With Covid-19 restrictions hampering almost all live entertainment, Lake of Dreams, the only show to debut anywhere on The Strip this fall, was introduced by Wynn Las Vegas.
Lake of Dreams is uniquely suited for a socially distant experience, staged outdoors in an environmental theatre with open-air patios for viewing, while offering all the glamour, excitement, and greater-than-life spectacle tourists expect from a Las Vegas show. The new Lake of Dreams is an immersive theatrical journey in progress for two years, unfolding over 12 artistically diverse new high-tech acts that incorporate magic, lights, film , music, sculpture, and puppetry.
“I am proud that Wynn Las Vegas is the first casino resort to bring back the kind of big, bold entertainment experience The Strip has been waiting for,” said Matt Maddox, CEO of Wynn Resorts.
For the 2020 reimagining, the original creative team of world-renowned artists, including director Kenny Ortega, production designer Michael Curry, and lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe, reunited 15 years after Lake of Dreams first opened in 2005. Sound designer Peter Hylenski and video production director Gary Jaeger are joining the main team. All artists and engineers worked remotely as far as possible to produce the show during a pandemic and resolve foreign travel restrictions, with Woodroffe directing lighting digitally from his London studio, and Ortega and Curry taking turns overseeing the direction and construction of the show at the resort alongside Rick Gray, Wynn ‘s entertainment general manager.
“Artistic collaboration, imagination, and innovation in technology have inspired our journey over the past two years to bring all-new state-of-the-art entertainment to Lake of Dreams,” said Ortega. “In this lush and serene mountain-scape, waterfall, and lake environment, towering puppetry and animatronics burst to life. This one-of-a-kind living theatre features music, filmed live action, animation, visual effects, and inspired production design coming together in a dazzling spectacle of light and magic.”
A $14 m state-of-the-art renovation touched every aspect of the custom-built outdoor environmental theatre, consisting of a central 45-foot by 90-foot performance waterfall surrounded by a three-acre lake, 11-story mountain, and 1,500 pine trees, to conduct the technologically advanced new acts. Via cutting-edge technology added to the theatre, including an invisible 3D overhead fly system, 4 K video projectors, extensive laser mapping, revolutionary floating video orbs projecting images from the inside, and more than 5,500 LED lights, each act comes alive.
“The secret of great lighting is to have something great to light,” said Woodroffe. “At Lake of Dreams, we are spoiled to have such a beautiful tapestry of lake, waterfall, and forest as our stage set. So natural and benign during the hours of daylight, at night the landscape explodes into a diorama of color and movement, and the trees dance with the music. The immersive experience for our audience, seated at the very heart of this fantastic world, is unique and unforgettable.”
There are some modern and remarkably designed animatronics joining the cast of characters. Lady Birds, a trio of 28-feet-tall, 17,000-pound festooned show-stopping songbirds who are always the life of the group, are at the core of the stage; and Astronaut, a space explorer navigating her way through an interstellar mission during one of the most ambitious sequences of the show who incorporates all the latest technology of the theatre. However, without Singing Frog, the famous 30-foot amphibian and original cast member, who has been rebuilt with advanced robotics and returns with a dapper new look, Lake of Dreams will not be complete.
“Throughout my 30-year career, I’ve found that people are thrilled by fantastic characters,” said Curry. “After the success of the Lake of Dreams frog, who for 15 years has been singing male songs, we wanted to create a female perspective. The fabulous Lady Birds are driven by dozens of computer-controlled servo motors and are decked out in spectacular bejeweled costumes to rival any Las Vegas headliner. They sing, they dance, and are truly one-of-a-kind characters.”
Emoji Orbs, a pair of whimsical emoticons who joyfully express their love for each other, are highlights of new digital characters; Electra, the celestial emcee of the show made of pure light who flies through the air to communicate with the audience; and The Swimmer, an underwater series of live action films who follows a mythical mermaid. The new Lake of Dreams is backed by an equally fresh soundtrack of contemporary pop hits and classic classics like “Born This Way, ” “ Lady Marmalade, ” “ Side Effects, ” “ New York, New York,” “ I Got You Babe, ”a stirring original cover of“ Space Oddity, ”and many more.
Behind The Waterfall, a documentary-style video that chronicles the production process of the show, will debut later this fall. The video, shot over eight months, features exclusive interviews with the creators of the show, a visit to the production studio of Curry for an in-depth look at how the giant animatronic characters are made, and the most intimate look at Lake of Dreams and its exclusive theatre ever captured on film behind the scenes.