A MID-AUTUMN NIGHT’S ‘DREAM’: ‘Le Reve’ devotes a performance to benefit Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Southern Nevada
On this night, compassionate souls will combat a medical reality with an artistic fantasy.
That night is Nov. 4, when the spectacle of aquatic acrobatics known as Le Reve — The Dream at Wynn Las Vegas will splish-splash for donation cash by doubling as a benefit performance for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) of Southern Nevada.
Romping through a surreal liquid dreamscape, four principals — The Dreamer, The Dream Master, True Love and Dark Passion — plus a host of flying/swinging/swimming supporting characters will (metaphorically) spin a wordless, gorgeous tale of love vs. desire.
Yet attendees will no doubt be mindful of the statistical facts amid the opulent fantasia as this show turns its dreamy lens toward beating an increasingly survivable disease:
Fantasy: As The Dreamer emerges from the pool on a golden tree, True Love tries to come to her rescue, but Dark Passion intervenes. … As The Dreamer descends to the stage, The Dream Master asks her to leave the world she knew far behind. … The Dream Master encourages True Love to illustrate to The Dreamer that love can be playful and the two begin a seductive tango.
Reality: Leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes are types of cancer that can affect the bone marrow, the blood cells, the lymph nodes and other parts of the lymphatic system. … Approximately every three minutes one person in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer.
Elizabeth Muto Hunterton, LLS of Southern Nevada executive director: “For our patients to see a show grounded in the power of dreams and hope and believing in the impossible, and also knowing that a company as big as Wynn and a production as prestigious as Le Reve can come alongside them to support them, the impact of that can’t be measured. Our patients have said, ‘We can’t believe they’re doing this for us.’”
Fantasy: Women dressed as The Dreamer and their male suitors perform an emotional aerial ballet of union and separation, representing The Dreamer’s inner struggle to find love. … The Dream Master summons his assistants in an attempt to impress The Dreamer with their magic skills. At the conclusion, The Dream Master orchestrates a reunion between True Love and The Dreamer.
Reality: In the U.S., 174,250 people are expected to be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma in 2018, while 24,370 patients — 14,270 males, 10,100 females — are expected to die from leukemia. … An estimated 1.3 million people in the U.S. are either living with, or in remission from leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma. … The five-year survival rate for leukemia has more than quadrupled since 1960. It is currently 57 percent in the U.S.
Rick Gray, Wynn Las Vegas GM of entertainment operations: “Two years ago my daughter passed away from Hodgkins lymphoma. It’s something that wakes you up and makes you realize the only way we can fight this disease is just raise a bunch of money. You have to open up your hearts and we’re really trying to get locals involved.”
Fantasy: True Love takes The Dreamer into Eden, a mystical world of fire-bells and water fountains. Couples dance through fountains while embracing, but True Love and The Dreamer find themselves quickly separated. … The Dream master beckons Dark Passion, who takes The Dreamer to the sadistic side of the dream world where daredevil gladiators and handsome Tritons display their massive feats of strength.
Reality: Acute lymphocytic leukemia is the most common cancer in children, adolescents and young adults (under 20). … The most common symptoms in children are easy bruising, pale skin, fever and an enlarged liver or spleen.
Samantha Caughron, Le Reve assistant stage manager: “My partner has Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, he got diagnosed six years ago. He’s in his second remission. I was pretty thrilled when the Wynn said yes to this. It means a lot to us because Vegas is our home.”
Fantasy: Dark Passion’s entourage of dancers perform alongside synchronized swimmers, symbolizing The Dreamer’s passage into a world of sensuality. … Dark Passion is satisfied that he succeeded in awakening The Dreamer’s sensuality. Male dancers express her desires with a wave of oversized fans, and she finally moves with unbridled passion.
Reality: In 2018, a total of 4, 824 children, adolescents and young adults (under 20) are expected to be diagnosed with leukemia in the U.S. …The leukemia death rate for children, adolescents and young adults (under 20) in the U.S. declined by 78.6 percent between 1969 and 2014.
Hunterton: “When people first get their diagnosis, their first reaction is, ‘I’m going to crawl inside myself.’ But finding cures and treatments, it’s not the black hole that it once was. We now have blueprints for how the disease works. And chemo and radiation are not the only option. People might say, ‘I’m going to lose my hair or the treatment is going to wreak havoc on my body,’ but we have patients who have never missed a day of work. They wake up every day, they take their chemo orally and they go about their business.”
Fantasy: Female dancers join The Gold Men in an aerial ballet representing the love once shared by True Love and The Dreamer. … The Dream Master summons a female acrobatic soloist to teach The Dreamer how to overcome male intimidation .… Dark Passion and The Dreamer perform together, but as his romantic advances border on violently passionate, she rejects him and his fate is sealed. … In a retrospective display with a calming winter theme, three individual acrobatic numbers are performed as True Love returns to The Dreamer.
Reality: Risk factors for leukemia include exposure to high levels of radiation and certain chemicals, as well as chemotherapy, Down syndrome and family history of the disease. … The risk of most forms of leukemia increases with age. … Approximately 31 percent more males than females are living with leukemia, and males are more likely than females to be diagnosed and die from the disease. … The five-year survival rate for leukemia and Non-Hodgkins lymphoma is about 10 percent lower for African-Americans than Caucasians.
Gray: “My daughter had the disease for two years. One happy time in her disease progression is when she was able to get married, because there was a new drug, like a miracle drug. It literally cured most of the cancer, though not all of it, unfortunately. But it allowed her to be like a normal 29-year-old and have a little bit of happiness before things didn’t go so well.”
Fantasy: A crystal sphere descends with three females who perform a series of acrobatic maneuvers symbolizing The Dreamer’s new fearless, feminine strength. … At The Dream Master’s cue, fountains and fire combine to create a visually exciting scene that reminds The Dreamer of her journey. … The Dreamer appears center stage and says her goodbyes to The Dream Master and his assistants, and a celebration of love begins.
Reality: Celebrities who have been diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma include Jill Clayburgh, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mary Travers, Michael C. Hall, Ryan O’Neal, Charlie Murphy, Robert Vaughn, Robert Altman, Nora Ephron and Colonel Sanders.
Caughron: “Trying to find all the answers yourself is just too much. Your brain is going through too many things and after the first few treatments you’re just in shock about what is going on around you. But the support of friends and family or the LLS groups were exceptionally helpful. Someone might say, ‘That symptom, most people don’t feel that way, that’s strange.’ And then you talk to support groups and it’s, ‘No, no, we do.’ Make sure you don’t feel alone.”
Fantasy: A surge of bright colors and dancing water symbolize a turning point for The Dreamer and she is finally united with True Love. The entire World of Dreams joins together in the piece de resistance.
Reality: In the U.S., annual leukemia/lymphoma treatment cost is estimated at $5.4 billion.
Hunterton: “This is bringing locals into the Wynn. Sometimes people think we are divided by Las Vegas Boulevard, but the Strip is the heartbeat of our city and to bridge those two worlds, there is a lot of beauty and power in that. The impact this makes in our community is substantial. This could be the start of something really beautiful.”
The Le Reve benefit performance is at 7 p.m. on Nov. 4 at Wynn Las Vegas. Tickets are $100 each, and VIP seating, including an invitation to a pre-show cocktail reception, is $200. For more information, visit LLS event website. The event will be preceded on Nov. 3 by the LLS Light the Night Walk fund-raising event, from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the College of Southern Nevada’s West Charleston Boulevard campus. For more information, visit Light the Night.
Le Reve segment descriptions excerpted from production guide.
Medical statistics compiled from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the American Cancer Society, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the National Cancer Institute and the American Society for Hematology.