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Elvis back in Las Vegas with ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ at Harrah’s

Updated April 16, 2019 - 12:43 pm

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is Harrah’s Showroom, where “Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel in Concert” is performing its final rehearsal before opening for previews.

“Heartbreak” runs 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Mondays with added 3 p.m. matinees on Sundays. But I can already report that the Elvis lead, Eddie Clendening, is s killer performer and this backing band smokes.

There is live music, all over the stage, with design by Vegas favorite Andy Walmsley. Nice work on the lighted, dual staircase and the stage’s LED/neon trimming.

So far, we’ve heard spirited performances of “All Shook Up,” That’s All Right,” and the production’s title song. Authorized by Authentic Brands Group, which owns Elvis Presley Enterprises, the show rolls along as a concert, with occasional narrative to tell the Presley story.

Clendening toggles between performing as Elvis, and reciting Presley factoids outside the character. It’s not a true

“book” show. It’s a dang good rehearsal, though. Give it one star just for the segments of “It’s Now Or Never,” performed in 20 different languages, with the screens showing a host of Elvis tribute artists from around the world. Priceless.

The videos behind the band and flanking the stage show the real Elvis in his 1950s heyday, while Clendening wails and gyrates to great effect.

I love the live, electric quality of the six musicians and three backing singers. It’s Elvis, and it swings pretty well. I’d suggest clear these theater seats and give this show a real dance-hall vibe, but … this seems more a seated demographic. This is starting to sound like a full review; I’ll stop until this vehicle is really ready to roll. But I feel I’ll be back.

Jake news

Vegas Golden Knights arena music director Jake Wagner produced his own hat trick Sunday at T-Mobile Arena.

Wagner played a swift three-song medley during the third-period dust-up between VGK’s Ryan Reaves and the San Jose Sharks’ Evander Kane. As the two combatants squared off, Wagner played “Phenomenal” by A.J. Styles, “Mama Said Knock You Out,” by L.L. Cool J, and the children’s song, “Baby Shark.”

But only “Baby Shark,” which Wagner played as Kane was led from the ice, was audible in the arena. The crowd was going absolutely nuts during the fight. Wagner said he had all three songs ready for just such an event, as these guys just don’t mix well and were destined to duke it out in Game 3.

Wagner had played “Baby Shark” when Kane was ejected during the regular season. Not to endorse fighting, but I can’t wait to hear the soundtrack for the rematch.

Five For Fighting

By the way, the rock performer Five For Fighting (legal name Vladimir Ondrasik) adopted his for the five-minute major penalty issued to Kane and Reaves. Five For Fighting is a big L.A. Kings fan.

Who was where

Ben Affleck, at Tao Beach at the Venetian on Sunday afternoon. He had a Buddha Burger. This also gives us a reason to note …

Great moments in social media

Amelia Wedemeyer, social media assistant at The Ringer, has posted a series of photos of Affleck on her Twitter feed with corresponding drinks from Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s worth a troll. Personal favorite is his “Armageddon” uniform and the DD iced tea.

What works in Vegas

David Perrico and his 36-piece orchestra is coming off a sold-out, Latin-themed show at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at Smith Center on Saturday night. His Pop 40 six-piece band and Pop Strings ensemble still kick it up at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace at from 8 p.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays (no cover; table minimums apply), and he’s just issued the “Completely Covered” live CD from those performances.

And if you’re wondering, 36 musicians on the Cab Jazz stage is a venue record.

Attic is up!

The new venue at Nerd Bar at Neonopolis has set its schedule. The Attic is the new name, with Pete Housley of Admit VIP running the joint. WWE star and stand-up comic Rob Van Dam performs at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday in a special edition of “Ringside Comedy.” The resident show “Comedy & Dolls” starring Uber Rossi returns 8 p.m. April 26 and runs Thursdays through Sundays.

And, the midnight show starring Joe Caliz, “Downtown & Dirty,” opens May 3 — yes, finally a midnight hang at Neonopolis — with more shows to be announced. Housley is also presenting Kelly Clinton-Holmes and Elisa Fiorillo in “First Ladies of Las Vegas Entertainment” and Frankie Scinta in “One on One” at Pegasus Showroom at Alexis Park.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found atreviewjournal.com/podcasts.Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1on Instagram.

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