The Kats! Bureau at this writing is Harrah’s Fulton Street food court. What an inspired concept this place has become, slammed with folks ordering prepackaged salads, yogurt in Styrofoam cups, pizza by the slice and – in my case – a bottle of fizzy water, for here.
The food court is just a sashay away from the hotel’s Piano Bar, where the room’s headliner, Pete “Big Elvis” Vallee was honored earlier with a star No. 83 on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars, to be installed at the casino entrance facing the Flamingo.
Harrah’s has developed quite the entertainment program. The showroom rifles through Mac King’s afternoon magic show; and the Righteous Brothers, Tenors of Rock and Ralphie May at night. The cabaret room has hits with “Menopause The Musical” and the adult revue “X Country.” More haps at Harrah’s: The Patio, an entertainment promenade at the lip of Carnaval Court, opens next week.
Far less animated is the old Jubilee Theater at Bally’s, quiet since that show closed last February. Aside from intermittent, room-rental shows (such as the taping of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” last summer), the place has been dormant. There have been some efforts to lure in a couple of shows – including a streamlined showgirl production in the spirit of “Jubilee,” but more with more contemporary music and staging.
That concept was openly discussed when “Jubilee” closed, with members of a well-financed investment group from China reviewing the show and even hanging around backstage. But that potential partnership has ebbed away, leaving Bally’s with a beautiful, empty showroom in need of some structural and artistic love.
More from the scene:
IRVINE IS DOIN’ IT LIVE
On the topic of where to eat, and also empty Strip showrooms:
Robert Irvine is bringing “Robert Irvine Live” to Tropicana Theater on April 6. This is the latest adaptation of Irvine’s touring production, in which audience members choose culinary challenges and learn to cook on the fly (and onstage). Irvine, of course, is the star.
The show is a way to cast a light on Irvine’s new restaurant at the Trop. That restaurant is reportedly a chic tavern concept, taking over the 10,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by the hotel’s sports book. On Monday, Irvine said to expect a summertime opening for that restaurant, which will seat just 260 despite all that square footage. He added that he plans to announce the name during the live production.
The physically imposing star chef announced his first Vegas restaurant by scaling down the side of the Trop last May. As he says, “The more fun you have, the more relatable you become. The food scene is a tough business, especially in Las Vegas, and I’m not Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri or Joël Robuchon. I’m just different and I need to do something different to stand out.”
The eating part is relatable, and months before he launches on the Strip, Irvine has succeeded in standing out.
MARVEL AT THIS …
The Hulkbuster, the Marvel Comics and Stan Lee creation that debuted in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will be unveiled Tuesday at Madame Tussaudsat the Venetian. This towering figure joins the Incredible Hulk at the Strip-side attraction. Hulkbuster is 12 feet tall, 9 feet wide and took 20 artists more than four months to complete.
Lee, who is to be on hand for Tuesday’s 11 a.m. unveiling, was most recently in Las Vegas in November, launching his unifying Respect lapel pin.
The latest production of the ceaselessly energetic Anne Martinez, “Twerk,” opens at Centerfolds on Paradise Road at 9 p.m. Tuesday. This atmospheric production is loaded with great Vegas performers. Joining Martinez are entertainers with extensive Strip resumes: Jaime Lynch, April Leopardi, Claudia Mitria, Sonya Sonnenberg, Jessica Delgado, Savannah Cross, Dimitri Blizzard and Jeffrey Garrovillo. Special guests are vocal group These Guys Worldwide, with Karley Cottrell and Jenn Franklin. Blend it together, and “Twerk” is largely a celebration of the dance move that is the title of the show.
Joine by her husband Johnny Martinez as co-producer, Martinez is creator of “ALICE — A Steampunk Concert Fantasy” (most recently at Brooklyn Bowl), and continues to perform in “Baz,” at Palazzo Theater.
WHO WAS WHERE
The one and only Shecky Greene, at Engelbert Humperdinck’s show Sunday at Orleans Showroom … Los Angeles Chargers (get used to processing that NFL team name) running back Melvin Gordon and ex-NHL and Finland national team superstar Teemu Selänne, separately, Saturday at Topgolf Las Vegas … Flavor Flav, enjoying a Lollipop Passion Goblet (this is a dessert drink, and possibly the title of Flav’s next album) among other confections Saturday at the new Sugar Factory at Fashion Show Mall.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section, and Fridays in Neon. He also hosts “Kats! On The Radio” Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and appears Wednesdays at 11 a.m. with Dayna Roselli on KTNV Channel 13. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.