Cirque du Soleilpresented one of the most magical, awe-inspiring evenings of the year at its 4th annual One Night for One Drop benefit, raising $6.5 million for critical water issues worldwide on Friday evening.
Headliners at the event included Leona Lewis, who performed two hit songs: “Bleeding Love” and “Thunder” and Blackish star Miles “Baby Boogaloo” Brown, who was the star of the four-part, Cirque-Inspired evening.
The dazzling, one-night-only experience reflected the personal story of artistic director Hassan El Hajjami, who realized the importance of water after traveling with his grandmother every day to retrieve it. Inspired by their struggle, the performance was held for the first time at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts where more than 100 Cirque du Soleil artists came together to support the cause.
Photo Credit: Erik Kabik
There was every kind of performance spotlighted here, from aerialists and dancers to an EDM-inspired performance to a series of events with an Alice in Wonderland-theme (which, incidentally, was also the focus of the afterparty) to a nod to So You Think You Can Dance (which also filmed in Las Vegas).
Notable names in attendance for One Night for One Drop included Marsai Martin from ABC’s Blackish; former star of The Real Housewives of Atlanta NeNe Leakes; Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Natasha Bedingfield (who also performed an acoustic set at the afterparty); Michael Jackson’s long-time, Emmy-nominated choreographer Travis Payne; world-famous illusionist Criss Angel; TV star Katherine Bailess from VH1’s Hit the Floor; world-famous dance crew JABBAWOCKEEZ; world-famous magician and winner of the ninth season of America’s Got Talent Mat Franco; world-famous model Constance Jablonski; co-host of The Real and fashion correspondent for NBC’s Today show Jeannie Mai; TV personality Jaymes Vaughan; Las Vegas headliner Frankie Moreno; star on CNBC’s Money Talks Steve Stevens and fiancée Kelly Tuttle; reality TV star Angelique “Frenchy” Morgan; cast members of ROCK OF AGES; cast members ofJERSEY BOYS; cast members of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET; cast members of ABSINTHE; Mayor of Las Vegas Carolyn Goodman and her husband Oscar Goodman; the FANTASY girls at Luxor; renowned Las Vegas headliner Zowie Bowie; renowned actress, producer and creator of the hit YouTube page “The Southern Women Channel” Julia Fowler; President of Cirque du Soleil Daniel Lamarre; Chairman of the Board at Cirque du Soleil Mitch Garber; world-famous poker player Daniel Negreanu; Bree “DJ 88” DeLano; FINA gold medalists and synchronized swimmers in “O” by Cirque du Soleil Christina Jones and Bill May; Olympic gold medalists Esther Lofgren and Susan Francia; contemporary artist Robin Slonina and renowned dancers from the Nevada Ballet Theater Alissa Dale, Joshua Kekoa, Krista Baker and Jordan Mendoza.
Photo Credit: Erik Kabik
After walking the blue carpet, guests savored unlimited cocktails and hors d’oeuvres provided by world-famous chefs Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla and renowned restaurants Milos, STK, PBR Rock Bar, Border Grill, Ethel M, Spin Spun, Espresso Amore and more. Guests then headed into the Smith Center for a live auction, which included a McLaren 675 LT signed and updated by Button Jensen—the very last available model of its kind in the U.S.—a Takashi Murakami Arhat painting designed specially for One Night for One Drop, a week of aquatic adventure on Cirque founder Guy Laliberte‘s yacht, Tiara (which sold twice), a private jet to Indian Creek Country Club and a round of golf with Sergio Garcia and Richard Mille’s RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat, which debuted in prototype only at the annual SIHH watch fair in Geneva this January, and which won’t be available until fall.
Following the performance, VIP guests continued the festivities at an exclusive after-party with the aforementioned Alice in Wonderland theme, where guests could make their own cotton candy, edible art, smoke hookahs, receive balloon art and nosh on nibbles from Wolfgang Puck, Border Grill and HEXX, among others.
Presented by MGM Resorts International, McLaren Automotive and Zappos.com, the star-studded benefit generated $6.5 million for ONE DROP’s global water initiatives. The charity is an international non-profit organization created by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté; the organization has developed the unique A∙B∙C for Sustainability intervention approach, a combination of strategic and operational initiatives designed to address access to safe water.