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Awakening at Wynn has the most developed storyline of any show I’ve been to in Las Vegas. But I still had to go back and watch it again to understand everything fully.
And that’s because there’s a lot going on!
So today, I’m breaking it all down for you – scene by scene. I hope my article helps “awaken” you to the whole story and allows you to enjoy the production even more.
In the beginning, there was the goddess of Darkness. But she wasn’t happy because she was alone. So the creator, the Great Phoenix, brought her a friend – the god of Light.
Darkness and Light fell madly in love. Unfortunately, though, they couldn’t spend much time together as they were only allowed a few minutes at dawn and dusk.
They desperately wanted more, so they defied the Great Phoenix and stayed together.
But soon, they were punished for their disobedience. The creator banished Darkness and split Light into three crystals in the realms of water, earth, and air.
All memory of each other and their time together was also erased.
Unfortunately for Darkness, she became cold and lonely, spreading her sadness worldwide. And now, with each passing day, light is increasingly disappearing.
But, there’s still a glimmer of hope to save the world: a young woman named IO (pronounced eye-oh). She, however, is reluctant to help.
The following is a summary of the scenes in Awakening. After watching it twice, this is my narration and, in some places, my interpretation of the story.
Also, I couldn’t find a scene list anywhere, so I named them myself to make it easier to understand. 🙂
The awakening production begins with IO and the Phoenix tribe. Dancing, drumming, and acrobatic fire spinning fill the stage as the tribe celebrates.
Soon, the Storyteller joins them, wearing a headdress that resembles the sun. The Phoenix tribal members gather around her as she informs them of their dire situation:
“Darkness is consuming our world. The last remnants of light are almost completely lost. But the legend of a hero who will reignite those flames and return our sunrise gives us hope. That hero is one of you.”
Upon hearing this, many tribal members stand up, hoping it’s them, but the Storyteller reveals that the hero is actually IO.
IO is in disbelief and says that there must be a mistake. The Storyteller reassures her and gives her the mission:
To brave the forces of light and dark and reunite them to save the world.
IO must first go to Darkness and steal her power, a red orb, from her wand.
And then, with Darkness’s power, she can continue to the realms of water, earth, and air to retrieve the crystals holding Light captive.
Luckily, she won’t be alone on the journey as the Storyteller introduces her to two new friends – Boo and Bandit.
The scene ends with IO, Boo, and Bandit setting off to find Darkness.
In the goddess of Darkness’s den, loud club-like music is playing. Darkness dramatically enters the room while her subjects dance around.
IO sneaks inside the lair and tries to hide in the crowd. She soon approaches Darkness and grabs the powerful orb from her wand.
Darkness sees what she’s doing, and a fight ensues. Boo and Bandit join in to help her. IO, under attack, throws the orb to Boo, who tosses it into a large hole.
Boo and Bandit escape, but IO is captured and tied up high on a rope.
She’s left hanging there until a funny-looking duo (Boo and Bandit) disguised as knights walk by.
They untie IO, and the trio retrieves the orb from the hole. With Darkness’s power in her hands, IO can now go to the other realms and search for the god of Light.
The next scene begins in the water realm – an underwater paradise with many sea creatures. IO, Boo, and Bandit ride into the kingdom in the arms of an octopus.
A mermaid sees them and greets them. She can tell they’re up to no good and warns them that The Light “isn’t so naive.”
Soon, The Light descends from above while singing “Bow Down to Me.” He shows IO around his place and brags about his possessions.
IO attempts to get her hands on his crystal by asking to try it on and polish it. But The Light ignores her.
IO, Boo, and Bandit then decide to devise a plan:
While Boo and Bandit distract the god of Light with an acrobatic performance, IO will sneak up behind him and steal his crystal.
All appears to go according to plan until IO has trouble unfastening the necklace. Light catches her in the act and orders his subjects to lock her inside a glass box.
But as he stands atop the box of his prisoner, something magical happens. IO, using her newfound power from Darkness, switches places with him and snags the crystal.
IO, Boo, and Bandit make their way to the earth realm. Although their spirits are high from their recent success, they’re suddenly afraid when they see the state of the earth.
Everything is in shambles. It looks desolate and burned. Dead branches are everywhere, and although they don’t appear alive, they soon begin to move.
Under orders from Darkness, one of the branch creatures distracts IO. She takes IO’s crystal and makes IO chase her around.
When the tree creature gets her in just the right spot, she gives IO back her crystal. But unknown to IO, it’s a trap.
As Boo and Bandit run towards her, a tarp is thrown over the trio, and all three are locked in a cage.
Darkness and her servants lift the cage into the air and command IO to give back Darkness’s power. But IO refuses and unleashes her magic to escape.
IO then spots the god of Light and asks for his earth crystal. (This version of Light is very different from the part of him we see in the water realm. Here, he’s sad and lonely.)
At a loss for words, Light makes his way to the center of the stage and transforms into a giant green man.
IO and Light share a touching moment. Her courage in the earth realm has set him free, so he hands her his crystal in appreciation.
Boo and Bandit run off to the next realm, but IO gets distracted by a sound behind her. She turns around to find an aerial duet performed by a man and woman.
These beautiful sirens captivate IO’s mind, and she joins them in their performance.
IO becomes so infatuated with the pair that she decides to leave with them instead.
Little does IO know, though, that the sirens were looking for a “fresh face” to bring back to the god of Light in the air realm.
The next scene opens in the air realm with men and women dancing around in flowy attire. Greek columns appear on stage, and a magical ether fills the room.
Light soon makes his grand entrance, carried on a litter by his servants.
The sirens that we saw in the previous scene bring IO to the festivities. The god of Light is pleased with his new arrival and invites IO to join their pleasurable society.
Light encourages IO to breathe deeply and take in even more of the ether.
Although IO is becoming increasingly intoxicated, she hasn’t forgotten her mission. She tries to grab the crystal from around Light’s neck but stumbles.
Light tells her to lie down and rest for a while. His people gather in a circle and sing a song to initiate her into the society. As Light stands over her, IO starts to levitate.
IO wakes up and has now become one of them. The Light joins her at her side as they all celebrate in a dance together.
The group then huddles around IO and her energy creates a force that sends everyone flying backward.
In the commotion, IO grabs the last and final crystal from the god of Light. And the god of the air realm and his people disappear.
IO is ecstatic because she’s captured the last crystal. She sees Boo and Bandit giggling in the corner from some leftover ether. She runs over to them to tell them about her success.
The trio are unsure what to do now that they’ve completed their mission. Boo suggests putting all three crystals together, but it doesn’t work.
Soon, the Storyteller startles them as she makes her way onto the stage. She tells the trio they must return the crystals to the realm of Darkness for Light to return.
Before they leave, the Storyteller tells IO why she was chosen for the mission. And the significance of her name.
Confronting Darkness (Again)
Back at Darkness’s den, her subjects are performing a light sword dance. In the middle of the performance, IO, Boo, and Bandit come running in.
IO tries to give Darkness her power back, but Darkness cuts her off and commands the servants to attack.
During the fight, IO sneaks up on Darkness and puts the orb back on her scepter. Darkness falls to the ground as forgotten memories fill her mind.
She’s suddenly “awake” to her past and remembers the love she shared with Light.
As Darkness looks fondly upon IO, now knowing the truth of what IO has done, stars begin to fill the sky. It’s Light making his return.
Upon seeing Darkness, he embraces her, and they dance together.
A New World
Everyone is celebrating Darkness and the Light’s love. IO begins to rise in the sky and makes a beautiful golden phoenix appear.
The show ends with Darkness and Light together again in their new world.
Although Awakening has a big cast, there are only a few characters you need to know to understand the story.
IO is the heroine of Awakening. She’s an orphan who has been branded with fiery red hair. Lacking confidence, she’s in disbelief that she’s the chosen one to save the world.
Boo and Bandit
Boo and Bandit are IO’s friends who help her in her journey to reunite Light and Darkness. The pair brings a lighter element and some comic relief to the show.
A member of the Phoenix tribe, the Storyteller gives IO her mission. She also helps IO figure out what to do after she’s obtained the three crystals.
The goddess of Dark is the Great Phoenix’s first creation. She rules the night and falls in love with the god of Light. After defying the creator, she’s exiled, and all memories of her past erased.
The Great Phoenix created Light to be a companion for Darkness. He’s also punished for defiance of the rules and locked up in the elemental realms. He has no recollection of Darkness.
Wynn Show Narrator
Anthony Hopkins performs Awakening’s narration. Although we only hear his voice during the show, Mr. Hopkins provides insights between scenes to help the audience with the plotline.
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My Final Thoughts
I think the key to understanding the Awakening story is knowing that Light has been split into three crystals. And parts of him are locked in the water, earth, and air realms.
So, even though you’re going to three locations and seeing different aspects of his personality, you’re still visiting the same god.
Darkness, on the other hand, mostly stays in her realm as she was never split, only banished. And we don’t get to know her nearly as much as Light.