Encore Theater was initially built at Wynn Las Vegas to accommodate the Tony Acclaimed production Opportunity Q. When that show’s run ended, it stayed on track by hosting musical comedy Spamalot, although the resort included three rows to the balcony and reseated the entire theater, increasing its capacity from 1,200 to 1,500 seats.
That remains the only major remodelling to Repetition Theater, an extravagant space that has actually changed into among the top headliner rooms on the Strip. It recently hosted concerts from Harry Connick Jr. and Tony Bennett; John Fogerty, Diana Ross and Mel Brooks will return in 2018 after well-known performances this year; and Alabama, The Moody Blues and Elvis Costello are also on the upcoming calendar.
Wynn’s General Supervisor of Entertainment Operations Rick Gray says the brand-new direction is a real cooperation with AEG Worldwide. “I think we started the headliner idea with Garth [Brooks in 2009], and that was equally effective,” Gray says. “When [Steve Wynn’s] Showstoppers ended, the people from AEG came by, and it was simply fortuitous. We all saw the entertainment world in Vegas swinging once again more towards headliners than production programs, and we thought, ‘Let’s try this out.'”
Intimacy sets the place apart: Showgoers get to see big artists that might quickly fill a much larger space in Encore Theater’s glamorous and cozy confines. “We had Diana Ross at the Colosseum [at Caesars Palace] a couple years earlier, but she couldn’t do a nine-show run there,” states Bobby Reynolds, VP of Booking for AEG Las Vegas. “We did that at Encore and almost offered out every night, and it was great sufficient to bring her back in February. And what the artists like the most is calling Wynn house. Walking into that theater differs from any other in town. It becomes more about their way of life and how they want to spend their time here.”
The audience gets a distinct experience and the resort gains efficiencies it hasn’t consistently offered in the past. “The excellent thing about Wynn is, the man whose name is on the structure is well-informed and passionate about entertainment, and he’s constantly on the lookout for something special, surprising and wonderful,” Gray says.