Cirque-NBT teams again on the Las Vegas Strip

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is a run-through for “Art From Art: The 11th Annual A Choreographers’ Showcase” at Mystere Theater.

Seriously, this is where we’re working today. NBT Artistic Director Roy Kaiser was just sitting next to me while a clown (or, a guy dressed like a clown) raced past as he was chased by a bunch of kids.

Go, kids!

“ACS” is the annual collaboration between Cirque du Soleil and NBT artists. The event is set for 1 p.m. Sunday, and again at 1 p.m. Oct. 13-14. This year, for the first time, the format is seamless — no breaks in the action.

Also, “Love” at the Mirage artists Jason Plowman and Alex Yankovich have choreographed an Andy Warhol-inspired number with 26 NBT Future Dance Scholars, the first time the kids are part of the production. This is how we, you know, clown around on the Strip.

More from this scene, and elsewhere.

Shaffer’s lineup

Our friend and all-time column fave Paul Shaffer played it coy about bringing “my old boss,” David Letterman, to the stage at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace in September. Not this time.

Shaffer’s list of drop-ins for his next run with the Shaf-Shifters is already mapped out: Singer/songwriter Lamont Dozier of legendary Motown hit-making team Holland–Dozier–Holland on Thursday, legendary magician David Copperfield on Friday, and comic/actor Richard Belzer on Oct. 13. We are not ruling out other stars ambling in, either.

Tough combination

Sebastian Maniscalco has a “bad gig” story. It’s also kind of a “bad boxing’ story.

Maniscalco, headlining the Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Saturday and Sunday, once performed at a comedy club-slash-boxing gym in Manteca, Calif.

“They still had the ring up,” Maniscalco said in a recent phone interview. “They didn’t even bother to take the ropes down. I actually climbed into the ring to fight this crowd.”

This was about 15 years ago, early in Maniscalco’s stand-up career (obviously). “People thing they can just throw comedy up on any stage and it’s going to work, because you just need a microphone and that’s it,” he said. “But at that point, you’re just looking for stage time to work out some stuff. I was the type of guy who would take any gig, I’d drive five hours to do a half an hour for $20 bucks and a meal.”

Maniscalco has discovered the comparative luxury of playing the Colosseum.

“I have realized, since my last appearance there, they have this wall-to-wall screen that Celine Dion uses,” Maniscalco says. “I said, ‘Let’s fire that up! I wanna see how that plays!” The gloves are off now.

Get to know him

Jimmy Kimmel grew up in Las Vegas, which means he is received a little differently around town than he is in other cities.

“I’s funny, when you are well-known, people come up all the time to say hello,” says Kimmel, opening the Jimmy Kimmel Comedy Club at the Linq Promenade next spring. “But in Vegas, half the people who come up to me, I went to junior high with or worked with at Miller’s Outpost. That makes it a lot more interesting.”

Get there

Lady Gaga’s numbers are hot — hot, I tell you! — with her early shows nearly sold out through this year and into next spring. The advance word is for those interested in seeing her at The Park Theater to start with June. This is not hyperbole, either. The sales are fast, and I’ve also heard that those who have seen preliminary concepts of her show have been wowed at her adventurism. “Enigma” opens Dec. 28.

Behind that pic

I posted a shot on social media of Wayne Newton smiling at me from the driver’s seat of his Range Rover on Tuesday. I’ve been asked several times, “Is that really Wayne Newton?” “How did this happen?” And, “Was this a drag race on the Strip?”

OK: I was driving toward the Paris Las Vegas parking garage, on my way to see “Sex Tips For Straight Women From A Gay Man” at Bally’s with Mac King and his wife, Jennifer. My phone went off, displaying the name of Kathleen Newton, Wayne’s wife. I thought, “Emergency!” and took the call. Kathleen called out, “Look behind you! Look behind you!” I did, and this rig with hits emergency flashers was fast approaching on my right. Then Wayne rolled the window down and shouted, “Show me your driver’s license!”

We were up close, and personal, which is also the name of Wayne’s show at Bally’s and that’s where he was heading.

Top of the prop

Luxor comedy star Carrot Top spent an entire day on his new props, which have been ripped from today’s headlines: Brett Kavanaugh’s gavel, which is a Bud Light can glued to a hammer handle, and a matching briefcase made of Budweiser cans. “Don’t get mad!” Topper says in the video, already anticipating the crowd’s response. “This is my job!”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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