Transmissions from across VegasVille, where a new band of resort execs is headlining a Strip lounge and the Backstreet Boys cannot be stopped.
What works in Vegas?
The Backstreet Boys. They are a juggernaut. A grinning, tightly-choreographed juggernaut.
The quintet of A.J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson delivered their entire allotment of tickets for its two-day charity promotion with The Animal Foundation in just three hours. In a campaign scheduled to run Friday and today, fans were invited to present gift cards of at least $100 from Petco and PetSmart to the Lied Shelter at 644 North Mojave Road in Las Vegas for a pair of BSB tickets.
The event started at 11 a.m., and 250 or so set aside were gone by 2 p.m., raising $15,000 for The Animal Foundation’s shelter animals. Organizers now say those who have gift cards can still exchange them today for Pitbull tickets (he’s back at Axis in July and August).
And, lest we forget BSP’s Strip residency, the guys have almost totally sold out Axis theater for its shows this weekend — even as the theater has been opened to its full 6,700-seat capacity. The drape covering the balcony seats has again been removed to allow for the extra sales. This success has led to at least one member of BSB — Carter — to move to VegasVille. See you around, sir.
Golden Rainbow’s return
What does Sunday’s Golden Rainbow Ribbon of Life production at Tropicana Theater have in common with the new band of resort execs at MGM Grand?
The singing exec Stephanie Sanchez.
The vocalist in “Fantasy” for nine years and currently an entertainment executive at New York-York, Sanchez is covering Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” in the 31st Ribbon of Life show, which starts at 1 p.m. and is the primary annual fundraiser for Golden Rainbow, which provides services for those suffering from HIV/AIDS in Southern Nevada.
More than 300 performers (we could stage an “Annie” revival with those numbers) are taking part in a series of top-40 numbers.
A Las Vegas native and stage performer since she was 17 (in “Hallelujah Las Vegas” at Bob Stupak’s Vegas World), Sanchez has taken part in almost every Golden Rainbow show since the late-1980s.
And even as a “suit” at NY-NY, Sanchez continues to perform. The new band Covers Inc. (which incorporates covers, you see) debuted at Loser’s Lounge at MGM Grand on June 10 and folks, that lounge was happening. At midnight. In a very drunken sort of way.
Covers Inc. stemmed from an idea shared by MGM Grand Executive Chef Justin Fredericksen last year during MGM Resorts’ Employee of the Year party. With the exceptions of Venetian Chef Allesandro Zerla on bass and Vegas composer Tim Garb on acoustic guitar, the band is comprised mostly of MGM Resorts executives: Sanchez, Fredericksen on lead guitar, Mansions landscaper/horticulture exec Marc Harris on vocals, Tender Steakhouse at the Luxor GM James Clare on vocals, MGM Resorts Senior Project Manager Dave Hein on drums, and MGM Grand VP of Facilities and Engineering Nicholas Kyriazis on keys and guitar.
It’s a solid band, by any measure, with Sanchez blasting out Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” among many casino lounge staples. “We’re supposed to take a break,” she said at about 11:50 p.m. in the June 10 show. “But we are not breaking. Dance!” So, we did.
Mondays Dark update
Mondays Dark is set to move back to its customized venue, The Space, in time for the July 10 show benefiting Variety children’s charity of Las Vegas. The two most recent shows have been held at the “Magic Mike Live” theater, which is supposed to be named Club Dominia but nobody calls it that. Whatever the title, that room is, or will be, a significant reason for the success of “Magic Mike Live.” Set in multiple levels and in the round, it’s one of the best live venues in town.
As Space overlord Mark Shunock explains, the Space has been outta commish for several weeks as a new sprinkler system is being installed. He’s especially eager to showcase “Thrones! The Musical Parody” from July 14-23. The show sold out its run at the 2105 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and has been a hit in performances in the U.K., Chicago and L.A.