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Entertainers plan benefit shows for Las Vegas shooting victims

The Strip’s newest arena and one of its lavishly appointed theaters will reportedly be the site where Las Vegas entertainers will coalesce to show strength and support following Oct. 1’s mass shooting on the Strip.

Though not yet announced, an all-star show headlined by some of the world’s biggest touring and recording artists is being planned for T-Mobile Arena. I’m confidently informed this spectacle, which should become the largest single-day charity event ever in Las Vegas, to is likely to be staged in November, based on T-Mobile’s availability.

Concurrently but unrelated to that event, a show titled “Vegas Cares” spotlighting entertainers who make Las Vegas home has been set for Venetian Theater on from 1-4 p.m. Nov. 5.

Vegas-based performers Clint Holmes, Frankie Scinta and Murray Sawchuck and The Best Agency founder Ken Henderson are leading the “Vegas Cares” effort, which will embrace the vast Las Vegas family of performers.

Expect to see Cirque du Soleil artists, stand-up comics, magicians and musicians all in the show’s running order. The event is to raise money for the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund set up by Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak (the campaign has raised more than $10 million).

The show is also to honor the first responders, health-care professionals and others who acted selflessly and heroically amid the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

“I feel the same as everyone who is experiencing this tragedy, and it’s just shocking,” Holmes says. “I really think we need to embrace those first responders. These people are part of our family, and to honor them is reason enough to to this.”

Longtime Las Vegas producer Blair Fairington of “Baz: Star Crossed Love” at Palazzo and music director Keith Thompson (late of “Jersey Boys” at Paris Las Vegas and the founder of The Composers Showcase of Las Vegas) lead the creative team. Tickets are $30 and will be on sale later this week through The Venetian box office and Ticketmaster.

The show at T-Mobile reflects a swift response from superstars worldwide who have offered their drawing power in the week following Sunday’s tragedy at Route 91 Harvest at the Village. The mass shootings at the popular country music festival, which had a sold-out crowd of 22,000 on the 15-acre site, left 58 concertgoers dead and nearly 500 injured.

The T-Mobile show’s impact should be enormous. No entertainer is deemed too large for the event, which is so far untitled but designed to welcome stars, no matter where they performed in Las Vegas.

Organizers are using contacts with such touring heavyweights as AEG Live (a partner in T-Mobile Arena) and Live Nation.

Without naming names — talks are early and fluid — the show’s performers will include headliners at MGM Resorts’ most prominent venues (particularly The Park Theater), Caesars Entertainment Corp. theaters (including the Colosseum at Caesars Palace and Axis theater at Planet Hollywood Resort), The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms.

Touring acts that have performed at T-Mobile, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mandalay Bay Events Center and at multiday events such as Life is Beautiful are also expected to contribute.

The two shows share the spirit of the USO benefit show on Nov. 11, 2001, which was produced by Smith Center President Myron Martin and starred several Strip headliners — including Holmes and Scinta — at Mandalay Bay Events Center.

The Venetian Theater event folds in the original “Vegas Cares” benefit show, set for Oct. 29 at Palazzo Theater to aid in hurricane recovery efforts. That show has been canceled. Also moved off the schedule is an Wednesday night fundraiser featuring a lineup of top chefs at Tropicana, with those resources being channeled to the new “Vegas Cares” show Nov. 5.

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

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