Acrobats soar to fight childhood cancer in Circus Couture’s ‘Lucky’ production

Erica Linz describes feeling “a different kind of devastating,” and those who have faced childhood cancer know whence she speaks.

“We all see death by disease, death by accidents, but nothing has that feeling of cosmic unfairness like watching a child suffer,” says Linz, a longtime Cirque du Soleil artist and co-founder of the annual Circus Couture fundraisers at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, which support the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada. The organization is Nevada’s only nonprofit clinic that treats children with cancer, including those without medical insurance.

“What the Center does is so important. When you see a child lose the fight, it is just devastating,” Linz says. “You just literally feel like you have been punched in the gut.”

Dubbed “Lucky,” for its seventh performance, Circus Couture is zeroing in on $1 million raised over its history in Las Vegas. The event starts at 8:30 p.m. Friday; tickets start at $35. Featured performers include Linz, who has appeared in the Cirque shows “Mystere” and “Ka” and is currently co-star of the company’s James Cameron-produced “Worlds Away” 3D film; former “Vegas Nocturne,” “Zarkana” and current “Mystere” artist Jimmy Slonina as Chance the Clown (we might well see an inflatable performing partner from Mr. Slonina) ; French artist and former “Ka” cast member Mathieu Bolillo, who performs a balance-wheel act; the touring, roller-skating tandem Zeman Duo; and R.J. Owens, who plays the Bebe François character in “Mystere.”

A fashion show featuring couture designs offered for auction and exhibited on two runways, is also part of the program, and the silent auction is highlighted by a 1963 Fender Stratocaster guitar once owned by Jimi Hendrix.

Connections to childhood cancer or other debilitating illnesses have touched the production in myriad ways. Linz was a member of the “Mystere” family at Treasure Island when the 9-year-old son of a Cirque performer lost his bout with leukemia. The 13-year-old son of Karoly and Ana Zeman is in remission from a rare form of cancer. Longtime Circus Couture supporter Criss Angel’s 2-year-old son Johnny Crisstopher has suffered from a rare form of cancer, now in remission, a fight that inspired Angel to found the Johnny Crisstopher Foundation to help fight pediatric cancer.

The seeds of Circus Couture were actually planted a decade ago with the St. Baldrick’s Day fundraising event founded in 2007 by Brian and Lynn McMullan of McMullan’s Irish Pub.

In the spirit of the McMullan’s shave-a-thon, Linz said she’s planning to go bald Friday night.

“My mother is shaving my head onstage,” Linz says. “It’s a show of support. I cannot steel myself against those kids.”


The cable TV phenomenon “Pawn Stars” has begun filming its 13th season for History channel this week at Gold &Silver Pawn on Las Vegas Boulevard, just north of Charleston Boulevard. Series and business mastermind Rick Harrison allows that the show is not performing nearly as well in the ratings as it has in past years – but no other cable show is approaching numbers from past seasons, either.

“The TV industry is crazy. It’s changed so much. Far more people DVR shows now, and that makes it a lot harder to measure the metrics of success,” Harrison says. “We were getting 7 million viewers at our peak, but no cable show is getting that now.”

Still, Harrison says, “We are always in the top five of cable shows on Wednesday night. That shows we are still popular.” By the end of this 30-episode season, “Pawn Stars” will have stamped out 484 shows. Harrison is again joined by Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison and Austin “Chumlee” Russell, with Richard “Old Man” Harrison in a more reduced role, making cameos.

Harrison is also celebrating his first year as proprietor of Pawn Plaza. An open-to-the public event is set for 4 p.m. Saturday at the Container Park-fashioned cluster of businesses just south of Gold &Silver Pawn. Drink specials at Rick’s Rollin’ Smoke BBQ & Tavern are being offered, and Harrison will tend bar starting at 8 p.m. Pawn Plaza Vow Renewals by Vegas Weddings is offering a package where Harrison will serve as witness to a wedding or vow renewal.

Harrison says he is about to announce three new companies moving into the lower level of the Plaza, replacing a series of shops that closed over the summer. “I’ve been looking for ways to expand on ‘Pawn Stars’ after the series ends,” Harrison says, “and this is one of them.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday 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 Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Entertainment Videos
Making gluten-free pizza at Good Pie in Las Vegas
Good Pie owner/pizzaiola Vincent Rotolo makes his gluten-free pizza.
Rockabilly fans enjoy Las Vegas weather poolside
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender runs Thursday, April 18th through Sunday, April 21st with a huge car show on Saturday featuring The Reverend Horton Heat, The Delta Bombers and The Coasters. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brownie sundae at VegeNation in Las Vegas is completely vegan
Donald Lemperle, chef/owner of VegeNation in Las Vegas and nearby Henderson, NV, makes his sundae with ice cream made with coconut and almond milks, a brownie made with coconut flour and oil and organic sugar and cacao, and fresh fruit. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Taste of the Town: Henderson Booze District
Those who like to support local businesses and sample local products will find the best concentration in an unlikely spot: a Henderson industrial park.
Founder of Las Vegas theater talks about a favorite play
Ann Marie Pereth, founder of A Public Fit Theatre Company, speaks to the Review-Journal about which play she would see every day if only given one option. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N interactive exhibit
The new exhibit features original and recreated props and plenty of interactive features. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Writer's Block and Lucy are open in Las Vegas
The Writer's Block and Lucy are open in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas ice cream shop offers everything in the kitchen sink
Have you ever wanted to eat an ice cream sundae out of a kitchen sink? Who hasn't, right? At Sloan's, located inside the Venetian, you can do just that. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Maxie’s in Las Vegas puts eggs Benedict in a box
Chef David Mangual at Maxie’s in The Linq Promenade in Las Vegas makes his eggs Benedict in a brioche “box” layered with spinach, bacon and tomatoes and topped with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caviar Twinkie Served at Stripsteak in Las Vegas
Stripsteak Executive Pastry Chef Vivian Chang and Chef Gerald Chin create a novel savory food item that looks like a familiar sweet treat at the restaurant in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
NAB attendees battle to qualify for Fortnite event
NAB is sponsoring an online video game event with Epic Games’ Fortnite allowing attendees to qualify to go head to head with top players. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Arctic Shrimp Sandwich at Saga near Las Vegas
Chef Gert Kvalsund, a native of Norway, founded Saga Pastry + Sandwich in Henderson to give Scandinavians a taste of home. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Guy Fieri and Sammy Hagar talk UNLVino
Guy Fieri and Sammy Hagar talk about the upcoming UNLVino vent. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Christie Brinkley at Smith & Wollensky
Christie Brinkley, in town for her run in “Chicago” at the Venetian Theatre, paid a visit to the Grand Canal Shoppes’ still-under-construction Smith Wollensky on Monday for a ceremonial first toast at the bar. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Two artists create a mural for peace in Las Vegas
2 artists create a mural for peace in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside Kaos nightclub and dayclub
A look at new club at Palms.
CinemaCon Brings Theater Professionals To Caesars
CinemaCon is not just celebs, it's also a place where theater owners can browse the latest in seats, projectors and concessions. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas restaurants provide a taste of ballpark food
The Las Vegas Ballpark, home to the Las Vegas Aviators, will serve food from Giada De Laurentiis and a team of favorite local restaurants. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Taste of the Town: Bobby Flay Opens Shark at the Palms - VIDEO
Bobby Flay opens Shark at the Palms; his first high-end restaurant in 15 years.
Chef Marc Marrone at T-Mobile Arena
Chef Marc Marrone has opened a bao cart at T-Mobile Arena. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio fountains celebrate 'Game of Thrones'
A medley of the theme for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and the song “Winter Is Here” from the show premiered at the Bellagio Fountains water show on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, March 31, 2019. The new number will run in rotation through April 13. The series premieres its eighth and final series on April 14. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegan Aunt Chippy talks about being on Jimmy Kimmel's show
Concetta Potenza, Aunt “Chippy” to Jimmy Kimmel, talks about her first time being featured on her nephew’s show. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The "Flight Unknown" At Bar Centro at Bazaar Meats Las Vegas Features 5 Innovative Cocktails
The "Flight Unknown" At Bar Centro At Bazaar Meats Las Vegas Features 5 Innovative Cocktails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cotton candy crowns pancakes in Las Vegas
At Maxie’s at The Linq Promenade in Las Vegas, executive chef David Mangual fills pancakes with fruit and cream cheese and piles on pastel cotton candy, which is melted in a stream of chocolate syrup. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Bananas Foster Pancakes go up in flames at The Stove near Las Vegas
Chef Antonio Nunez at The Stove in Henderson, near Las Vegas, flames the pancakes tableside for a fiery presentation. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
El Loco Rollercoaster at Circus Circus' Adventuredome
The El Loco rollercoaster opened at the Circus Circus' Adventuredome in February 2014. It features a 90-foot ascent, followed by a drop that produces a negative 1.5 "verticle G," a 180-degree turn, and reverse 240-degree roll that turns into an inverted drop. The coaster reaches a maximum speed of 45 mph and is the only indoor coaster of it's kind in the U.S., and is the second indoor El Loco coaster in the world, according to MGM Resorts.
Bartending flair competition at the Nightclub & Bar Show
Highlights from the ten contestants who competed for the Shake It Up Flair and Classic Competition at the Nightclub & Bar Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Justin Kingsley Hall shares details on his next gig
Chef Justin Kinglsey hall shares some details about the newArts District restaurant he's developing with Kim Owens. (Al Mancini/Las Vegs Review-Journal)
Film prompted Carrie Hogan to found 2 farmers markets in Las Vegas
Carrie Hogan founded Fresh 52 Farmers and Artisan Market in Las Vegas after realizing she had to do something about the influence of factory farms on the food supply. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Seafood dishes being made at Pasta Shop near Las Vegas
Executive chef Edwin Martinez incorporates fresh pasta into Lobster Salmon and Saffron Shrimp Sauté at Pasta Shop Ristorante & Art Gallery in Henderson, near Las Vegas. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Home Front Page Footer Listing