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Cosmopolitan says it never wanted ‘Nocturne’ show


They never wanted a separate show in the first place.

That’s perhaps the most surprising revelation in The Cosmopolitan’s response to a lawsuit filed by the producer of “Vegas Nocturne,” the now-closed show component of the interactive “supper club” Rose.Rabbit.Lie.

The hotel’s response, filed Friday in Clark County District Court, alleges “Nocturne” spun out of an integrated concept where “no one component would overshadow any other” and ended up costing $60,000 per show and losing $1 million per month for its six months of operation.

The Cosmopolitan pulled the plug on “Nocturne” in July and continues to operate Rose.Rabbit.Lie. as a restaurant and club with live performers. Show producer Spiegelworld responded with the lawsuit and a stated intention to reopen “Nocturne” elsewhere, which The Cosmopolitan claims would violate a restrictive covenant.

The Cosmopolitan’s countersuit claims $6 million in damages and says Spiegelworld impressario Ross Mollison developed the stand-alone show through “false representations and omissions,” only revealing the show his partners “never wanted or bargained for” two weeks before the January opening.

While not explaining how Mollison could pull off such a deception for so long — or why The Cosmopolitan didn’t just veto a separately ticketed product — the 39-page response says the hotel was left with “no reasonable business alternative but to try to make it succeed.”

Spiegelworld “took (The Cosmopolitan’s) trust and its money and did exactly what Spiegelworld wanted, and not what (the hotel) was paying it to do,” the response says of the $35 million venue with a $4 million stage and a preproduction budget of $3 million, of which the hotel claims a third is still unaccounted for.

The Cosmopolitan also had to referee “constant strife” with restaurant partner Ten Palms, which Spiegelworld accused of incompetence and bad behavior by employees.

The response also says Spiegelworld received a $500,000 annual management fee regardless of the financial performance of the social club. It claims the club was left “in a disjointed shambles” with The Cosmopolitan “holding the proverbial bag of losses … mounting into the tens of millions of dollars.”

The long response includes at least one joke apparently intended to keep the judge awake in what could become a drawn-out case.

After alleging Mollison told people “Nocturne” would be his equivalent of Cirque du Soleil’s “O,” the response says: “Despite Spiegelworld’s reckless spending, Vegas Nocturne failed to generate much in the way of ticket sales, proving that Mollison’s O moment was more of a ZZZZZ moment.”

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.