'Viva Elvis' closing fails to stun some

News that Cirque du Soleil's "Viva Elvis" appears to be on its last legs didn't come as a surprise to some locals.

Cast and crew were informed at a 3 p.m. meeting Wednesday that MGM Resorts International had informed Cirque du Soleil that closure of the show at Aria in CityCenter was likely at the end of 2012 for the underachieving production, which opened in early 2010.

Hunter Hillegas of the RateVegas.com website tweeted it was "a good move. First ballsy decision they've made in awhile."

He added, "The fact that Aria is a top-rank property for MGM makes a difference -- they need that to be a top performer."

A Las Vegas resident who goes by the Twitter handle Reach4Moon tweeted, "Not surprised, we alwys thought it didn't do Elvis justice. Don't get me wrong, Viva Elvis had a TONS of talented artists in it, but to me, it just seemed cheesy and tacky. Elvis deserved better."

David G. Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at UNLV, weighed with a tongue-in-cheek tweet.

"Could be worse," Schwartz said. "Viva Elvis could be replaced by a second Criss Angel show."

Holly Madison of "Peepshow" tweeted the question: Why is "Viva Elvis" taking the fall "when it's NOT (Cirque's) most poorly reviewed show?"

No cast and crew comments were found on Twitter shortly after the meeting, including the Twitter feed of Irish singer Carly Smithson, a 2008 "America Idol" finalist. But the name of her rock band probably summed up the sentiments: We are the Fallen.


Kristen Hertzenberg has much to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving.

A cast member of "Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular" since it opened at The Venetian in June 2006, her career was in jeopardy when she was diagnosed with a papillary thyroid cancer in late summer.

Surgery to remove the thyroid came with the risk of vocal chord paralysis.

At the time she discovered the condition, Hertzenberg, who fills in as Christine two nights a week, was completing her debut album "Holidays from the Heart" with Philip Fortenberry, a concert pianist and associate conductor for the "Jersey Boys" Las Vegas production.

"I was determined to remain committed to this project," said Hertzenberg, who won the National Opera Association competition earlier in her career. "Recording with Philip was something I had dreamed of doing for a long time."

The Texas native went ahead with the Sept. 10 surgery a day after her last show with "Phantom" before taking a two-month break.

She had radiation treatment in mid-October and returned to the show Nov. 7.

She overcame early challenges that included vocal issues and the physicality of the show.

Hertzenberg said she's thankful for "the immense amount of support and warmth from my colleagues."

For the second year in a row, she is performing with the Las Vegas Philharmonic for their holiday pops concerts on Dec. 17.

Her CDs will be available for purchase in the lobby at both the 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. performances.

"It's been a journey," she said. "Bit of a roller coaster, really. But all is well."

Her album collaboration can be downloaded from iTunes or Amazon.com and is available at www.kristenhertzenberg. com.


A personal note: A former Las Vegas TV personality who has fallen on hard times left me a telephone message recently saying he was back from Montana where he was homeless and living on the streets. The call did not include a contact number. Please call and let me know how to reach you.


"Hey, normally it takes us twice as long to get nothing done." -- From David Letterman's Top Ten Supercommittee Excuses

Norm Clarke can be reached at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.