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Vegas Shows Fill in Gaps in Child Performer Laws

July 31, 2009

Mason Roberts, 9, and Dakotah Rhoades, 10, check the coast outside their cave. There are important matters to discuss, matters adults shouldn't overhear.

"You can't come in," Mason announces to this reporter.

Mason and Dakotah are among the six minors employed in "Love," the Beatles-inspired show by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage (11 child performers work on the Strip in total). Their "cave" consists of a jacket draped over an open drawer beneath a backstage makeup table.

The "Love" kids appear to be living normal childhoods in competent hands. But that's little thanks to Nevada law, which is vague and could leave children vulnerable.

"There's just not a lot of guidelines for employment of minors in Nevada," says Mary Spees, human resources director for Cirque, which fills in many of the law's blanks to provide its kids with normalcy. Read More