The great thing about being in New Orleans is that there are so many opportunities for side-trips. Of course, that would be the case with almost any tourist destination. But a trip to Biloxi to see Fata Morgana at Beau Rivage Resort and Casino offers views of bare and beautiful stretches of the Mississippi Gulf Coast interspersed with lovely homes and several new hotels on one side and beautiful beige beaches on the other.
Fantastic Fata Morgana at Beau Rivage Casino
The coast has almost completely recovered from the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina and, in fact, you can barely tell that there had been any hurricane at all. The casinos, the bread and butter of the recent Gulf Coast revival, have come back bigger and more beautiful than ever.
Perhaps the real jewel of the casinos is Beau Rivage. It was beautiful before the storm and just as beautiful now. The gigantic skylights illuminating the lobby make it feel more like outside than in. The trees, foliage, well-attended flower beds and charming decorations from skylights to floor are all a part of the fantastic welcoming atmosphere of the place.
You don’t need to be gambler to visit here since the hotel offers so much more than slot machines and blackjack tables. There’s a spa and a beautiful pool area overlooking the gulf, wonderful restaurants and a fantastic buffet that offers scrumptious champagne brunches.
And of course they have their shows which probably provide more entertainment per square foot than any other casino on the coast. This was the reason for our visit to the resort and casino over the weekend, to get a first glimpse at Fata Morgana at Beau Rivage, a cirque-type show created specifically for the casino. In August they’ll pull up stakes and travel around the country.
Fata Morgana, Italian for optical illusion or mirage, stars Bello Nock who is considered to be America’s number one clown. Now, I’d heard of this guy with the stiff high-hat blond hair but did not know much about him. I thought he was just an MC for the Barnum and Bailey circus. Well, he’s not an MC, in fact, he’s unlike anyone. Not only is he a fantastic clown but he’s also a daredevil. I mean there were things he was doing at this show that made made my heart stop.
For instance, at the beginning of the performance he took a swan dive off a catwalk high above the stage. Although connected to bungy cords you didn’t know that at first, and using them he was able to execute humorous acrobatic feats.
He capped off the show doing stunts on this Wheel of Wonder, a huge metallic arm that rotated from floor to ceiling with cylinders at either end. Walking on the outside of a cylinder as the arm spun and then doing flips at the top all with a huge smile on his face said to me that here is an exceptional human being who apparently knows no limits. In fact, to kick off the premiere of this show he did a high wire walk over the Beau Rivage.
Bello doing a high wire walk for the opening of Fata Morgana at Beau Rivage, Biloxi Mississippi
Besides Bello the show features more than a dozen acts, from three motorcyclists crisscrossing at top speed inside a wire-caged sphere, beautiful Bolshoi dancers, award-winning acrobats, a famous hand-balancing act, to Raymond Silos on the the Cry Wheel. My favorite was the juggler who did beautiful graceful flips and dance moves all while keeping many balls and pins in the air. He did stunts like catching a ball on his back and his legs. His juggling act was unique and absolutely captivating.
Fata Morgana at Beau Rivage is a great spectacle of the cirque-type theater arts. And it is also a testament to the amazing ability of the human body to be incredibly strong, supple, graceful and precise. After the performance there was a private reception where I had the privilege of meeting Bello and having interesting conversations with several of these fascinating and exceptional people.
The show runs till August 19 and admission starts at around $9.95, about the same price you’d pay for a movie, making it accessible to almost everyone.
If you are visiting New Orleans and have the time it’s worth a trip to Biloxi to see Fata Morgana at Beau Rivage. There are performances daily, except Monday, at 7 PM and 3 PM matinees on Saturday and Sunday. So you could catch a 90 minute ride on the I-10 to the Gulf coast in the morning, have a champagne brunch, see Fata Morgana at 3:00, do a little gambling if you’re so inclined and then be back in New Orleans by early evening.
Of course, there’s the option of staying at the Beau Rivage for a night or two in one of their beautiful rooms. You can take a nice little side trip to see the Mississippi beaches, get a glimpse of the coast’s recovery, see a fantastic show, stay at a great hotel and add an additional layer of fun to your stay in New Orleans. Don’t miss Fata Morgana at Beau Rivage, a fabulous show at a fabulous casino.