PANDA! set to debut in Las Vegas

Updated: 2013-11-13 06:51

By AMY HE in New York (

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PANDA! set to debut in Las Vegas

PANDA!, which debuted in Beijing in October, will be the first Chinese theatrical production to take up residency in Las Vegas at the Palazzo Resort Hotel and Casino next month.[Provided to China Daily]

The first Chinese theatrical production to take up residency in Las Vegas, the internationally renowned tourist center of gambling, shopping and nightlife, will open next month at the Palazzo Resort Hotel and Casino, just in time for the Christmas season.

PANDA! , which debuted in Beijing in October, will hold a preview on Dec 16 and open Dec 19. With a cast of approximately 50, it combines acrobatics and kung-fu with music and dance, produced by a team whose credits include the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summery Olympics in Beijing. PANDA! uses some of the same lighting technologies and video elements from the ceremonies, according to Yen Zhao, general manager of Panda Global Entertainment.

"We've taken two of China's national treasures, pandas and kung fu, and illuminated them in a visually stunning production that tells an unforgettable and timeless story," said director An Zhao in a statement. “Our team couldn't be happier to bring this experience to the international audiences Las Vegas is known to attract.”

PANDA! is about the panda Long Long, who goes on a quest to rescue his bride-to-be, Peacock Princess, kidnapped by Demon Vulture on their wedding day. “Confronted by hardship, danger, pain and temptation, Long Long must overcome universal obstacles to defeat Demon Vulture and restore peace and balance,” according to a synopsis of the story.

“In 2008, the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony showed the cultural creations of the Chinese to the world,” Zhao told China Daily. “The world was able to experience China's cultural charm.” Of all the shows happening in Las Vegas, Zhao said, none were Chinese-themed, which was the impetus for the director to take PANDA! to Vegas.

“I think Las Vegas is the live entertainment capital of the world, and we all know that there are [many tourists every year who visit Vegas], so if we have to choose a place for the first residency show from China, then I think [it should be] Vegas,” Zhao said.

“The Venetian|The Palazzo has a longstanding reputation for providing the best world-class entertainment to Las Vegas audiences,” said John Caparella, president and COO of The Venetian|The Palazzo & Sands Expo, in a statement. “PANDA! is a mesmerizing cultural production that we're thrilled to welcome to our property.”

PANDA!'s cast features performers from China National Acrobatic Troupe, Shaolin Monastery Kung Fu Monks Troupe and China Star Dance Troupe. The 75-minute show, which does not have an end date, will be performed Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30 pm. Tickets range from $48 to $128 and can be purchased online at or calling 702-414-9000.

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