An ‘Epic’ test ends with ambitious show closing at the Plaza

It was something of a test, loading “One Epic Night” into the Plaza Showroom. Anyone observing this show knew the pass-fail grade would be rendered quickly.

Well, “One Epic Night” opened Sept. 29. It closed and loaded out this afternoon.

Starring the Las Vegas magic tandem Jarrett & Raja and featuring singers known from network-TV contest shows, “One Epic Night” never found its audience and cut short its “limited engagement” run about five weeks after opening. Producer Frank DiMaggio of American Dream Concerts confirmed today the show was done at the Plaza.

DiMaggio also indicated there would be a new venue for “Epic,” which is a common message as shows that have closed quickly hope to remain intact elsewhere. Call it the “Surf The Musical” syndrome, reminding of that short-lived production’s claims that it would soon move to a new venue following its month-long run at Planet Hollywood. That was four years ago.

It is not yet known who would have space readily available to take on “One Epic Night,” an ambitious show filled with some genuinely talented artists. Jarett & Raja are clearly experienced showmen and magicians, and Raja’s piano skills were especially impressive. Also showcased were some very good singers: Megan Rugar and Will Champlin of “The Voice,” and James Durbin of “American Idol.”

Backed by a live band that included Stet Howland, Michael T. Ross and Brent Muscat, “One Epic Night” attempted to deliver a highly produced show to a room that has long been a challenge for any production. The Phat Pack, a lineup of Broadway-caliber performers from “Phantom of the Opera” productions (including “Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular” at the Venetian) could not come close to filling that room.

And, before he went off to collect his Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in “Baskets,” Louie Anderson was also frustrated by the response to his show at the Plaza,, only helping to bolster the long-held assumption that any show downtown is a tough sell.

At the moment, “The Scintas” family showcase, rife with comedy and music, has found a lasting formula of performing at 7:30 p.m. on the last two Fridays and Saturdays of every month. That act, a favorite of Plaza Chief Executive Officer Johnathan Jossell, and the hotel’s resident Vegas icon Oscar Goodman, was just extended through the end of April. The venue itself is appealing, beautiful and classically appointed. For anyone who wants to take a shot — even an epic shot — there’s a room available at the Plaza.

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.

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