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'Sirens' cast stunned, upset by show's closure


Treasure Island’s decision to cancel the long-running pirate show “Sirens of TI” drew fire Saturday from cast and crew members who said they were totally blind-sided.

The surprise announcement came a month after the 10-year-old attraction went into what was to be a two-month dry dock.

Ten “Sirens” and 10 pirates performed four times a night since 2003, when prominent choreographer Kenny Ortega was hired to give the show a sexy vibe by turning it into a girls-against-guys duel.

When the hotel opened on Oct. 27, 1993, the Strip-front show was called the “Battle of Buccaneer Bay.”

About 50 people were laid off Friday after receiving text messages to come in and sign separation papers, turn in their IDs and clean out their lockers.

A dancer said she approached management last week to get clarity on the job situation.

“I had to turn down an $800 New Year’s Eve gig because they said the (scheduled Dec. 26 return) was still in effect. Now I have nothing,” said the dancer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“There were a lot of people crying,” she added.

“They lied to us and told us we would have a job,” one of the veteran pirate performers said. He added, the hotel “won’t believe what kind of revenue was generated from the show until it’s gone.”

Former pirate Jason Toohey, who played football at UNLV and made headlines three years ago when he briefly dated Jenny McCarthy, tweeted late Friday, “worst move ever cancelling the Sirens of TI! It was a Vegas icon.”

He later tweeted, “I didn’t mean to be nasty, just sticking up for some good people who I thought deserved better.”

When the show went into hiatus Oct. 21, the reason given was construction of a three-story, 48,000-square-foot retail store on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Spring Mountain Road.

The pirate ships were a traffic stopper from the start. The Strip was temporarily closed so one of the boats could be transported to the TI. Hotel developer Steve Wynn and Michael Jackson appeared at the ship’s helm when it arrived.

Hundreds of weddings were held on the faux pirate ships.

KANYE ZINGED BY ZAPPOS

Limelight-loving Kanye West found out that stuff happens when you take on the creative minds at Zappos.

West apparently didn’t dig the advice he received last month during a downtown tour by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

West went after Hsieh during a Monday podcast with novelist Bret Easton Ellis.

“I got into this giant argument with the head of Zappos that he’s trying to tell me what I need to focus on,” West said. “Meanwhile, he sells all this s—- product to everybody, his whole thing is based off of selling s—- product.”

Zappos, the giant Las Vegas-based online retailer of shoes and clothing, quickly came up with a response that went viral.

Zappos’ website featured a “S—- Product,” showing a toilet, a $100,000 toilet plunger and directions how to use it.

In a reference to West’s “Watch the Throne” tour, the Zappos comeback included: “This is the throne, everyone has been watching.

“Whether you’re #1 or #2, your clique will show no mercy, even in Paris.”

I happen to be, um, privy to how Zappos knocked West off his throne. “It was just a random fun idea that someone came up with,” Hsieh said in an email, “and then a bunch of employees from different departments jumped in to help make it happen quickly.”

SIGHTINGS

Enrique Iglesias, with friends at Tryst nightclub (Wynn) after the Latin Grammy Awards on Thursday at Mandalay Bay. … In town for a sports convention: Hall of Fame basketball coach Bobby Knight, former Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer, NBA great Oscar Robertson and and Harlem Globetrotters Marques Haynes and Meadowlark Lemon. … Carlos Santana, dining Friday at the Original Pancake House, 4170 S. Fort Apache Road. … Eva Longoria, spotted Thursday at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab (Forum Shops at Caesars) on Thursday and Spago (Venetian). She attended the Latin Grammys with new boyfriend Jose Antonio Baston. … Actor Jason Statham, with a group at Nobu Restaurant (Caesars Palace) after Thursday’s Las Vegas premiere of “Homefront” at Planet Hollywood Resort. Castmate James Franco attended “Absinthe” (Caesars).

THE PUNCH LINE

“Members of the tea party gathered outside the White House to demand President Obama’s impeachment. The president said he appreciated their views, and he is setting up a new website where they can voice their opinion.” — Conan O’Brien

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas,” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.