Jeff Civillico still relies on hand-to-eye coordination, but his low-budget show at The Quad doesn’t really feel like one when it comes to ideas per dollar.
The comic juggler celebrates two years of his “Comedy in Action” on Saturday at The Quad, a property that was under renovation for much of his tenure there.
Memorial Day weekend, Civillico says, was “on the calendar, metaphorically circled with a giant red Sharpie.” Now that The Linq is open for business and The Quad no longer blocked by construction walls, he feels like he’s literally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
“I feel like even in the last two weeks, the numbers are at a much different level and I don’t think they’re going to go back,” he says. “I feel like we’re legit now.”
Along with his obvious juggling skills and an impressive joke-per-minute count, Civillico bonds with audiences in what he calls “an underdog, kind of make-it-work relationship with my fan base.” He even tells them in an email blast that after “focusing mostly on the business side of producing,” he is able “to shift much of my time back to creative development.”
He thinks he is the only act on the Strip who has crowd-funded part of his show: the inflatable set that dresses up the bare stage that hosted his juggling and unicycle antics in the beginning.
He’s added other technical upgrades, including fire effects, projection screens and a new pre-show segment using Skype. Saturday’s anniversary also will mark the official rollout of “Juggle-Vision,” a finale in which a GoPro camera on his head will give the audiences a first-person view of juggling, then create projected visual images on a rear screen.
He doesn’t think the technical upgrades will distract from the show’s low-tech charms.”It’s not like there’s dancing showgirls or pyrotechnics,” he says. “Even with the production and the nice big set, it’s still silly.” …
A year ago, I wrote that David Perrico’s 20-piece Pop Evolution band at the Stratosphere posed the chance to fold tourists into the thriving after-hours gatherings — Composer’s Showcase, Mondays Dark, etc. — that performers stage for one another and the lucky locals who can stay up late enough to hang with them.
It was a great experiment. But Perrico says at least 80 percent of his audiences ended up being locals who connected through social media. It’s one reason he didn’t sign up for another year at the Stratosphere, and hopes Pop Evolution can dig in at a venue that makes more sense: The Smith Center’s Cabaret Jazz.
The band plays Cabaret Jazz on June 24, and Perrico hopes it will become a regular engagement. “It’s going to show the band in more of a concert style,” he says of the ensemble he tries not to call a “big band” because its arrangements and ambitions go well beyond retro swing. …
It makes perfect sense for two more shows that blur the local-tourist lines to lure residents with deals. “Divorce Party Las Vegas” owes almost anything good you can say about it to the five local actors who perform it, so a locals two-for-one (with the promo code “locals241”) seems fitting.
And the creatively promoted “Evil Dead The Musical” won’t let a Friday the 13th sail by without offering $13 general admission to locals and tourists alike on Friday. …
Purple Reign, the popular Prince tribute helmed by Jason Tenner, returns to the D on June 26. It replaces the departed “Raack N Roll” at 10:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. When renovations forced a short-term closing of the D showroom last year, Tenner took what turned out to be a dead-end tour of the South Strip, with disappointing runs at Hooter’s Hotel and Sin City Comedy at Planet Hollywood. …
Finally, if I really spent some time on it, I could probably come up with more things that Celine Dion and Donny Osmond have in common.
But beyond the fact that they perform across the street from one another — with Celine celebrating 200 performances of her current Las Vegas show on Tuesday at Caesars Palace — there’s that duet with Stevie Wonder thing.
Dion used to sing “Overjoyed” with a projected, holographic image of Wonder. Osmond got him to join in on “My Cherie Amour,” and it’s the advance preview single of his new album, “The Soundtrack of My Life,” which comes out Tuesday.
It’s promoted as his 60th album, although it seems like that must count compilations, reissues and the “Goin’ Coconuts” soundtrack album.
Tuesday is also the day you can download a whole Donny Osmond app if you are so inclined.
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at email@example.com or 702-383-0288.