ass to compile. But we keep at it, because it’s good to be the only one doing something.

This year, 94 shows were considered. As is almost always the case, the average cost went up, which means we’re paying more for entertainment this year than we did last. Shocker! The average came in at $92.30 per ticket, a slight $2.12 increase from the previous year. The most expensive single seat in the survey was $858 for the top (VIP) ticket to Britney: Piece of Me. That’s kind of crazy. Or maybe it’s not, considering that more than half the shows in town (55) have at least one ticket option above $100.

Not a pretty picture. But who buys retail?

Except for the Brits, the Eltons and the Cirques, almost every show is priced to discount, so look around before you buy—you can get ahead of the curve by moving in the direction of the bargains. My favorite part of this survey is discovering which shows really are values. Keep in mind that the following prices are retail and can usually be chopped down even further.

The lowest-priced ticket in the tally was $20 for a pair of productions at Royal Resort—Rainbow Cabaret Reunites Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli and Majestik Burlesque as well as a $10 locals price for Master Mystifier Dixie Dooley ($21 for non-locals). Don’t scoff: These shows are produced by Vegas showroom veteran Dooley, who knows how to squeeze a whole lot of oomph out of a tight budget.

Next in line is Mike Hammer Comedy Magic with a $27.80 ticket, followed by Spirit of the King ($29.98), both at Four Queens; Puppetry of the Penis at the Erotic Heritage Museum ($32.50); Laughternoon at The D ($36.15); Frankie Moreno at Golden Nugget ($35.70); Hypnosis Unleashed at Binion’s ($36.50) and L.A. Comedy Club at the Stratosphere ($36.65). The following shows all have at least one ticket priced under $50: Frank Marino’s Divas (The Linq), Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club (MGM Grand), Comedy & Dolls (Planet Hollywood), Fantasy (Luxor), Ralphie May (Harrah’s), Popovich Comedy Pet Theater (V Theater), Stripper 101 (V Theater), Rich Little Live and the Laugh Factory (both at the Tropicana).

What’s the best deal? I’ll go with two. The first is Frankie Moreno, but specifically the current bundled promotion that includes a dinner buffet for $46.46. And in 2017, once again the best show deal in town is the $14.98 ticket to Mac King’s Comedy Magic. Pick up the special ticket at Harrah’s the day of the show (try the players club booth). This one can’t be beat.

Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and