Updated February 26, 2022 - 5:45 pm
The Kats! Bureau at this writing is the sports book at Mandalay Bay. TKB is often set up in sports books. Why? As my friend Libby Lumpkin once said when she was the curator of Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, it is often the quietest place in the casino.
This is true when there are no significant games or events being broadcast. Right now it’s Ohio-Akron hoops and harness racing from Woodbine Racetrack near Toronto.
More from this scene, and elsewhere.
BSB takes the dates
These guys know how to keep in time.
We speak of the Backstreet Boys. The tireless boy band has joined Keith Urban as Strip headliners who have snared dates left open by Adele’s cancellations at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. BSB have locked in four shows, April 8-9 and April 15-16. Two of those dates, April 8 and April 15, were to be Adele’s final shows in her original “Weekends With Adele” series.
Of course, Adele has made no announcement of return dates. Buzz persists that she wants to return in July. But it is not so persistent that we’ve seen or heard of any tangible activity at the hotel to bring the show back. What we do have is Ticketmaster dropping its deadline to refund tickets for the canceled shows until she does announce the her return.
BSB, meantime, kicks off its “DNA World Tour 2022” with the Caesars shows (tickets on sale 10 a.m. Monday at Ticketmaster.com). The band is also offering a VIP meet-and-greet offer at backstreetboys.com.
The band is a proven critical and financial success on the Strip. Nick Carter, A.J. McLean, Brian Littrell, Kevin Richardson and Howie Dorough closed their spirited “Larger Than Life” residency at Zappos Theater in April 2017, having performed 80 shows.
The guys should be set up for another residency run in 2023, when they celebrate their 30th anniversary. They can still bring it. I guess grooving really is the Fountain of Youth.
A Vegas state of mind
We’re looking at the Billy Joel show at Allegiant Stadium on Saturday as something of a test drive, if you can test a show in a 65,000-seat venue. But we have been hearing some informed buzz that a Joel residency at The MSG Sphere is being seriously reviewed. This does make sense. Joel has run an uber-popular monthly residency at Madison Square Garden, which began in January 2014 only to be abated by COVID. MSG, as the venue’s title indicates, is a partner in the Sphere.
Joel has been at the center of excited residency speculation before, more than a decade ago. Steve Wynn reportedly courted Joel to play a series at Encore Theater, in the days before Garth Brooks took the offer. Joel instead opted for the shows in his NYC home.
If Joel does wind up playing Vegas, it makes business sense to schedule the show similar to George Strait’s ongoing series at T-Mobile Arena. Several weekends a year, and make it clear this would be the only place, anywhere, you could see Billy Joel perform (keep in mind, he did not sell out his tour date at T-Mobile Arena in May 2016). And, create some fantastic multi-media for the venue’s video capabilities. This could be something special when the Sphere opens, which is targeted as the second half of 2023.
Live on Tape
Column fave Tape Face celebrated his fifth anniversary in VegasVille on Tuesday. The artist whose legal name is Sam Wills opened Feb. 22, 2017, at Bugsy’s Cabaret at the Flamingo. That room today is home to none other than Wayne Newton and the “X Burlesque’ adult revue.
On Friday, I asked the Taped wonder for a list of Five Revelations About Las Vegas, to coincide with his anniversary. His snap response:
1. Every night can feel Like a Saturday night in Vegas
2. Local knowledge is key to this town. You never know where the secret spots are ‘til you ask.
3. Don’t believe the blurb. Someone is selling you something.
4. Turns out it gets cold in the desert
5. Tape Face is THE FUNNIEST SHOW IN LAS VEGAS. (See answer 3.)
Great Moments in Social Media
We really enjoyed our chat this month with “Ru Paul’s Drag Race Live!” co-star Eureka O’Hara, one of the new divas who have joined the show at Flamingo Showroom. The co-star this week announced she is entering rehab, with a courageous and heartfelt thread on her Twitter account, @EurekaOhara.
I’m in Rehab. It was time for me to get my addiction and mental self under control. I made this decision and it’s been really hard to be honest about it. I’m embarrassed! These are some of my first steps. I love you all so much!
— Eureka! (they/them/theirs) 🐘👑 (@eurekaohara) February 23, 2022
“I’m in rehab. It was time for me to get my addiction and mentalself under control. I made this decision and it’s been really hard to be honest about it. I’m embarrassed! These are some of my first steps. I love you all so much!” Seeking help is nothing to be embarrassed about, from this perch, and we are eager to see the co-star co-star again in mid-March.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.