Berlin wasn’t the first place I thought of to go to a Las Vegas style show. I suppose Las Vegas was the only place I’d thought of going to a Las Vegas show! However, when I visited Berlin in March, the Palast Berlin got in touch to invite me to go and see their revue show, the VIVID Grand Show. Touted as one of the best shows outside of Vegas, I was intrigued, and went along to see what all the fuss was about.
I enjoyed a complimentary visit to the Palas Berlin with a guest. However, I maintain full editorial control of the blog, and all opinions are my own.
(Cover Image Credit: Brinkhoff/Moegenbur)
About the Palast Berlin
The Palast building itself is certainly impressive, both outside and in. Originally built in 1919 on the site of its predecessor, the Großes Schauspielhaus. In 1980, the old Palast had to be closed due to major subsidence and structural damage and it re-opened in 1984 in its current state. You can see some photographs from the refurbishment and building works on the walls inside the foyer leading upstairs. In its 100 year history, the Palast has hosted such famous performers as Shirley Bassey, Joe Cocker, Phil Collins, Udo Jürgens, Hildegard Knef and Liza Minnelli, among others!
How to Choose Tickets for the Palast Berlin
Like most theatres and live shows, the ticket prices for shows at the Palast vary in price depending on the location of the seats. The cheapest seats start from just 19.80€ per person, all the way up to VIP tickets at 129.90€ and exclusive Sky Lounge seats at 259.90€ per person. The cheapest tickets tend to sell out first, so try to book as far in advance as you can to have your choice of seats. The handy seat planner also displays a photo of the view from each seat as you hover over it. There are also some discounts available for young people under 25, students, over 65s and people with disabilities, you can check here for details.
We had premium seats right in the centre which gave us fabulous views, but looking around the theatre all the seats had a great view of the main stage. If you’re right at the front or sides you may miss some of the details at the far sides of the stage, but nothing that would affect your enjoyment of the show. There are no pillars blocking the view and the size of the venue wasn’t so that you’d need binoculars to see the stage!
Facilities at the Palast Berlin
I picked up the tickets in the Kasse to the right-hand side of the main entrance to the Palast, this is where you can buy tickets for the show or pick up your pre-booked tickets.
As we went inside, security was quite strict. Our tickets were checked at the door, then we all passed through a metal detector and larger bags were searched. You can’t take coats and large bags into the theatre, but there are several large cloakrooms where you can leave your coats and bags if needed, these are free to use.
Bathrooms are also on the ground floor and upstairs. Upstairs there is a bar area to buy drinks, and although prices weren’t cheap, they’re not excessive – 7.80€ for a 20cl glass of wine and 4.50€ for a 30 cl beer. You can also pre-order snacks and drinks for the interval, so you don’t have to queue during the intermission. You can’t take your own food and drink into the theatre.
The show was split into two parts of an hour each, with a 25-minute interval in the middle. Photographs are not allowed during the performance, only during the finale, so sit back and forget about Instagram while you watch!
The VIVID Grand Show: A Celebration of Life
VIVID is a declaration of love to life. Versatile and opulent, it is the most colourful Grand Show at the Palast for a long time. More than 100 artists from 26 nations are involved in each performance, so diversity has a strong theme throughout the show and the performers.
The author and director Krista Monson is the first woman to write and direct a Grand Show at the Palast in its 100-year history, and she is supported with a top quality team of designers and performers who all come together to create a fabulous show. The international creative team are from all over the world, and most famously, the milliner Philip Treacy who has designed hats for the Queen, Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, Lady Gaga, Emma Watson and Madonna among others worked on the headpieces for the show. There is also an 18-piece live orchestra who accompany the performers.
The VIVID show really sums up Berlin. It is colourful, fun, and entertaining as the characters tread the thin line between doing what is expected and doing something crazy and living life free as they choose. Although I had never thought about going to see a show in Berlin, I really enjoyed the spectacle.
You can check out the trailer for the show here:
If you pick up a programme you will be able to easily follow the storyline of the show and the meaning of each performance, however as there are no spoken lines in the show you can certainly enjoy the songs and performances without worrying too much about what they mean. Most of the songs are in German and English, with a couple just in one language or the other, but even if you can’t understand the lyrics, just watch the performance!
The story centres around a young girl, Re’ye, who has to decide between following a life of strict order where she is exactly like everyone else, and does exactly what everyone else does, in alarming synchronicity, and living a free and exciting life, even if it is a more dangerous choice.
In the beginning, she is controlled by her father, who tries to protect her but ends up stifling her curious mind. She is transported to a strange world and transforms into an android, and we follow her as she meets various characters who show her the possibilities of the life choices she has to make.
There is comedy, singing, fabulous dancing and some nail-biting acrobatics from highly skilled performers throughout the show. The dancers and singers were fab, but for me, the two sections which blew me away were an acrobatic couple who hung from the ceiling just holding on with their teeth, and a team of performers jumped and span inside huge rotating circles. It is hard to explain without seeing it, but it was breath-taking!
What I loved about the VIVID Grand Show
The whole experience was fabulous, and I really enjoyed watching the show. I’d never seen a revue-style production like this before, and seeing the combination of performances was great fun.
Anything I didn’t like?
Honestly, I can’t think of anything I didn’t like. The seats we had would have been quite expensive, but the staggered pricing means that the show is accessible to travellers of most budgets, and for one of the most unique things to do in Berlin then you can’t go far wrong with the VIVID Grand Show!
Other Things to do in Berlin:
Where to Stay in Berlin
Berlin’s coolest neighbourhoods are around Kreuzberg, the regenerated and gentrified area in East Berlin which is now the trendiest spot filled with bars & restaurants, and Mitte, north of Alexanderplatz, close to the main shopping area and within easy access of Berlin’s main attractions.
Hostels in Berlin
I stayed at Wombat’s Hostel, just one U-Bahn stop away from Alexanderplatz, and walking distance to Kreuzberg. There is a great view of the Berlin TV Tower from the roof terrace, and the buzzing bar and friendly staff make it my go-to hostel in Berlin.
You can check the reviews and options for other hostels on Hostelworld here.
Hotels in Berlin
Motel One Berlin Alexanderplatz and the Holiday Inn Express are both decent options for a good value, central location – if a little dull. The Dude Berlin-Mitte is in a similar price bracket with a bit more personality! Check all the options for hotels in Berlin here.
Airbnb in Berlin
There are tons of options for rooms or apartments on Airbnb in Berlin, like this private room in an apartment with its own balcony, or this contemporary studio apartment. If you have never used Airbnb before, use this link to sign up & get up to $40 credit to use on your first trip! Read more about the first time Airbnb discount coupon, check out my complete Airbnb guide or click below for your Airbnb coupon.
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Cover Image Credit: Brinkhoff/Mögenburg
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