Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

February 21, 2007

Wynn Las Vegas Restyles 'Le Reve' Theater

Posted by Hunter

'Le Reve' is the Franco Dragone show that opened Wynn Las Vegas. It stumbled a bit out of the gate but seems to have found its footing as tickets are now selling at a normal pace.

Wynn Resorts purchased the remaining 'Le Reve' assets from Dragone last year with the intent of making some changes. Today they announced the theater itself is being remade a bit.

In a press release on their Web site, Wynn Resorts detail some of the changes, including warmer colors.

The show will be dark in March while these changes are implemented.

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Read archived comments (19 so far)
February 21, 2007 1:37 PM Posted by Mike E

Sounds like they're marketing a nightclub more than a theater. In any case, I'm looking forward to giving the VIP package a go.

February 22, 2007 9:09 PM Posted by motoman

Yeah, caught that press release. Wondering the relevance of the color scheme? I remember the theater being, well, dark. As in, no lights on during show.

At least with fewer seats, they'll have an easier time claiming "sold out" performances....

Good timing though to give Spamalot a running start during its premier month.

February 23, 2007 7:29 AM Posted by TC

I just saw the show, probably one of the last performances in the "old" theater" the problem isn't the space that it is in, it's the show. While I found it more entertaining then O, there was just to much stuff going on at once, you got people swimming, and falling from the ceiling all the while a huge screen in the ceiling is projecting images. The whole thing is just to busy, they need to scale it back and force the audiences focus onto what needs to be scene. Thats just my two cents, and by the way the show was probably 95% full, silly Chinese new year, but that is another story.

February 23, 2007 12:02 PM Posted by AndyMN

Well the lighting problems will be fixed. The entire first row is going to be replaced by new lighting fixtures. It sounds like they are carrying the casino theme into the theater to replace the dark violets. Overall I think it will look good when it's done. I'm going to see the show sometime in May to check out the changes.

As far as the show being too "busy," I think that just comes with the nature of having a theater in the round. LOVE is the same way. And I do agree that it is more entertaining that 'O'.

February 23, 2007 6:57 PM Posted by mike_ch

Oh lord. I can't wait to see the results.

The Wynn folks' idea of interior decorating and placesetting is just laughable to me. The flowers everywhere, the abuse of chocolate browns, the stupid chill/jazz/lounge fusion soundtrack, etc. This is stuff that Steve apparently feels is classy but to me it's always been gaudy and pretentious claptrap.

Although they are not also without their flaws, I see more cohesiveness at Disney hotels, aside from the older ones that have slowly lost their way like the Contemporary.

February 24, 2007 1:29 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

mike_ch: You are now starting to echo EXCATLY what I have been trying to convince all of those pundants here to try + understand, from a "professional" design POV, for months upon months now. You need to understand the "special" relationship that Steve has with Roger Thomas' father + that Steve owes a lifetime allegiance, if not OBLIGATION, to Parry Thomas who was the SOLE financial impetus (in the early days) behind Wynn that made it possible + instrumental for what he [Steve] has become today. Don't expect any ground-breaking, progressive interior design proposals for any future WYNN projects while those duties are still under the control + execution of Thomas anytime soon. Roger Thomas should be relegated to commissions limiting his design "talent" to interiors for upscale brothels! The man has zero talent as an accomplished interior designer yet he has found himself in contrrol of Wynn Design + Development because of nepotism. Finally, the more sophisticated clientele of Wynn properties are slowly beginning to see the light in terms of the excessively gaudy, if not totally garish interiors Thomas has created at WLV simply based on subjective comparisons made between that property + Thomas' original contribution to Bellagio. Steve might have tons of dough, but he still has NEVER used those resources effectively by displaying any true sense of class when it came to issues of architectural/interior design for any of his properties, unless of course one might have some type of obsession with the color chocolate. LOL

February 24, 2007 2:25 PM Posted by Hunter

While I don't doubt that Parry helped Roger get into the Wynn org, is that all it was?

My tastes typically run to the more subdued and there's no question that some of the interiors at WLV are too 'loud' for me but there are some parts of the spaces that I really like. Now, I know some of the restaurant interiors were done by other firms by areas like DB Brasserie, SW, Wing Lei, the Country Club, the Q Theater, and the convention hallways all have some bits that I think work well.

February 24, 2007 4:32 PM Posted by John

I love the convention walk, just because of the art collections that are displayed throughout some of the meeting areas. However, as I disucssed with Hunter (I think), when we met in December, the orange is just a little too much for me. In addition to that, the algae carpet is a little too much for me. This is even more evident when you compare it with the convention corridor (pre-Spa Tower), for me, Wynn convention corridor is too loud.

However, when I dine at DB I can't help but feel, in some ways, that it is probably the nicest room at Wynn, knowing it wasn't designed by Thomas.

February 24, 2007 4:40 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Hunter, OK, now I'm putting myself out on the ledge subject to jeopardy by revealing the actual "facts" in connection with Roger Thomas' appointment as the head of WD+D after Steve's brother, Kenny abruptly was forced to resign from the company (as head of WD+D) several years ago as soon as he was revealed to be the target of a federal criminal investigation, which continues to be ongoing to this day. If you are trying to suggest that Roger Thomas was given this position, whereby he enjoys complete autonomy (with the exception of following Steve's orders like a good little minion) based on his former reputation as an "accomplished" interior designer even remotely connected to having designed or even participated in the design of projects like Bellagio + WLV, with the exception of a few high end residential homes here in Las Vegas, you have been seriously misinformed. Thomas has had no previous experience at this degree + level of interior design, nor has he demonstrated a professional history that would otherwsie make him even a candidate for this lucrative position. Check out his professional background + you will discover that I am 100% correct. Based on the tremendous talent pool available out there which is readily available to Wynn, it is certainly no "coincidence" that he made Parry Thomas' son head of design + development. I can absolutely assure you that this was the case + Wynn's projects have seriously suffered as a result of Thomas' mediorce lack of design talent! To even suggest that there is no connection with Roger Thomas' position + Steve's lifetime obligation to his [Thomas'] father is simply ignorant + misinformed thinking. Period. GMAB!

February 24, 2007 9:31 PM Posted by mike_ch

The situation about that investigation is pretty common knowledge, actually.

I know that Leonard will say that this has absolutely no relevance to Las Vegas because theme hotels are dead and all that, but the people running the hotels (and glorified motels) at Disney World are sure doing a better job at decorating and place setting than the Vegas folks are. Wilderness Lodge has the kinds of trees and foliage you'd associate with Colorado, acclimated to the Florida atmosphere. I stayed in a motel with a southern comfort bayou theme, and while some of the themery was skin deep (the buildings of motel rooms given phony roofs to look like large plantation mansions, or the same two bad slow-jazz songs playing on the gift shop soundtrack all day) the whole place was incredibly picturesque from the large grassy pathways to the boat dock with actual (slow-moving) boats traveling the river to another hotel and a theme park.

Then there's the Polynesian, even though it's received many upgrades since the 70s it still sort of looks it's age and things like the plants and waterfalls in the lobby (again, keep in mind the place just hit 35 years) make me wonder if Steve came through there at some point in time. Hmm...

The few places where they tried to look classy was a bit of a failure considering the audience and the budgets they get by with, but it seemed like a much more honest effort at a cohesive design than anything I've seen in Vegas since at least the Palms opened.

Now admittedly the entire Disney complex is 32,000 hotel rooms, and when you're trying to make one building with a quarter of that amongst equally large projects and the usual urban blight you have to compromise a bit. But I think my point about the sameness in Vegas hotels still stands. I think there's a few designers in Las Vegas who have received near rock star status (Wynn is one of them for sure, I'd say Marnell as well) and everyone who isn't them is trying to emulate them too hard.

Now look what you've done, Leonard. You have me hoping that CityCenter will break through all this sameness.

February 24, 2007 9:54 PM Posted by John

Mike, Wilderness Lodge and, I believe you are standing at, Port Orleans Riverside Resort (formerly known as Pixie Landings) were created during Michael Eisner's Disney Decade (which in and of itself was a literal failure) designed to improve the Disney experience at their hotels and resorts worldwide. Now, in its inception the idea was a hit, resorts were built with that same classic Disney level of detail that can be seen in their parks. However, Eisner put a completely incapable person, Paul Pressler, in charge of parks and resorts and he let turned the parks into giant run-down malls (similar to Bellagio immediatly post MGM-Mirage merger). However, it was in that simple time inbetween the announcement of the Disney Decade and Paul Pressler's appointment that resorts like the Wilderness Lodge, The Yacht and Beach Club resorts, and the Grand Floridian were built. They are beautiful hotels, but they in no way reach the design detail and attentive service level that you find at Bellagio, WLV, etc. Keep in mind, though, that most luggage carrying families of five don't really care about the world's greatest imported marble, celebrity chefs, and Dior/Chanel/Graff boutiques as much as they do about family oriented activities and theme parks around every corner. In short, Las Vegas resorts and Disney owned resort don't cater to the same demographic and aren't, in some ways, comparable to each other.

February 24, 2007 10:48 PM Posted by John

Wow, I just caught a rather garrish typo. Well, I mean to say I thought you were staying at Port Orleans Riverside, Mike. Sorry about that.

February 25, 2007 6:49 AM Posted by BrianFey

I can't believe you can sit here and rip Wynn and his staff for their interior design. I suppose it just all comes down to personal taste, but to say they have no talent? Leonard, do you think the interior of Mirage is now nicer than Wynn? Do you think TI better looking than Wynn? Welcome to the world of MGM, PCC will probably just be more of the same. MGM has destroyed what were once great casinos. You can have MGM's designers, but I'll take Wynn and his untalanted staff anytime.

February 25, 2007 12:16 PM Posted by mike_ch

Brian, I can rip on Wynn's interior design all day. Keep in mind I am a BIG fan of Bellagio. Particularly the Steve era but I feel over the past year it's almost at that same level of quality again thanks to the refurbs. I feel that they really hit home with the image of traditional sophistication with that one.

WLV, on the other hand, is a mess. I honestly believe that Wynn was designing a hotel for himself instead of the public. The whole design of the casino matches his personal tastes which I find pretty appalling. Most decorators I know would wince if you asked them to put a green couch with purple pillows in a room with a red carpet and a brown ceiling but WLV does this kind of thing in spades. I sincerely think that the motto of WLV is that this is everything Steve likes and since he's a classy guy then you should like it too. If you don't believe it, then just listen to him talk about how he picked out everything from the chefs to the mattress to the brand of bottled water. And doesn't he store his own Ferarris in the car dealership?

I think Steve read a bit too much of his own press about what a visionary guy he is or something, because WLV is on every level equal or better than Bellagio, but it completely turns me off with it's surroundings and self-image. The only place that I've actually felt is tasteful is the Tower Suites lobby and that garden & pond room across the hall from it.

John, I was actually talking about design apart from the budgeting differences that come from developing hotels with casino revenue and hotels from theme park revenue. I actually said that they're not on the same platform realistically, but I don't think anyone in Vegas has made an honest effort in design in quite a few years. As for the managers and so on, it doesn't really matter. It doesn't matter whether you're talking about "mall" or a hotel or whatnot, I'm just talking about cohesive design.

Since Palms, I'd say, almost all Vegas hotels have had this loose sense of design. This includes the MGM re-made TI and Mirage (and I actually don't mind the Mirage that much.

February 25, 2007 12:35 PM Posted by Hunter

I love the Tower Suites lobby and the Atrium Villa lobby as well - maybe my two favorite spaces in the hotel.

The mother-of-pearl peacock inlay as you walk into the Tower Suites lobby was imported from India and is magnificent.

April 5, 2007 2:28 PM Posted by Hunter

The new show opens tonight and they have posted a video of the transformation of the theater:

April 5, 2007 4:25 PM Posted by mike_ch

I've never been to the show but it looks like they changed quite a bit. Even the barricade in front of the camera seems to have been changed at 00:50.

May 14, 2007 4:49 PM Posted by detroit1051

Le Reve still being fine-tuned. Script changes next year?

May 14, 2007 5:58 PM Posted by John

Eh, I can't say anything the great about the new changes they've already made to the show. It really seems like they've taken a unique storyline and destroyed it. I mean, Dragone has created a powerful show that evoked emotion and feeling in the hearts of the audience, but Wynn has just taken it and hacked it into different pieces, it looks terrible. In addition to that, the theatre isn't as great as I thought it would have been. It's nice, but it's just not great. Hell, even the "VIP Bottle Service" isn't worth it. The service is mediocre and the strawberries are just ho-hum, nothing worth over $150.