From the streets of VegasVille:
AN OOVER AND SHAKER
The Road Trip of the Week award goes to Las Vegas Philharmonic conductor Donato Cabrera and composer Nathaniel Stookey, who trekked from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on Wednesday with an Oove in the back of their SUV.
What is an Oove, you ask? It’s a stringed instrument, and the only one in existence was in the back of that vehicle, and is now in Vegas. The Oove is central to the world premiere of the piece “YTTE – Yield To Total Elation” as part of “Cabrera Conducts Dvorak” 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall. The story is centered on a fictitious city created in the 1930s by San Francisco artist A.G. Rizzoli.
The instrument featured is designed as an oversized electric guitar furnished with piano strings. Those strings vibrate and make sounds through an electromagnetic connection, with the musician using a small device called an Oovulator. When that piece is moved close to the strings, they quiver and create musical notes.
“I am a big believer in the orchestra creating all the music you need in a concert,” Cabrera said during a chat on his trip from L.A. “But we always have to embrace artistic exploration, and that is what we are doing with this performance.”
TOP OF THE POP
You can thank David Perrico and Pop Strings Orchestra for the delay in the long-anticipated renovation of Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace. Just this week, Perrico signed a contract extension with Caesars Entertainment to continue headlining at the hotspot for another year. Pop Strings also will continue its 10 p.m.-midnight Thursdays-Fridays-Saturdays schedule.
There is no cover for these shows; it will soon cost more to park at Caesars than to see this great band of top-notch musicians and singers.
Eventually, plans for the Barge include partnering with a well-known nightclub . But as long as Perrico and fellow late-night act Zowie Bowie (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) are making waves behind the moat, there is no hurry to shut it down and spruce it up.
SACCA MEMORIAL SET
A celebration of life for veteran Las Vegas showman and producer Tony Sacca will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday at Stratosphere Showroom. Sacca, a popular entertainer and TV show host who most recently headlined in “Vegas the Story” at Bally’s Windows Showroom, died Monday night of a heart attack in Las Vegas. He was 65.
In lieu of flowers, Sacca’s widow and partner of 12 years, Josette LeBlond, is requesting donations to the Youth Foundation for the Performing Arts. Checks can be sent to the Vegas Media office at 5430 Sandpiper Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89146.
WHAT WORKS IN VEGAS …
Frankie Moreno’s first headlining gig at the 500-seat Suncoast Showroom this Saturday night has sold out … The zany Capitol Steps political satire troupe from Washington nearly filled three nights at South Point Showroom over the weekend … The numbers for “BAZ – Star Crossed Love” at Palazzo Theater have been steady since late last year.
CELEBRITY MAGICIAN ACTION
Murray Sawchuck, who last month notched his second anniversary at Planet Hollywood’s Crazy Girls Theater (formerly Sin City Theater), is taking part in his first USO Tour. The entertainer who has adopted the title “Celebrity Magician” in the same way boxing great Marvin Hagler added “Marvelous” to his name, is scheduled to perform for the troops April 5-21. Sawchuck will be hitting such outposts as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Tule, Greenland.
AN OPENING ARGUMENT
Graham Fenton, late of “Jersey Boys” at Paris Las Vegas, threw a knuckle ball during a recent episode of “Kats! On the Radio” at KUNV-FM 91.5. The onetime Frankie Valli is applying to law schools around the country, including UNLV’s William F. Boyd School of Law.
With his wife, Nicole Kaplan, at his side, Fenton joked, “I’m hoping to be a singing lawyer.” On a serious note, he added, “This will be a major career shift. It’s something I’ve always been interested in … I think actors have an innate sense of social justice, a feeling of empathy, and the timing is just right for me to do this now.”
Fenton performed in “Jersey Boys” for nine years, and Kaplan closed “Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers” on New Year’s Eve. The couple appear in the “Love Letters” series at The Space on Feb. 13.
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.