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Adele turns to Vegas players for orchestral boost

Updated November 26, 2022 - 7:28 pm

You know how it is with these Strip spectacles. You’re watching the Adele show, wondering if there might be an orchestra at some point, then the stage opens up to two-dozen string players.

We’re referring to the massive, “Hollywood Squares”-on-steroids set in “Weekends With Adele” at Caesars Palace. Among the questions we had as the show’s premiere approached was whether the superstar would summon Vegas musicians. She has. Sixteen of the 24 string players are local musicians. And they perform in their own tiny houses at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

The full complement of those Vegas players, by instrument (be ready for some heavy bold-facing here):

Violin: De Ann Letourneau, Becky Sabine Ramsey, Rob Taylor, Chandra Meibalane, Patrick Hsieh, Brandon Buckmaster, Soo Yeon Kim, Scott Jackson, Weiwei Le.

Viola: Omar Shelley, Crystal Yuan, Yunior Lopez, Hannah Suk, Jason Bonham.

Cello: Lindsey Springer, Mariko Muranaka, Mert Sermet.

These are more than names on a playbill. These artists have backed such superstars as Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Madonna, Andrea Bocelli, David Foster and Michael Buble. They also populate the Las Vegas Philharmonic. You’ll find Muranaka, Meibalane and Yuan with David Perrico and the Raiders House Band at Allegiant Stadium.

We’re continually canvassing these shows, picking out the familiar Las Vegas faces from the audience. Adele has taken a lot of heat, much of it justified, for her abrupt postponement and lengthy delay in opening her show at Caesars Palace. But she has also put a lot of deserved artists in Las Vegas to work, in an iconic setting. And that is a righteous move.

Dave & The Raiderettes

It was inevitable when the Raiders moved to Las Vegas that the Raiderettes would be featured in a Vegas holiday show.

An octet of Raiderettes join Perrico’s Pop Strings Orchestra Christmas show on Friday at Myron’s at the Smith Center. And, there are more singers than Raiderettes. Lily Arce, Fletch Walcott, Tymara Walker, Tyriq Johnson, Rockie Brown, Maren Wade, April Develos, Gloria Vivelo, Serena Henry and Sina Foley are all in the show.

Perrico says, “It’s going to be a Christmas party with the Raiderettes.” They even bring their own tinsel.

Komedy Kaos!

What do Marshmello, Frankie Moreno and John Caparulo have in common? All have been booked at Kaos at the Palms.

Caparulo, the established stand-up comic who once headlined at Harrah’s, is performing the first comedy show ever at Kaos on Saturday. Joe Sanfelippo’s Bonkerz Comedy Productions is presenting the show, and is attempting to establish a recurring series at the venue. Bonkerz already produces shows at Suncoast and The Pass in Henderson.

Kaos is a different kind of room for stand-up comedy, a high ceiling and a lot of “throw” in that room, which is otherwise untested for such a show. Consider it a test run.

‘Nightmare’ at The Portal

Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” has returned to The Portal, the 360-degree projection venue at Area15. The screenings run through Dec. 29, check AREA15.com for specifics. The 8 p.m. experience on Thursdays and Saturdays is restricted to ages 21-over. There will be choreographed light and sound, playing to the scenes from the cult classic. To quote Jack Skellington, “There’s something out there far from my home. A longing that I’ve never known.”

‘Nutcracker’ at Crystals

On the topic of Christmas projections, “The Immersive Nutcracker, A Winter Miracle,” has opened at Lighthouse Artspace at The Shops at Crystals. This is a happy, dizzying return to the holiday classic, which is running in 11 cities across the country.

“Nutcracker” runs daily on the hour, beginning at 11 a.m. and through the afternoon, switching off for “Immersive Van Gogh” later in the same space.

“Nutcracker” producer Svetlana Dvoretsky is a fan of the ballet adaptation of the story since she was a child. “This production does not replace any of those classics,” she says. “But it provides a family friendly experience that pays homage to the story’s ballet roots.”

Waiting on Vic’s

Vic’s Jazz Italian Bistro at Symphony Park won’t open to the public this year. The club’s formal opening has been pushed to the first week of January, says club proprietor Chris Lowden.

Extensive construction delays have forced the opening back 2 1/2 months.

“I’ve never seen anything like, it,” says Lowden, also operator of Stoney’s Rockin’ Country at Town Square. “But the place is going to be nice. Really nice.”

A few private events are set for December at the club, adjacent to the Smith Center and Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Symphony Park. Artists and live-music fans across the city are eager to see what’s percolating behind the Vegas Vic sign.

Cool Hang(s) Alert

On the topic of musical acumen, the UNLV Jazz Ensembles and combos perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the university’s Black Box Theatre.

This is the program’s annual Fall Jazz Festival. A cornucopia of jazz offerings, if you will.

Jazz Studies Program head Dave Loeb and the UNLV musicians have hit the high note (yo!) once more with their most recent release, “Almost There.” The music-industry pub Jazz Times loves it, and we expect you will, too.

Performing Monday is the UNLV Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Jazz Guitar Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble III. Tuesday its’ UNLV Contemporary Jazz Ensemble and Latin Jazz Ensemble. Wednesday it’s Jazz Ensemble I and Latin Jazz Ensemble II. Tickets are $10 (a mere pittance), available at UNLV.edu, by calling 702.895.2787, or the UNLV Performing arts Center box office. No cover for UNLV students.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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