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Gaming Guru

Melissa Arseniuk

Cirque du Soleil throws lavish bash for 'Believe' premiere

3 November 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- While the country is in the midst of an economic downturn, there were no signs of recession at the Luxor Friday night and Saturday morning as Cirque du Soleil threw an extravagant party to mark the premiere of its latest Vegas-based show, "Criss Angel Believe."

After investing a reported $100 million in the circus-meets-magic spectacle, the price tag for the lavish party, which was reportedly near half a million dollars, is relative pocket change.

Cirque du Soliel threw the lavish poolside bash for the show's star, cast and crew. More than 3,000 ticketholders who attended the 7 and 10 p.m. showings of "Believe" also were invited to attend the exclusive affair. No tickets were sold and no one was admitted without a commemorative "Believe" dog tag necklace.

Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté was joined by several VIP guests who walked the "Believe" black carpet earlier that evening, as well as members of the Cirque creative team who flew in from Cirque headquarters in Montreal.

Angel and his date, former "Girls Next Door" star and Hugh Hefner playmate Holly Madison, partied side-by-side in the event's VIP section. They were joined by Angel's mother, Dimitra, and brothers, J.D. and Costa, and about a dozen other family members and friends who flew in from across the country for the gala.

Angel's aunt Stella was also there. She is credited with teaching her nephew his first magic trick at the tender age of 7.

In addition to Angel's family members and "Mindfreak" crew, an attractive mix of toned and flexible Cirque cast members mixed and mingled with the crowd as the evening progressed.

As circus performers performed and high-energy music blasted across the concourse, partiers were treated to an array of amenities.

There were few tricks but more than ample treats on hand for the Halloween affair. Party-goers were treated with complementary chair massages, flavored tobacco at a hookah lounge, MAC makeup touch-ups and imported cigars.

Crimson-colored boxes of chocolates served as party favors, each filled with gold and silver foil-wrapped milk and dark chocolates marked "Criss Angel Believe."

Several food stations were set up across the pool deck to keep party-goers fueled and nourished. An array of delicious party nibbles were available, including melt-in-your-mouth miso-marinated sea bass, seafood paella and full-size T-bone steaks. Staying true to Cirque du Soleil's French-Canadian roots, bite-sized portions of foie gras and smoked salmon parfaits also were handed out.

In addition, no sweet tooth was left unsatisfied, thanks to the many desserts on hand, including chocolate and vanilla milkshakes, raspberry panecotta, dulce de leche parfaits and traditional circus fare, such as candy apples and cotton candy.

Several well-stocked open bars made sure no partiers were thirsty, and ample supplies of Red Bull ensured revelers endured the hours-long affair until it ended at 4 a.m.

Once the soirée ended, the party moved inside to LAX, where the after-party was held. Laliberté also hosted a super-exclusive party for his inner-circle crowd at his Las Vegas home.

Anticipating a long night of merry-making, "Believe" organizers earlier had canceled performances Saturday to allow the cast and crew time to recuperate. The show will resume its twice-a-night, five-days-a-week schedule on Sunday.