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Caesars Palace summons icons for reopening campaign

Updated May 21, 2020 - 8:44 am

Caesars Palace has recruited a pair of headliners — one a living legend, the other a faux legend — to trumpet its return.

Wayne Newton is starring in and providing the voice-over for a national TV commercial set to debut Friday on “Good Morning America.”

The Gazillionaire of “Absinthe” notoriety is tagging along.

The “GMA” connection is through Caesars Entertainment’s sponsorship of the show’s “Summer Concert Series,” announced Monday. Katy Perry is premiering the series Friday. As part of the deal, Newton and Gaz, along with famed Caesars models Caesar and Cleopatra, costar in the new ad campaign.

Caesars officials say the intent is for the spot to air Friday. Less likely is that it could debut next week.

Newton, the anchor of Cleopatra’s Barge, recorded his clip at the hotel on Saturday. He’s also providing the voice-over for the campaign, designed to instill a spirit of optimism as the Strip reopens. Caesars also fired up its fountains facing the Strip this week in advance of the filming.

And on Tuesday night, “Absinthe’s” ubiquitous Gazillionaire plugged in the Absinthe Electric Oak in the courtyard adjacent to the show’s Spiegeltent. The LED-trimmed tree is an electric relic from Burning Man, obtained by the zany production company to add Instagrammable moments to the hit production.

“When Caesars said that they wanted to do a television commercial that indicates Vegas is really ready to open, I said, ‘I’ll plug the tree in,’ ” Spiegelworld founder and “Absinthe” producer Ross Mollison said Wednesday. “If the tree’s not on, Vegas is not ready to open.”

Caesars Entertainment has not made its reopening plans public, though the Friday advertising debut lines up with a Memorial Day weekend relaunch. The respective shows are still in a holding pattern for a return to the stage, but Mollison is committed to bringing all three of his shows — “Absinthe” at Caesars, “Opium” at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and “Atomic Saloon Show” at The Venetian’s Grand Canal Shops — back to the stage.

The veteran producer says, “When we have that opening night, whenever it is, it will be the most important night of my career.”

Human Nature’s down

Human Nature is formally rescheduling its July-August “Good Good Life” tour of Australia. The guys announced the move Monday on social media. It’s a disappointment as the natives of Australia typically do great business in their home country.

Tickets are on sale for a June 16 return to the Sands Showroom at The Venetian — plans that are tentative, to put it mildly.

Kiwi experiments

Billboard reports that each week Live Nation is test-driving a series of socially distant concerts and comedy shows in Auckland, New Zealand. The “Together Again” shows start May 29 and 30 at The Tuning Fork in central Auckland, which is part of that city’s Spark Arena. The series showcases a rotating lineup of local artists and comedians.

Live Nation New Zealand Chairman Stuart Clumpas says in a statement the shows are “an opportunity for us to unite and celebrate the power of live entertainment with some of the country’s first socially distanced shows.” Las Vegas venue operators, entertainers and fans should watch with a discerning eye.

Saddle up

The deal that led to Professional Bull Riders staging no-spectator events at South Point Arena next month seemed to arrive out of nowhere. But hotel owner and Vegas resort legend Michael Gaughan herded the talks to the pen, as it were.

It’s not Gaughan’s first rodeo either. In 1985, Gaughan’s negotiation tenacity helped uproot the National Finals Rodeo from Oklahoma City to the then-2-year-old Thomas & Mack Center. The NFR has sold out every event since.

Di Domenico dances

John Di Domenico says he was “dragged” onto TikTok by his fiancée, Michele Rothstein. That’s some drag. The video of him dancing as Donald Trump on Rothstein’s Vegas Michele TikTok account has drawn 16.2 million views.

“I didn’t want to do it,” Di Domenico says. “I’m like, ‘What? Another platform? What’s my audience? Nine-year-olds?’ They come online in the comments during my TikTok and say, ‘You’re a poopie-head!’ ”

Also, the TikTok video is No. 2 out of 2.1 billion uses on the #Trump hashtag worldwide. This clip is a viral phenomenon.

Di Domenico reached another benchmark on his Cameo platform on Wednesday, recording his 700th customized message. He joined Cameo in October, and several Vegas entertainers have followed.

The inexhaustible Di Domenico says, “I’ve been working morning till night, but I’m not complaining.”

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian.

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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