The sign placed on the dressing room door at The Showroom at Golden Nugget March 3 gave it away.
It reads: “Frankie’s Room.”
The new resident headliner at the hotel is Vegas favorite Frankie Moreno, who is set to perform at 8 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays through August at the famed Fremont Street resort (tickets are $25, $35, $55, absent fees; the hotel is also offering a $35 show-buffet package).
The signing was swift for Moreno, who began what was to be a six-show series at the hotel on March 2. Before the nearly sold-out show that night, Golden Nugget execs offered Moreno an extended engagement through the summer.
The hotel will continue its 52 Fridays series of national acts in the Showroom. Meantime, Moreno will also continue as a featured headliner at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center (recently renamed in honor of Smith Center President Myron Martin). His next show at Cab Jazz is March 21. In all of his performances, Moreno is accompanied by a powerhouse seven-piece band and trio of backing singers.
Of course, Moreno is no stranger to anyone who has followed my meanderings of the city over the years. A decade ago, that path cut through the Golden Nugget, at Rush Lounge, where Moreno was known for his rowdy performances that often strayed past 2 a.m. During those long, loud nights, Rush Lounge was frequently filled with performers who happened by, such as violin great Joshua Bell, Graham Russell of Air Supply, Billy Currington, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Jason Alexander (yes, him), members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and popular impressionist Gordie Brown — the showroom’s most recent headliner.
It was Brown’s departure in November, closing a seven-year run, that created the opportunity for Moreno to headline the showroom. Moreno also performed in residency at Stratosphere from November 2011 through December 2014, and for five weeks at Planet Hollywood in 2015. The latter production was stuffed with lavish production numbers, including an octet of LED screens, a piano appearing from the trunk of a 1962 Shelby Cobra convertible, and a hologram violinist.
The Golden Nugget show, from the venue where Frank Sinatra headlined from 1984-87, will be tightly focused on the music. Moreno says he is happy to earn a salary from the hotel in a time when the first option for entertainers is almost always to rent, or “four-wall,” the venue.
“I like to represent a property if I’m going to perform in that property. I want to be part of the brand,” Moreno says. “Shows come and go, open and close … I just want to write and sing music and entertain people.”
This was bound to happen.
Mirage headlining ventriloquist Terry Fator, with his new Sir Elton John puppet, ran into the Elton John performer in “Rock Fantasy” at Hooters, Kenny Metcalf, on Friday morning at KTNV Channel 13’s “Morning Blend” show.
Fator is celebrating his eighth anniversary on Monday, while the “Rock Fantasy” tribute show just opened at the old Night Owl Showroom. With those two paying homage to Sir Elton, the Elton portrayal in “Vegas! The Show” and the Elton tribute artist rotating into “Legends In Concert,” someone could develop a full “Sir Elton!” tribute show — absent the real Elton John at the Colosseum.
PATIO TO THE STRIP
Harrah’s has finished work on its Strip-side patio, effectively called The Patio, a sit-and-hang area connected to the recently renovated Piano Bar. The formal opening was Thursday afternoon, with hotel headliners Tenors of Rock, the Righteous Brothers (Bill Medley and Bucky Heard), the cast of “X Country” and Pete “Big Elvis” Vallee on hand for the big event.
The Patio is open to the multitudes of tourists walking along the Strip, and is a place to lounge for a bit before hitting the Piano Bar, the Linq promenade or nearby Carnaval Court.
HERD THE NERDS
The Nerd, which is a bar and nightclub at Neonopolis and also the nickname of Potsie on “Happy Days,” celebrates its grand opening March 30. Rohit Joshi, who heads up the ownership team of the downtown entertainment and retail center, is busy filling the many vacancies in that building. The Nerd takes up the second-floor space previously home to Drink & Drag.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and club proprietor Jonathan Borchetta, who owns the zip line at the Rio, will be on hand for the opening. The Nerd is going after millennials, who likely have no clue as to what “nerd” means.
SHAVE-A-THON IS ON
The much-ballyhooed St. Baldrick’s Day shave-a-thon at Nine Fine Irishmen at New York-New York is finally upon us. The event runs from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and I’m having my head shaved for the fifth straight year. Melody Sweets of “Absinthe” is the celeb shaver this year. Other Vegas favorites taking part are Fator, “Chippendales” at the Rio, “Fantasy” at Luxor, “Thunder From Down Under” at Excalibur; “Magic Mike Live” at Hard Rock Hotel, “Tournament of Kings” at Excalibur, “Baz — Star Crossed Love” at Palazzo, the Tenors of Rock; the Coyote Ugly Girls from New York-New York; and Clint Holmes and Kelly Clinton-Holmes.
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.