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Salute to Abba show heads to larger room at Planet Hollywood Resort


A “Dancing Queen” will have a larger presence on the Strip come September, even though you still have to wait until January to see “Mamma Mia!” again.

“Dancing Queen,” a salute to Abba and other disco-pop purveyors of the ’70s, will upsize in a move to Planet Hollywood Resort from a cabaret theater at New York-New York, where it closed Sunday.

At this point you could ask, How does a show that did not attract an inordinate amount of attention in a 200-seat room move into a 1,300-seat theater?

Beyond the short answer — “It’s Vegas!” — there is an explanation.

British producer David King’s Spirit Productions leased the New York-New York theater, and ran three shows there before the room was closed to make way for a retail/outdoor plaza project.

When King learned hypnotist Marshall Sylver had left Planet Hollywood, he contacted Base Entertainment, which operates the theater, and learned “Peepshow” was closing Sept. 1.

Now, King says in an email from Europe, all he has to do is deliver a show that “can stand up in quality and presentation against all the other major shows in town.”

The new version will be “bigger and glitzier,” King says, with a cast roughly double the size of the previous 13 when “Dancing” opens (tentatively) Sept. 1.

“This is a huge opportunity for me to show how I put a big show on, and how great it can be,” King writes. While “Zumanity” was the main attraction at New York-New York, this time, “the entertainment focus of the hotel will be on us.”

Except for an occasional roommate.

“Dancing Queen” will probably share the Planet Hollywood room with “RockTellz and CockTails,” a showcase for rock personalities that combines the anecdotal approach of “VH1 Storytellers” with full-band versions of the featured artist’s hits.

Producer Adam Steck says the deal (which is not quite final) would have “RockTellz” performing three times a week in stretches scheduled around the availability of the performer.

King says “Dancing Queen” was the best-selling of his three New York-New York titles and the one he had “the most confidence in, specifically for the Planet Hollywood theater and its younger crowd.”

“I am not an ‘all my eggs in one basket’ producer. I like to spread my bets, and my risk,” he adds. “Broadway Celebration” skewed too much toward seniors for Planet Hollywood’s brand, but he would like to move the topless “Shades of Temptation” either to Planet Hollywood or another venue.

Even though “Mamma Mia!” is still on Broadway and on tour — it comes to The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in January — King says he can use Abba songs and the title by paying royalties if he doesn’t make the show a “book” musical with a story, and doesn’t use the Abba logo with the second “B” inverted. ...

“Peepshow” may have a second chance, too, after it leaves Planet Hollywood Resort. There is talk of the topless musical moving to The Quad or Harrah’s Las Vegas, smaller theaters that would be nearly full instead of two-thirds empty with the audiences of 500 to 600 “Peepshow” has drawn at Planet Hollywood.

But the real motive for moving it would be to reduce costs. “Peepshow” is the rare dance-oriented show to have its cast members belong to the Actors Equity Union. It’s possible for the show to negate the Equity contracts by closing for two months and reopening in a new location. If that were to happen, dancers would have to choose to keep the Equity card and be replaced, or leave the union to stay with the show.

A move also would be contingent upon vacancies at either The Quad or Harrah’s. Since Base produces both “Peepshow” and “Million Dollar Quartet” — which is said to be underperforming at Harrah’s — it would be something of a closed-loop decision.

At The Quad, however, either “Recycled Percussion” or “Divas Las Vegas” would have to be given their walking papers to make room.

It’s unclear whether “Peepshow” would still include star Coco Austin. Her agent, Raphael Berko, says she loves Las Vegas and would be open to new show opportunities as well. ...

Impressionist Veronic DiCaire will keep performing “Veronic Voices” at Bally’s through at least Dec. 21, hotel officials have announced.

The first batch of dates were only through August, but those involved always talked about her performing at least through the year; the three-month mark was an escape clause if the show had tanked. ...

With “X Burlesque” back from an unplanned vacation at the Flamingo — a maintenance project had closed the showroom there — producer Angela Stabile is focusing on a new show for the Rio.

“X Rocks” is slated to open at the Rio on Aug. 29. It will share a former restaurant with comedian Eddie Griffin, but Stabile says the 150-seater will be outfitted with a larger, higher stage to be what she calls “more theatrical” than either “X” or her “Raack N Roll” at The D.

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