Updated October 15, 2020 - 9:41 am
Big Elvis has made more comebacks than the real Elvis. Long-running Strip favorite Pete Vallee has returned his newly minted tribute to the King to Piano Bar at Harrah’s.
The big fella and able sound man/guest singer Josh Baron are back from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Vallee reopened last week after being away from the stage as bars were shut down a second time for COVID concerns in July.
“We’re trying different things to see what works, and right now we’re back and singing in ambience,” Vallee said Tuesday afternoon. “I’m watching the news and staying ready for any changes.”
Just outside Piano Bar, at Carnaval Court, Vinny Adinolfi and his son Vin A. are onstage from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Again, the objective is to provide music without creating a music festival.
“We were kind of told not to sing ‘Sweet Caroline,’ or anything where people would be singing back,” the elder Adinolfi said Tuesday. “It’s like we can entertain, but don’t be too energetic or too fun. So we’ll be doing that, and we’re going to be there until we’re not.”
The Adinolfis are performing for a full dining room Thursday night at the Italian American Club until they can return to their usual haunt, Harrah’s Showroom.
“We’re just trying to stretch out and do other things,” Adinolfi said. “Our thing is to entertain, and we’ll do that wherever we can until we can get back into our room.”
Drawing the (punch) line
Here’s a COVID-specific question I’ve been getting this week: “What’s the layout at L.A. Comedy Club?”
This is the club upstairs at The Strat that reopened Friday with Mike Krasner hosting, Carlos Rodriguez as featured comic and Edwin San Juan the headliner. The room was set up with great innovation, table clusters at least 25 feet from the stage, which was moved from the middle of the venue closer to a corner opposite the entrance. So a foursome was seated together in the middle, another cluster on house right, others centered deep in the venue, all spaced out.
Think of the layout of Fenway Park, with the comics at home plate.
Comedians were not required to be masked at this distance but the audience was, aside from when drinking. Table service was provided. The crowd topped at about 50, and was sold to 65 capacity Saturday. Generally it was a fun night, a marking of time, and certainly a different scene.
‘Rat Pack’ really is back
“The Rat Pack Is Back” is planning a temporary move to the upstairs ballroom at Tuscany Suites, where it usually headlines at the Copa Room. The return date is Nov. 12, with the show running Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The dinner option with Tuscany Gardens restaurant will return, too.
The new venue allows for better spacing, with the show running at about its 250-capacity limit. The rectangular design allows for the 25-foot spacing between the audience and stage. The ballroom was actually in play for a new, big-band music show at the hotel a couple of years ago, with the iconic Vegas bandleader Lon Bronson heading up the plans.
Bronson remains the “Rat Pack” band leader, backing cast members Chris Jason, Drew Anthony, Kyle Diamond and Joelle Rightetti. The Dick Feeney production stands alone, or staggers alone, as the lone Rat Pack residency tribute in the city. And, with its rotation of ambient singers and musicians in Piazza Lounge, Tuscany continues to enforce live entertainment in VegasVille.
The Sun of the U.K. has reported, with palpable zeal, Matt Goss’ plans to return to his native London.
The stories quote a source in Las Vegas: “Matt is massively popular in the U.S. and loves his life in Las Vegas but now he feels it’s time to come home. There is so much he still wants to do with his music and he has plenty of new material ready to go.”
Why that glowing comment needs to be “sourced” is anyone’s guess. I’m more interested in what Mr. Goss Vegas himself has to say. He’s not commented through texts or through his Las Vegas management since we chatted on “PodKats!” in August.
With no plans for a return to the former 1 Oak Nightclub at the Mirage, Goss is working on new music and recording out of L.A. His move back to England, if it happens, would be a loss for us, a win for the U.K., and his 11-year Strip run a casualty of COVID.
What Works In Vegas
Dimmare’s “Martinis & Magic” at The Mint on West Sahara, just west of the Strip, opened with a face-masked flourish Saturday. Dimmare sold out Thursday. He’s mulling the magical question of adding a second show at 9:30 p.m., moving his 7 p.m. start time to 6:30.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.