The cast of “Show in the Sky” at Rio Las Vegas is getting trimmed for the holidays, and not just in terms of decoration. At the end of October, about half of the 28 cast members in the show were given 30 days’ notice that their contracts would be ending. Nov. 28 was their last day of work.

“In our meeting, we were told that the cast was basically being cut in half in 30 days,” said one of the performers, who no longer works for “Show in the Sky” and prefers to remain anonymous because of career concerns. “[Production officials said they] would keep the stage dancers and the singers.”

“Show in the Sky” is produced by Entertainment Plus Productions and is composed of two separate sections: one takes place with singers and dancers onstage and the other centers on performers riding a float connected to the ceiling that travels around the casino. Guests can purchase tickets to ride on the float at the Rio box office or online.

Entertainment Plus Productions could not be reached for comment.

The contract changes also affect the performers that are still part of the cast of the show, which the source said now totals between 14 and 18 people. “The cast is now responsible for doing the stage show and then doing the floats after they perform,” the anonymous source said. “So it’ll be quite a bit more demanding.”

In addition to casting changes, the schedule for the show has also been modified. “Show in the Sky” can be seen hourly from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Its previous schedule ran four days a week instead of three.

“Rio has adjusted the ‘Show in the Sky’ schedule to yield fewer ‘dark’ weekends in its yearly calendar,” said Deborah Munch, the vice president of public relations for the Las Vegas region of Caesars Entertainment Corporation, which owns Rio Las Vegas. “Though there are fewer show dates in some weeks, guests will be treated to the show during more weeks per year.”

Munch refrained from commenting on the casting changes, saying that information about performers’ contracts is confidential.

The performer that no longer works for the show said that the alterations themselves didn’t come as a surprise, but the magnitude of the changes did. “We didn’t think they would cut the cast in half. We had some kind of feeling anyway,” the source said, explaining that many cast members anticipated cuts in pay or hours instead. “The hotel [was] cutting back and we didn’t want that to happen to the show and it eventually did anyway.”

The source continued that bridging the gap left by “Show in the Sky” is a challenge. “It’s hard to fill because [we had] full benefits,” the performer said, adding that they now work part-time as a server in a casino and three days a week at a nightclub. “I would need four or five [days a week] to even out with ‘Show in the Sky.'”

Despite these changes, the performer said that the experience with fellow cast members, Rio staff and the production team for the show was very positive. “As a whole, everybody was really welcoming,” the source said. “The tech people were great. Everybody was amazing and the cast was like a family. That’s how the show stayed together.”

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