Updated May 29, 2021 - 6:00 pm
Christina Aguilera and Richard Branson are co-headlining the grand-opening celebration at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas this month.
Branson and Aguilera are both set to appear 8 p.m. June 10 at The Theater at Virgin Hotels. Aguilera also plans to return to her paused residency at Zappos Theater. Also, rapper Flo Rida and DJ Mix Master Mike are set to appear at the show at The Theater, which was The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel days (tickets start at $49, minus fees, and are available at virginhotelslv.com).
The entire party runs June 10-13 and is billed “Unstoppable Weekend,” for a hotel that has been open to the public since March 25.
If it seems this is a second opening event, it is. But the opening of the doors in March was considered just the tease to this larger party. The date was picked to accommodate Branson, whose company is an investment partner to allow its brand to be splashed across the property.
Branson has traditionally performed some magnificent stunt to promote his company’s interests. In 2007, the flamboyant entrepreneur commemorated the inaugural Virgin America flight by bungee jumping off the Palms. He bounced twice off the building and ripped his pants in that famous/infamous event.
Richard “Boz” Bosworth, CEO and president of hotel ownership group JC Hospitality, has says he has no inclination of what — if anything — Branson has planned.
“He might surprise everybody with a stunt,” Bosworth said Saturday. “But I have no knowledge of him jumping off a Virgin Galactic spacecraft into one of our pools, for example.”
The planned night of entertainment, hosted by Mark Shunock, should suffice.
“We have been working diligently to bring world-class performances and we cannot wait to celebrate this monumental grand opening weekend and welcome back entertainment to Las Vegas with performances by such exceptional artists,” JC Hospitality COO Gary Scott said in a statement.
The hotel has opened its first residency production show, “27,” the rock retrospective, in 24 Oxford. We also expect a Journey residency in The Theater in December, a half-dozen dates, with details forthcoming.
A rap for Donny
Donny Osmond, already the Lord of Harrah’s Showroom months before his residency premieres, is dropping a rap segment into his act.
In a story published last week in the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, Osmond said he intends to unleash “Six in Six,” a rapping homage to his entertainment career.
“It started back in Utah, I was 4 years old,” Osmond said, or rather rapped. “Started singing with my brothers and the sound was like gold.”
That Osmond is delving into rap, a heretofore unplowed music genre, is not entirely surprising. Last year, in a studio backstage at Flamingo Showroom, he played a stretch on upcoming album. I felt a lot of EDM/nightclub vibe, and thundering bass, in that sample.
The rap approach might also be a subconscious message to hotel officials to add a “Donny” building wrap. He loved the Donny & Marie wrap at the Flamingo.
But whether Osmond a challenger to the aforementioned rap star Flo Rida is unknown. We’ll find out when Osmond opens at Harrah’s on Aug. 31.
Power of Lim
Genting Group Chairman and CEO K.T. Lim is being honored at the 25th annual Keep Memory Alive Power of Love gala. The city’s premier philanthropic gala is set for Oct. 16. The event is the primary fundraiser for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, founded by Las Vegas hospitality and philanthropic icon Larry Ruvo.
The site has not been announced. The event has most recently been staged at MGM Grand Garden Arena, but Lim’s company owns Resorts World Las Vegas. The new resort, too, would be a suitable host.
Cool Hang(s) Alert
Former “Baz” star Ruby Lewis is headlining “Starlet” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through June at The Nevada Room at Commercial Center piano bar bistro. Lewis’ show is dedicated to Hollywood starlets of the ’30s and ’40s. Haven’t seen this particular showcase, but the response has been uniformly positive and powerful. At the risk of blurb-ing, Lewis is a real star who can delve into any era.
The Nevada Room and The Vegas Room have greatly expanded their programming. Regular column inhabitant Skye Dee Miles opens the showroom (adjacent to the bar bistro) on July 2-3 with her torrid “Boom Boom Room” production. Guests can order a prix fixe themed menu, which will come with complimentary entertainment; check thenevadaroom.com for details on all the shows an also menu options.
Miles is also performing with piano only from 6-10 p.m. Thursdays at NoMad Bar at Park MGM through July. She and her full band are nailing it at Virgin Hotels’ Shag Room from 10 p.m.- 1 a.m. Saturdays, running through August. Lord, this is a fun show. As Bosworth says, “This isn’t something that is made up and trying to be cool. This IS cool.”
Your VegasVille Moment
I brought my brother, Bill Kats, and sister-in-law, Lindsey, to One Steakhouse on Friday night. They have been visiting from Boise and celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary. We all grabbed seats at the bar. Bartender/host/bon vivant Johnny O’Donnell motioned to the person sitting next to my brother and said, “You know Oakie?”
It was Paul Oakenfold, the trailblazing DJ, whom I’d never met. Very nice guy. He hung for a bit, remembering his great run at Rain at the Palms, which effectively spearheaded the resident-DJ boom in Vegas.
Oakie then headed off for his headlining appearance at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, spinning for 4,000 fans on a beautiful night.
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.