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CNBC’s ‘The Profit’ airs Tuesday with Las Vegas in the spotlight

Updated January 8, 2019 - 5:11 pm

We’re about to see the results of Marcus Lemonis’ business trip to Las Vegas last August.

Lemonis’ three-day trip to the Strip and Fremont Street is chronicled in “The Profit: High Stakes,” airing at 10 p.m. Tuesday on CNBC.

Lemonis visited Caesars Palace and chatted with veteran blackjack dealer Benny Figgins. He also chatted with a famous sleight-of-hand practitioner, Planet Hollywood headliner Criss Angel. The magician performed a trick onstage at Criss Angel Theater and described the travails of his young son, Johnny Crisstopher, who has just ended a series of chemotherapy treatments to fight a rare form of leukemia.

Lemonis also scoured downtown with the D Las Vegas co-owner Derek Stevens, took a ride on the Slotzilla zip line, interviewed Elvis tribute artist Brendan Paul (who recounts his own rags-to-jumpsuit saga in a segment titled “From Panhandler to Millionaire”) and sidled up to the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace with executive chef Leticia Nunez.

There were a few revelations for Lemonis, who spent $20,000 of his own walkin’-around cash on the three-day adventure. As he hung with Stevens at the D’s Longbar, the TV host remarked, “This is nothing like I thought. This place is packed!” And this, even when Zowie Bowie wasn’t playing on the Fremont Street Experience’s 3rd Street Stage.

“After three days here, it’s clear to me that Las Vegas knows what it does well,” Lemonis said. “At its heart, it’s still all about entertaining you, and they’ve got that down pat.”

So, this …

An odd coincidence was linked to Ariana Grande’s cancellation of her New Year’s Eve weekend show at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Dec. 28. Apparently, Grande was suffering from bronchitis and no new date has been set. This would have been Grande’s first concert since her widely publicized, and inherently dramatic, split with “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson.

And Davidson, too, backed out of a scheduled appearance in Las Vegas when he was a late scratch from Life is Beautiful in September. The notorious “scheduling conflict” was the official reason.

What Works in Vegas

“Raiding the Rock Vault” at Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel. The show is confirmed to run at least through July, taking its usual August break. The most recent info from the hotel was that “Rock Vault”was committed to play Vinyl through March, so this is welcome news to the production’s hardcore followers.

The show expanded its already considerable artistic equity when Bon Jovi bassist Hugh McDonald was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year. He joins Howard Leese, known for his time with Heart, as hall of famers who are in “Rock Vault’s” lineup.

The show’s dark period is likely to coincide with the start of the Hard Rock Hotel’s extensive renovations as it rebrands as Virgin Hotel Las Vegas. Officials plan to close the hotel for four months in early 2020 in the second phase of that overhaul. “Magic Mike Live” might stay open, in its own renovated theater, during that otherwise property-wide closing. No formal word on how “Rock Vault” would figure into those extended plans, but it will perform at least through most of the summer.

Last call for ‘Martinis’

The first announced show closing of the year came down on New Year’s Day. Naathan Phan’s “Martinis & Magic” residency at the Pegasus Showroom at Alexis Park didn’t survive the flipping of the calendar. The show opened in November, a tough time to launch any production, especially a first-time solo show in a new off-Strip venue. “Irreconcilable differences in adherence to our agreement,” is how Admit.VIP Chief Executive Officer Pete Housley described the show’s demise.

“Comics Battle” is still running at 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in the 175-seat room. Housley says he’s about to lock in a 10:30 p.m. show and is still looking for a 7 p.m. replacement for “Martinis.”

Who Was Where

Actor Paul Rudd (“The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up” and “I Love You, Man”) and a spate of comedian friends Friday at The Golden Tiki. Also in the mix were Ken Marino (celebrating his 50th birthday), A.D. Miles and Joe LoTruglio on what seemed to be a “Wet Hot American Summer” reunion party.

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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